Above The Law - Thinking Like A Lawyer


Thinking Like A Lawyer is a podcast featuring Above the Laws 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.


  • Non-Equity Means Non-Partner

    Non-Equity Means Non-Partner

    14/01/2020 Duración: 30min

    More and more firms are adopting a non-equity partner tier, delaying equity consideration while extracting maximum value from high billing but relatively lowly paid senior attorneys tied to the job by the dangling hope of a future promotion that may never arrive. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.

  • In Memoriam... To All The Law Firms We Lost Last Decade

    In Memoriam... To All The Law Firms We Lost Last Decade

    08/01/2020 Duración: 31min

    With the 2010s wrapping up, Joe and Kathryn focus on all the law firms we've lost over the last decade. Industry pressures, bad strategies, and fraud allegations managed to put several former mainstays to rest over the last 10 years. What lessons can we take from the demise of these once-proud firms? Where is this whole profession heading? Will this next recession finish off what 2009 started? Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.

  • The Top Stories of 2019

    The Top Stories of 2019

    30/12/2019 Duración: 15min

    To close out the year, Joe runs down the top 10 stories of the year at Above the Law. Are there key insights or interesting trends to be gained from reviewing the site’s traffic figures? Probably not, but here we are. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.

  • Impeachapalooza


    23/12/2019 Duración: 30min

    The president of the United States was impeached for only the third time in history. Let the obscure legal theorizing begin! Joe and Elie break down the curious argument that the House doesn’t even need to hand over the articles. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.

  • The Happiest Time Of The Year: Bonus Time!

    The Happiest Time Of The Year: Bonus Time!

    17/12/2019 Duración: 32min

    It's bonus season in Biglaw, and the major firms are slowly but surely rolling out their bonus announcements and telling associates what they'll be getting in their stockings this year. But Elie sees a bit of a Scrooge in the early first move and slow matching cycle. What's going on with the legal market and are we really looking at a recession in the making? Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.

  • The One Thing That Might Force Law Schools To Be More Practical

    The One Thing That Might Force Law Schools To Be More Practical

    10/12/2019 Duración: 26min

    The "practice-ready" law school model is oft-discussed and rarely implemented, but maybe technology will finally force law schools to focus on teaching practical skills. Joe and Kathryn chat with Jessica Robinson, Vice President of Client Services at Casepoint about the maturation of the eDiscovery process, the project management lessons that fuel effective discovery, and the importance of learning the theory of discovery before entering an increasingly automating practice. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.

  • Fighting For The Innocent (Rebroadcast)

    Fighting For The Innocent (Rebroadcast)

    03/12/2019 Duración: 30min

    Disclaimer: This episode was originally aired on October 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. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.

  • The Roberts Court Is Here

    The Roberts Court Is Here

    26/11/2019 Duración: 35min

    It's cliché to say that the addition of every new Justice should be considered the beginning of a whole new Supreme Court. But with Kavanaugh's controversial arrival on the bench, there's reason to believe the Roberts Court really did become something fundamentally different. Slate's Mark Joseph Stern joins the show to discuss his new book American Justice 2019: The Roberts Court arrives, tracking the Chief Justice as he navigates "the political fray without abandoning his conservative instincts." Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull and Themis.

  • Preparing For The Bar Exam -- The Last Test Youll Ever Take

    Preparing For The Bar Exam -- The Last Test You'll Ever Take

    19/11/2019 Duración: 35min

    Joe and Elie chat with Rich Douglas, COO of Themis, about the bar exam and how to conquer it. Rich also tells us about the Themis Law School Essentials program of free review materials for law school courses and we discuss the impact the GRE is going to have on law school admissions. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.

  • Making The Profession Work For Military Spouses

    Making The Profession Work For Military Spouses

    12/11/2019 Duración: 20min

    With Veteran's Day this week, we decided to focus on a group that faces professional hurdles that most lawyers don't. Attorneys married into the military find themselves moving around the country or overseas every couple of years, which presents a problem in a practice still largely geographically fixed. Joe chats with Michelle Richart, a military spouse who finds an avenue to keep her career moving as a freelance attorney. Kristin Tyler of Lawclerk also joins the show to talk specifically about how Lawclerk helps connect freelancers with projects.

  • Birds, Books, And Blogs. Oh My!

    Birds, Books, And Blogs. Oh My!

