If you work in the law, you’ll know how important it is to stay up to date on what’s happening in the field. You’ll also know that among all of the competing demands of legal work, finding time to do the reading and research you need can be tough.
However, if you’re an attorney, staying up to date isn’t just desirable, it’s required. Rule 1.1 of the ABA’s model rules of professional conduct states that “a lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client.” To do so, as stated in Comment 8, lawyers are advised that “To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice”.
Podcasts — short radio shows that you can download and listen to anytime via your phone, laptop, or other online device — are a free and convenient way to learn from experts in the field and stay up to speed on the latest topics. And, of course, because they’re audio you can listen to them in your car, or with your earbuds in on the bus or train, as you commute to work.
There are literally thousands of legal-themed podcasts available, however. How should you choose? Here are our 10 favorite legal podcasts to help you get started!
Now in its 11th year, the Lawyer 2 Lawyer podcast is one of the most listened-to legal podcasts in the United States. Hosted by attorneys J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi (who is also one of our favorite legal tech bloggers), the weekly 40ish minute show dives deep into a contemporary legal issue, often with interesting guests and always raises serious and contemplative questions.
The biweekly Life of the Law podcast doesn’t just discuss the law and legal issues, it features stories that explore law and its effect on people and society. The result is a beautifully produced podcast that brings the law to life through the power of people’s real-life experiences.
At the opposite end of the spectrum from Life of the Law is the Bloomberg Law podcast. If you’re looking for quick and highly authoritative insights into the very latest and highest profile legal issues, this is it. Often publishing new material two or three times a day, you’re sure to find an episode covering an issue you’re interested in.
Produced in conjunction with the Montpelier Foundation, the charitable trust that looks after the former home of the fourth U.S. President James Madison, Your Weekly Constitutional takes an in-depth look at the most interesting (and controversial) issues in constitutional law. Featuring interviews with leading lawyers, scholars, and historians, it is well worth a listen.
Presented by LA-based criminal defense lawyer Elena Saris, Trial Lawyer Confidential focuses on shedding light on the inner workings of the real criminal justice system and providing tips on how to become a better trial lawyer. This is an introduction to criminal law in California as told through real-life cases of people caught up in the system. It’s highly addictive listening.
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Hosted by California-based lawyer and blogger Denise Howell, This Week in Law is a highly topical look at breaking issues in technology law, including intellectual property, patents, copyright, and more. The content matter is always interesting, and both the host and her guests are always able to bring a fresh perspective to the issues they discuss.
OK, these aren’t technically podcasts (they’re “vodcasts” — video podcasts), but they still merit a place on the list because (a) you can listen to/watch them at your leisure, and (b) they cover a range of fascinating legal topics. We’ve previously listed our 7 favorite legal-themed TED talks, but the TED Law channel is well worth subscribing to ensure you hear about the latest new content.
Launched in 2015 and hosted by two writers at the excellent Above the Law blog (Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice), Thinking Like A Lawyer is a legal podcast with a twist. Rather than taking a legal issue and discussing it, each week Elie and Joe take a topic experienced and enjoyed by ordinary people and look at it afresh through a legal framework. The result is often a fascinating new perspective on ordinary features of day-to-day life.
From the authors of one of the web’s most popular legal blogs (The Lawyerist), the Lawyerist Podcast is a weekly show featuring interviews with successful lawyers and interesting people working in and around the law. Especially worth listening to for the caliber of its guests, who are always experts and leaders in their respective fields.
A new podcast, having started in 2015, The Anxious Lawyer is presented by two practicing attorneys (Karen Gifford and Jeena Cho) who want to share ways in which the practice of mindfulness and meditation can make legal work more effective and enjoyable. The podcast is an excellent contribution to a growing trend in the legal world – more content on advice and support for overcoming the stresses of working in the law (have you seen our own One Legal series of wellness posts?).