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Podcast Episode 186: Restructure This!

by Guy Alvarez • March 16th, 2023 • Podcast

In this episode of the Legal Marketing 2.0 Podcast, Guy is joined by Justin Bernbrock. Justin Bernbrock is a partner in Sheppard Mullin’s Chicago office and the head of Chicago’s complex restructuring team. Justin has worked on some of the most complex Chapter 11 cases in the world over the last 11 years, and is the host of Sheppard Mullin’s Restructure This! podcast series, which explores the latest trends and controversies in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, commercial insolvency and distressed investing. Prior to Sheppard Mullin, Justin was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago. Before his legal career, Justin served with distinction in the United States Navy.

1. The Decision to Create a Podcast for Justin Bernbrock’s Practice

Justin was interested in listening to podcasts and books on audio books, and found a variety of bankruptcy related podcasts from organizations such as The American Bankruptcy Institute. He found that people his age consume information in a similar way, so he looked for a complex, restructuring podcast. He found podcasts, but the information that was covered in those podcasts covered the whole spectrum of the bankruptcy world. The most important details in these podcasts are the unique aspects of bankruptcy, such as the ability of a bankruptcy judge to hear cases of individuals with medical bills and large complex cases in a single day. It is a unique intersection of Main Street and Wall Street that is present in the back of the court. The genesis of the podcast came from Justin’s belief that if you want something, you should try to create it. The podcast Justin created focuses on primarily Chapter 11 situations, which are complex, restructuring situations. 

2. The Next Step to Organize and Interact With The Firm

The team created a white paper to sell the idea internally and as an organizational or formational document. The most important details in this text are that the paper was a substantive sales pitch, containing the information needed to persuade the firm of the idea, and that once the approval was granted, the paper could be used to execute on the following steps. This makes the sales pitch longer. Developing an executive summary of the document was essential to ensure that the author had a clear understanding of the steps they would take once they received approval from the firm, which ultimately led to the successful completion of the project. We were approved by the firm, got the required equipment, and began to engage with guests. We also focused on how to market the podcast out to the broader audience through social media direct advertising. We put that plan into interaction and worked with the fine folks to be social for pre and post production needs.

3. The Response, Both Within the Company and Among Your Clients and Prospects

​​The podcast has been successful in providing insight into the world of complex restructuring, particularly for those within the firm. Outside the firm, individuals regularly express that they listen to it, and that they enjoy the content that is being published. The firm has had a bankruptcy practice for many years, but is not a household name in the circles of complex or restructuring. The podcast is part of a broader go to market strategy. 

4. The Biggest Challenge With Getting The Podcast Going and Making Sure That The Episodes are Consistent 

When business development times are slow, it is easy to keep up with initiatives and marketing efforts with the right plan in place. The slower periods of billable work are the times when great ideas emerge and people hit the ground running on the front. This is the natural response to a slow billable period. The most important idea is to maintain pace and expectations during the mobile period to ensure billable work is not dropping off.


Whether you’re a small or large law firm, podcasts are a great way to generate brand awareness and provide educational content to your audience. With the right plan in place, podcast creation can be a streamlined process. Just remember to stay consistent and take the right steps to get the rest of your firm on board.

You can find Justin Bernbrock on Linkedin & the law firm Website.

You can listen to the Restructure This! Podcast here.

Check out our newest ebook, The Law Firm Guide to Podcasting, here. 


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