    05/11/2019 Duración: 32min

    There's a bird loose in the Harvard Law School library, prompting Joe and Elie to have an impromptu debate over whether or not libraries are still essential in a world of digital research. Speaking of the internet, Deadspin's entire staff resigned last week and the duo discuss the legal and policy implications of the blogosphere's loss. Labor law, private equity business models, the bankruptcy code... it's all involved in the otherwise straightforward demise of a venerable publication. And Elie complains about Halloween. Special thanks to our sponsor, Logikcull.

  • Lets Get Wildly Off Topic

    Let's Get Wildly Off Topic

    29/10/2019 Duración: 32min

    This week's discussion of law firm growth trajectories never gets to happen as Elie's irritation with Trump's lawyers spills into the entire show. Becoming a bag man for the Ukraine deal raises ethical concerns, but is merely representing Trump an ethical problem? More to the point, is it something bar disciplinary committees should really be looking into?

  • Law School Students Need To Figure Out Where Theyre Going To Work

    Law School Students Need To Figure Out Where They're Going To Work

    22/10/2019 Duración: 33min

    With offers for summer employment going out to law students around the country, Thinking Like A Lawyer unveils its annual "The Offer" series. If you're wondering which of your offers you should take, Joe and Elie are happy to anonymously discuss them. Just send them to tips@abovethelaw.com subject line "The Offer." In the meantime, here are some general thoughts on the job hunt process.

  • The Challenges Facing In-House Counsel In 2019

    The Challenges Facing In-House Counsel In 2019

    15/10/2019 Duración: 33min

    Joe and Elie discuss the in-house world. Lawyers and law students often daydream about what they perceive as the cushy world of going in-house. But these lawyers face their own challenges. A recent comprehensive survey of corporate legal departments reveals confusion over privacy requirements and complaints over outside counsel costs.

  • Lawyers On TV

    Lawyers On TV

    08/10/2019 Duración: 24min

    Joe and Kathryn have a spontaneous chat about lawyers on television. From game shows to reality competitions, lawyers were all over the place last week. In a sense though, aren't these shows metaphors for the legal profession? No, they're probably not -- but that's not going to stop us from trying to explain how they might be.

  • Sure Impeachment Is Serious, But Look At This Lawyer Cat!

    Sure Impeachment Is Serious, But Look At This Lawyer Cat!

    01/10/2019 Duración: 29min

    Brazil has officially made a cat an attorney and this week Kathryn and Joe explore the feline's new career serving as both legal mascot and a symbolic advocate for animal legal concerns in the country. Meanwhile, Elie tries to speculate about impeachment and mostly fails because who cares about hearings that haven't even started yet when there's A LAWYER CAT TO TALK ABOUT!

  • The Opioid Suits

    The Opioid Suits

    25/09/2019 Duración: 25min

    Joe and Elie are joined by Alaric Dearment of MedCity News to discuss the legal framework surrounding the opioid lawsuits. How does something like this become a stunning breakdown of regulation in the face of industry greed? This is your overview.

  • Revenge Is A Dish Best Not Served To Guests In Weils Cafeteria

    Revenge Is A Dish Best Not Served To Guests In Weil's Cafeteria

    17/09/2019 Duración: 33min

    Joe and Kathryn discuss the top stories of the week at Above the Law including the rise and fall of Judge Posner's pro se organization, Weil Gotshal's cafeteria cold shoulder, and the California Bar's good news. Plus we talk a bit about Emory's struggles with racial slurs. Just another week in the annals of the legal industry.

  • The Many, Many Obstacles To Biglaw Diversity

    The Many, Many Obstacles To Biglaw Diversity

    10/09/2019 Duración: 31min

    Kathryn Rubino joins Joe for a discussion of the latest Mansfield Rule efforts and the problem of lagging Biglaw diversity generally. From reputational rankings to deequitization to bar exam shenanigans the obstacles to building a truly diverse workforce in law are more baked into the system than current reforms seem able to handle.

  • When Are Lawyers To Blame For Their Clients?

    When Are Lawyers To Blame For Their Clients?

    03/09/2019 Duración: 35min

    With election season prematurely upon us, lawyers across the country will gear up to run for office, and their opponents will gear up to bash them for the clientele they've served. Should lawyers ever be criticized for zealously defending clients? Is the justice system undermined if attorneys feel some clients are too toxic to represent?

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