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Above the Law - Thinking Like a Lawyer

Thinking Like A Lawyer is a podcast featuring Above the Law’s Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice. Each episode, the hosts will take a topic experienced and enjoyed by regular people, and shine it through the prism of a legal framework. This will either reveal an awesome rainbow of thought, or a disorienting kaleidoscope of issues. Either way, it should be fun.
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Above the Law - Thinking Like a Lawyer
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Nov 13, 2018

Joe and Elie check in on the legal academy and boy was it a mess this week. One law school is closing. A T14 school claims it's in financial distress. And another school made all its students attend a racist propaganda rally. Just another day in the law school world.

Nov 6, 2018

With work flowing away from mid-sized firms with high overhead to either the established elite or small shops, the shape of the legal labor market was bound to change as well. And while small shops are capturing bigger and bigger jobs in part because of advances in legal technology, at some point there will always be a need for a human lawyer. That's where Lawclerk's solution comes in at the intersection of technology and human capital. Joe chats with Greg Garman and Talitha Gray about their platform and how they help efficiently match freelancers with small shops needing a dose of expertise.

Oct 30, 2018

Joe and Elie catch their breath by recapping the top legal stories of last week. At the annual meeting of the Association of Corporate Counsel, Elie describes an in-house community deeply concerned with navigating the #MeToo era, the gang discusses the abrupt decision of Baker McKenzie's managing partner to step down for "exhaustion," and the pair argue over a new set of law school rankings.

Oct 23, 2018

You've seen all the mainstream media reports of student walk-outs and protests, but what are law school campuses really like these days. Joe and Elie are joined by Melissa Murray, a professor at NYU Law and former interim dean of Berkeley, to discuss the reaction from an insider's perspective and to delve into the overall mood on law school campuses these days. Are law students really desperate for "safe spaces" or is it more nuanced?

Oct 16, 2018

Joe and Elie take a serious turn, talking to University of Cincinnati Law Professor Mark Godsey, director of the Ohio Innocence Project, and author of Blind Injustice about the scourge of wrongful convictions, prosecutorial misconduct, and the trouble with local elections. Professor Godsey, a former prosecutor himself, discusses his conversion to an advocate for the wrongfully convicted and his grasp of the psychology that consistently lands the wrong people in prison. Speaking of psychology, Elie discusses whatever's going on in Kanye's head.

Oct 9, 2018

Joe attended this year's Clio Cloud Conference and sat down with Sarah Schaff of Headnote to discuss her legal career and how she's shifted to become an entrepreneur with a product that helps attorneys collect on their bills within hours instead of months.

Oct 2, 2018

Joe and Above the Law's Kathryn Rubino react in real-time to the Kavanaugh hearings, recapping the morning testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and watching the Kavanaugh opening statement in all its ripe-for-SNL-parody glory. Since this recording, the vote's been delayed pending an investigation but it's worth taking a step back and ruminating on what we saw.

Sep 25, 2018

The legal workplace would be almost unrecognizable to a lawyer of the past. The typewriters are gone, WordPerfect is gone, the fax machines are going, and a whole host of new platforms providing services that those older lawyers could never have imagined. Joe and Elie chat with Casepoint CEO Haresh Bhungalia and Casepoint Chief Strategy Officer David Carns about the legal technology landscape generally and Casepoint specifically and how each are changing the legal workflow.

Sep 18, 2018

Before the Kavanaugh nomination took its decidedly darker turn, the nominee spoke tentatively but positively of opening up the courts to cameras and same-day audio. The House has also put forward a bill to expand this transparency. Joe and Elie talk to Andrew Eisbrouch and Jesse Weber of the Guys Who Law podcast and the Law & Crime network. Law & Crime is dedicated to broadcasting live courtroom telecasts to inform the public about the judicial system, so we wanted to know their thoughts on transparency.

Sep 12, 2018

Joe and Elie review the week that was in the Kavanaugh confirmation fight. Procedural fights! Threatened explusion! Giving false testimony to the Senate! Mysterious Kasowitz connections! After a wild week, will Brett Kavanaugh still have the votes to narrowly get confirmed to the Supreme Court? We'll just have to wait and find out. But the answer is yes.

Sep 4, 2018

Joe and Elie talk to Jason Cruz, a Seattle attorney and writer for MMA Payout covering the law and business side of MMA fighting. We discuss just how someone gets from a law degree to this world and walk through the lawsuit against Conor McGregor for throwing cans into the crowd. Elie also shares his theory for the unwritten social contract all sports fans should agree to and it's safe to say Elie wants us all to live in a dystopian nightmare.

Aug 28, 2018

Joe and Elie hit the road, coming to DC to ask some bar trivia questions to benefit the DC Bar Pro Bono Project. The winning score was 19/30... can you do better?

