DiscoverAbove the Law - Thinking Like a Lawyer
Above the Law - Thinking Like a Lawyer

Above the Law - Thinking Like a Lawyer

Author: Legal Talk Network

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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.
173 Episodes
America's bar examination authorities have turned to threatening Character & Fitness repercussions for their critics marking a new, darker phase of the bar exam drama. How in the world did it come to this? Also, we talk about Kanye's double agent attorney and PACER gets a slap from the federal courts. Special thanks to our sponsor, Paper Software.
It may be too early to declare the legal profession back to normal, but we've now seen some major law firms reverse course on cost cutting and even announce some bonuses. Meanwhile, it took all of a couple hours for the in-person bar exam experiment to net its first positive COVID test. Special thanks to our sponsor, Paper Software.
It's Bar Exam Time!

It's Bar Exam Time!


Well, we're really doing this. States are beginning bar in-person bar examinations this week despite persistent warnings from public health officials and we hope everyone comes out of this experience safely. Joe and Kathryn offer a final roundup of what's going on with the bar examinations this week, from social distancing seating plans to the bogus claim that the bar tests "minimum competency." And, Joe unveils what the ideal attorney licensure regime would look like.
It's still hard to believe that there will actually be bar exams next week. But even in states with a basic respect for public health warnings, the exams are mostly just delayed requiring applicants to keep ramping up for a test only to be forced to forget everything again when the next delay is announced. The only way to avoid this cycle is to adopt an emergency diploma process. This week, Joe chats with Dr. Pilar Escontrias, Donna Saadati-Soto, Efrain Hudnell, and Emily Croucher, co-founders of United for Diploma Privilege. Follow them @DiplomaPriv4All.
Chief Justice Roberts was hospitalized for a head wound and managed to keep the news from the public for weeks. But it didn't seem to slow him down on the final day of the Supreme Court season, authoring two opinions punting on Trump's subpoenas, kicking things back for a nice, long, litigious delay. The rule of law is upheld theoretically if not practically and that's just where Roberts likes it. Also, we catch up on the looming in-person bar exams, which have crossed into farce refusing public health warnings while issuing dress code modifications.
When Attorneys Attack!

When Attorneys Attack!


It was an eventful week in legal news, but the biggest story was definitely the St. Louis personal injury attorneys who pulled guns on protesters and why lawyers have special obligations to maintain professionalism at all times. All that and more of the major stories of the week.
A new account compiles the acts of racism that compound at Harvard Law School, but they could emanate from almost any law school. We take a look at this account and the response of law schools around the country to recent events, including one law school that's taking an aggressive anti-racism stance. Also, we discuss Neomi Rao's Michael Flynn opinion which left a lot to be desired as a work of professional legal writing. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.
A decidedly conservative Supreme Court made discrimination against the LGBTQ community illegal and then turned around and wiped out the Trump Administration's effort to cancel DACA. What was in the water last week? Joe and Kathryn break down why the opinions weren't nearly as revolutionary as the results they brought might make them seem. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.
With an independent report by a federal judge branding the Department of Justice "corrupt" this seems like a good time to revisit exactly how we got here. Your elderly aunt on Facebook has a lot to say about Michael Flynn and most of it is wrong. Joe and Kathryn unpack the case and also discuss the case of a lawyer who egged a judge's car. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.
As law firms struggle to demonstrate to clients and their own attorneys that they take societal ills seriously, Kathryn's starting to notice some patterns in the statements getting released. Meanwhile, Joe is covering the state bar exams, where many are continuing to insist on shoving hundreds of people into small rooms in July and making applicants sign away their rights for the privilege of exposing themselves to disease. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.
Lawyers are pulling guns over facemasks? That... seems excessive. But here we are staring into the COVID abyss again. Austerity measures continue throughout the industry, lawyers are getting edgy, and a new assault on "the law that built the internet" issues from the White House. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.
Joe speaks with David Ackert, host of The Market Leaders Podcast about the role of business development in the legal profession. Lawyers may not love the hustle, but it's the basis of a service industry and lawyers at every level have a role to play in building their future opportunities. And it's not just a challenge for attorneys -- firms need to build a culture that maximizes respect for attorney business development too. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.
Things are still closed down, which means we've not had an opportunity to haunt the halls of an event center with the usual legal community suspects for a while, so let's see what's going on out there. It's time to catch up with Keith Lee, founder of LawyerSmack, about the private community of lawyers he's built up over the years and the trends he's observed participating in these conversations with lawyers from all sectors coming together to connect. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.
Joe chats with Johnnie Nguyen, the National Chair of the ABA Law Student Division about the wide-ranging issues facing law students in the midst of the pandemic and how the ABA is addressing those concerns. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.
With mass gatherings off the table for the time being, how can the profession continue to network in large numbers? When legal technology trade shows were canceled, Rocket Matter CEO Larry Port put together a two-day virtual conference offering COVID-centric practice insights and CLE for over 300 registrants -- with proceeds going to charity. Joe and Larry talk about the process of putting together the Rocket Aid show and the dos and don'ts of running a large online event that Larry's learned from this experience. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.
For all the deserved guff we give PACER and its archaic nickel and diming (mostly diming), the federal system has always been much easier to navigate thanks to its orderly filing system. State courts can get messy fast. This week, we chat with Nicole Clark, the Founder and CEO of Trellis, who is taking state court documents and turning them into the sort of structured data that can easily yield intel on the wild system of state courts. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.
The Above the Law staff continues to track daily changes to the legal industry landscape from law firm layoffs to law school grading changes. Now that we're roughly a month into the lockdown era, Joe and Kathryn discuss the state of play. The merits of law firm layoffs, furloughs, and salary cuts, law school grading changes, and whether there's a future for the bar exam. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.
Getting paid is the bane of most lawyers' existence, but clients have good reasons to stay on the ball too. Joe chats with Aaron Pierce, GM of CounselLink about why clients benefit from staying on top of the billing process. In a nutshell, with CounselLink, clients generate a wealth of knowledge from their billing data -- efficiencies revealed, new payment models considered, and, yes, the relationship with outside counsel strengthened. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.
Joe chats with Joey Seeber and Leigh Vickery of Level 2 Legal Solutions about taking a small, boutique approach to large legal department and Biglaw problems. Legal work goes on during a lockdown, and Level 2 is busy assisting its long-term partners in getting stuff done. It takes creative problem solving and a nimble business culture to thrive in times like these. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.
Joe and Kathryn check in from the Above the Law bunker to discuss law schools and the virus. While many schools quickly adopted pass/fail grading options others have held out, hoping to maintain some sense of normalcy. Are there really employers who will look back at Spring 2020 grades and think they're informative? Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.
Comments (6)

Debra Dukes

Another Awesome Podcast and Security is your first priority and everything is not always straight forward. Thanks so much for sharing Deb .👍✌

Apr 9th

Debra Dukes

Excellent Podcast and no one has to be stuck with one place and can move on to some where else later in time.Things change Quickly. Thanks so much for sharing Deb 😉✌

Apr 9th

Derek Odom

haha trump bad orange fans stoopid

Aug 15th
Reply (1)

charles collinson

Very insightful generally. As a non-American though it can be somewhat opaque due to jargon and a requirement of assumed knowledge re popular American personalities. Still love it though even though it isn't Law in Action

Jul 10th

Jeff Ton

This podcast is outstanding. I am not a lawyer, yet this is funny, insightful, educational, and wonderfully irreverent!

Jan 11th
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