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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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Mar 15, 2019

Jerry Buting and former Jefferson Parish prosecutor Jackie Maloney square off for a heated debate about the prosecution versus defense and how the portrayals on FOX TV’s ‘Proven Innocent’ compare to reality.

Mar 12, 2019

The US News and World Report law school rankings have been leaked, and the gang breaks down who's on top and who's making big moves -- both good and bad -- in this year's rankings. Joe and Elie also have an extended discussion about racist cars, specifically what to make of a new report suggesting that self-driving cars are more likely to strike African-American pedestrians.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Smith.ai.

Feb 22, 2019

As a special bonus, Joe and Elie are doing a series of podcasts about FOX’s new legal drama “Proven Innocent”. In this second installment, we speak with show creator and Stanford Law graduate David Elliot, California Innocence Project lawyer Michael Semanchik, and exoneree Jason Strong, who spent 15 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. “Proven Innocent” airs Fridays at 9/8c on FOX.

Feb 19, 2019

Joe and Elie chat with Ian Bassin, the Executive Director of Protect Democracy about the unfortunately pressing task of defending democratic institutions from creeping authoritarianism. Protect Democracy is on the front lines challenging both federal and state governments as they chip away at participatory democracy and constitutional limits. As a special bonus -- in the middle of the episode breaking news results in the guest beginning the process of filing suit on the spot. So that's cool.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Smith.ai.

Feb 15, 2019

As a special bonus, Joe and Elie will be doing a series of podcasts about “FOX’s new legal drama “Proven Innocent” premiering tonight at 9/8 Central. In this episode we speak with executive producer Danny Strong about the show and what drew him to the subject of wrongful convictions.

Feb 12, 2019

Joe and Elie welcome Michael Avenatti, Above the Law's 2018 Lawyer of the Year. It's hard to say any attorney owned 2018 like Avenatti who stormed (see what I did there?) onto the scene challenging Michael Cohen and Donald Trump over their treatment of his client. In a wide-ranging interview, Avenatti tells Joe and Elie (with a cameo appearance by ATL editor Staci Zaretsky) about his career, his assessment of the 2020 presidential race he thought about joining and of course his marquee 2018 matter and the strategy that went into it.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Smith.ai.

Feb 5, 2019

Joe and Elie come to you from the Legaltech NY conference musing about the future of law, the future of law conferences, and the future of weather where Elie is constantly unhappy.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Smith.ai.

Jan 29, 2019

Elie is deeply concerned about the media's willingness to cave to every request of a public relations firm, mostly because some people never get to hire one. And the gang talks about other legal stuff o' the week.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Smith.ai.

Jan 22, 2019

After Elie complains about toxic masculinity and razors, he and Joe discuss whether or not Rudy Giuliani's bizarre turn from respected former prosecutor to a talking head lunatic that seems to make his client's case worse at every turn. Did something happen to Rudy along the way... or was he maybe not that great at his job to begin with?

Also, stealth layoffs may be appearing in the Biglaw world again. Is it time to start panicking?

Special thanks to our sponsor, Smith.ai.

Jan 15, 2019

Just when you thought the legal profession couldn't get weirder, we've got an extended treatment on the acceptability of emojis in workplace communication and the slow death of the Department of Justice under the weight of the shutdown. Moral of the story? If you have a civil claim against the government, now is the time to bring it.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Smith.ai.

Jan 8, 2019

Joe and Kathryn take a deep dive into some Above the Law stories from the last couple of weeks. Kathryn focuses on what ticks her off about a superficially light-hearted story about a Supreme Court advocate appearing for oral argument while his baby was busy being born and Joe talks about what reasonable accommodations for disabilities and the unconscious rhetorical choices he's made.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Smith.ai.

Dec 18, 2018

Joe and Elie discuss the major headlines in law firm news. Paul Weiss found itself in hot water after putting out a picture promoting its new partnership class of predominantly white dudes. It's a lesson in the damage visuals can wreck... and how to address incidents like this. Jones Day inserted itself... again... into the war on workers by entering the Slate labor dispute. And does your firm give the staff Christmas Eve off? Shouldn't everyone be doing this?

Special thanks to our sponsor, Smith.ai.

Dec 11, 2018

Elie and Joe talk to Ralph Baxter, former head of Orrick and current board member of Intapp, about the future of the legal industry. Baxter has long been an evangelist for legal industry change, willing to rethink Biglaw's long-standing practices to deliver better and more cost-effective services to clients.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Smith.ai.

Dec 5, 2018

Many folks become lawyers so they don't have to deal with math anymore. It's one of those weaknesses that holds back the profession as a business. Yet, cutting-edge tech is bringing number crunching to the fingertips of lawyers everywhere in the form of easy to use data analytics. Joe and Elie talk to Josh Becker of LexisNexis about the release of Context, a new tool that delivers deep insights into judicial idiosyncracies by analyzing the language of their body of work.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Smith.ai.

Nov 27, 2018

As everyone departed for the holiday, Joe was left solo to make a few announcements about upcoming opportunities to see the Above the Law team, including an invite to our upcoming holiday party for all the loyal readers and listeners.

Nov 21, 2018

Joe and Elie share their tips on how law students should prepare for final exams. They suggest getting into the mindset of mentioning concepts in the right place, organizing your notes before test week and even choosing the perfect song to get you hyped for studying. They top it off with their dislikes for final papers!

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.

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