Hugh Sandler used to commute two hours a day between Grand Central Terminal and his home in the New York City suburbs. Like thousands of other attorneys who logged long hours in Manhattan law firms, Sandler regarded coming into the office as an essential part of his job. Then came March, which marked the first time he and many other lawyers worked full days at home. For Sandler, it was a major adjustment—but also a surprisingly pleasant one.

“My experience has been very positive. I have a 7-month-old and being at home at this time has created a lot of additional benefits, including that I can be around for him,” he says.

Other lawyers—many working from home for the first time in their careers—described a variety of emotions, ranging from relief to something many haven’t felt since college: sheer, unadulterated delight. “Best three months of my life,” said one Chicago lawyer who has gained two hours a day of time with his family since giving up his commute.

Their experience reflects how the pandemic has shaken up the culture of corporate law firms. That culture, known in the legal world as “Big Law,” is characterized by long hours that obliged …

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As protests in Minneapolis over the death of a handcuffed African American turned increasingly violent, President Donald Trump threatened to send in armed forces and warned that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

In a pair of early morning tweets on Friday, the president assailed the city’s mayor, Jacob Frey, as weak and said he had told Minnesota Governor Tim Walz that “the military is with him all the way.”

On Thursday night, a mob broke into the Third Precinct stationhouse in Minneapolis and set fire to it, according to the Associated Press. The officers had fled the building.

Protests over the death of George Floyd on Monday spread across the nation after a video of his encounter with police officers from the precinct spread across social media and television.

In the video, Floyd is on the pavement next to a police car with a white officer kneeling on his neck. He says that he cannot breath. The four officers involved were fired on Tuesday, though no charges have been filed.

Expressions of outrage from across the political spectrum followed the release of the video. There were protests in several other cities, including New York and Albuquerque. In Columbus, …

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Good morning. David Meyer here in Berlin, covering for Alan.

This is not the geopolitical worst of times, but neither is it the best. Right now there are a number of reasons to be looking in China’s direction with a degree of unease.

The most urgent issue is the approval by Chinese lawmakers of an expansion of the country’s national security law to Hong Kong. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already claimed that Hong Kong no longer merits its special trade status as far as the U.S. is concerned. The new law is likely to trigger more official pushback from the Trump administration, and the question now is whether multinationals will continue to use Hong Kong as a regional base. The Hang Seng fell around 1% on the news.

This all spells further trouble for U.S.-China diplomatic and trade relations—the commitments made in the two countries’ “phase one” trade deal are already looking rickety to say the least, and accusations about the origins of COVID-19 are festering on both sides.

But we can also add into the mix the …

Good morning.

“Plastic is my passion.” So says Surendra Patawari, Zooming with me yesterday from Belgium, where his giant global recycling company is based. I spoke with him about the state of plastics recycling, and it was not an encouraging conversation.

I’ve noted in this column before that an increasing number of big companies are targeting plastic recycling as an important goal. The Alliance to End Plastic waste includes companies like Dow, Pepsi, P&G and ExxonMobil, who have committed $1.5 billion to solving the plastics problem, and I believe they are sincere in their ambitions. Patawari, who sits on the board of the Alliance, believes they are sincere as well.

But here’s the thing: plastics recycling has pretty much collapsed. That was happening even before the pandemic, after China made its decision to stop importing plastic refuse for recycling. And it has gotten worse, in part because collapsed oil prices have made virgin plastic less expensive, and in part because other countries are regulating waste shipments, causing trade in plastic for recycling to shrivel. While companies like Pepsi and Unilever have set goals of using 25% recycled plastic packaging by 2025, Patawari says in fact only 16-17% of plastic …

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Good morning.

A new episode of our podcast Leadership Next is out this morning featuring Cathy Engelbert, commissioner of the WNBA, who talked with us about struggling to figure out how to stage a basketball season in the midst of a pandemic.

Before taking the WNBA job last summer, Engelbert was the first female CEO of Deloitte, working there for 33 years, and as CEO for five. She says the similarities between business and basketball are surprising.

“I ran a people-first agenda at Deloitte, now we are running a player-first agenda. I took a 12-city tour and I listened to all the stakeholders, the media, the fans, the owners, the GMs, the front office people. It was pretty funny the similarities to big business. What I figured out very quickly was sports is big business.”

Engelbert played basketball herself in high school and college (Lehigh), and credits her rise into leadership to an athletic upbringing.

“It was all about competitiveness. I am one of eight kids. Five brothers. Really competitive background. We fought for everything, from cereal to pop tarts