Aug 21, 2018

The Washington Post's Style section isn't normally where you'd go for your lawyerly insights, but last week they graced us with not one, but two legal stories. Joe Patrice and guest host Kathryn Rubino dive into Tiffany Trump's alleged law school woes and the hilariously grumpy life of Wachtell's George Conway as he navigates his days married to Kellyanne. There's also some Brett Kavanaugh talk, because why not?

Aug 14, 2018

As on-campus interviewing season begins, Joe and Elie welcome Vanderbilt Law School's Associate Director of Career Services Nick Alexiou to discuss the on-campus interviewing process. Learn to master the arcane art of speed dating with law firms and answering the difficult question, "why do you want to work here?".

And the event details are here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/trivia-challenge-at-iltacon-tickets-46580583780

Special thanks to our sponsor Major, Lindsey & Africa.

 

Aug 8, 2018

THE Ohio State University, as they prefer to be called, has commissioned a Biglaw firm to look into its head coach's handling of domestic abuse allegations against his staff. But what is an internal investigation? What exactly is it going to mean when Mary Jo White gets mentioned on ESPN? Joe and Elie give a quick, high-level rundown on the internal investigation process and Ohio State's situation. Sorry, I mean "The Ohio State's situation."

Special thanks to our sponsor Major, Lindsey & Africa.

Jul 31, 2018

Elie can't make it to today's podcast, so Joe goes on an extended rant about movies with legal mistakes in them that drive him crazy. If you've ever watched Jaws and thought the movie should have really followed a string of lawsuits to put Amity out of business, this is the episode for you.

Special thanks to our sponsor Major, Lindsey & Africa.

Jul 24, 2018

After years of giving them a pass, the ABA is cracking down on flagging for-profit law schools that consistently produce few graduates with legal jobs while raking in huge bucks. But how did these schools manage to make it this far? Social anthropologist Dr. Riaz Tejani spent three years working at a for-profit law school and has compiled his research in LawMart: Justice, Access, And For-Profit Law Schools. He joins Joe and Elie this week to talk about his work.

Special thanks to our sponsor Major, Lindsey & Africa.

Jul 17, 2018

Barring some unforeseen parliamentary math, Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the DC Circuit will be the next associate justice of the Supreme Court. But as we come to the end of a whirlwind couple of weeks leading up to this announcement... did anything in we talked about matter? We all thought Kavanaugh was going to be the pick and after a ton of wild coverage Kavanaugh was still the pick. Joe and Elie discuss how the media got duped into following a horse race that never existed.

Special thanks to our sponsor Major, Lindsey & Africa.

Jul 10, 2018

Police accused a Vinson & Elkins partner of fleeing the scene after swimming away from a boat crash — ostensibly to get help — that left a number of V&E partners injured and then disappearing for five hours. Is this a good use of prosecutorial resources?

Special thanks to our sponsor Major, Lindsey & Africa.

Jul 3, 2018

Joe and Elie chat with Above the Law Founder David Lat about Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announced retirement. What is Kennedy’s legacy? Where will the Court go from here? And handicapping Kennedy’s potential successors.

David Lat is editor at large and founding editor of Above the Law.

Special thanks to our sponsor Major, Lindsey & Africa.

Jun 28, 2018

Elie and Joe sit down to discuss one of the truly stupid law school final exams in history. Did it cover material that could reasonably come up in future practice? No. Did it require reasoning through currently controlling precedent? No. Was it wildly offensive? Oh, you better believe it was.

Jun 21, 2018

Joe and Elie discuss Above the Law's annual ranking of the top law schools in America with ATL Research Director Brian Dalton. There were some major shifts at the top of this year's ranking, and Elie isn't happy about any of them.

Brian Dalton is the director of research at Breaking Media.

Special thanks to our sponsor Major, Lindsey & Africa.

Jun 12, 2018

Joe and Elie talk to Ellen Trachman, an attorney specializing in all things baby, about artificial insemination, custody conundrums, and how twins can be citizens of different countries.

Ellen E. Trachman is the founded Trachman Law Center, LLC, a company that is dedicated and compassionate about legal representation to those who wish to build a family through adoption or assisted reproductive technology.

Special thanks to our sponsor Major, Lindsey & Africa.

Jun 8, 2018

Milbank surprised everyone this week by boosting associate salaries over their 2016 levels. While we wait to see if others will follow suit, Joe and Elie break down what's happened and what this might mean for the industry at large.

Special thanks to our sponsor Major, Lindsey & Africa.
 
May 23, 2018

Elie and Joe talk to author and analyst Lisa Green about Trump family nuptials, and some common pitfalls in the asset protection game.

Lisa Green is a lawyer, author of On Your Case, A Comprehensive, Compassionate And Only Slightly Bossy Legal Guide for Every Stage of a Woman's Life, TV legal analyst (just like Elie, but striving for his level of on-air excellence.)

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