Best legal podcasts for lawyers

2020

It’s time for our most popular piece of the year! After the success of our 2018 and 2019 lists (plus a beach summer list), here comes 2020 and along with it our list of favourite legal podcasts.

Do you have a must-listen-to favourite podcast? Research published in 2019 shows that the number of people listening to a podcast each week has grown by 58% over the past two years to around 7.1 million people in the UK. Ofcom research also found that half of listeners have joined the podcast wave in the last two years.

In the legal world the diverse and interesting options continue to multiply as well as some big hitters who remain on our list year in, year out, such is the depth and breadth of their content and guests.

In no particular order, here’s what we are listening to in 2020. Let us know what else we should add to our list.

 

#1 BBC Law in Action

One of the longest-running legal podcasts, this podcast is hosted by legal commentator and journalist Joshua Rozenberg and a staple for many a Radio 4-listening lawyer and is back on our list for 2020. Law in Action delves into a variety of topical legal issues and developments including questions such as whether Love Island contestants leave their legal rights at the door of the villa, the UK’s constitution, and do male and female judges judge differently. The episodes run weekly with interviews and studio discussions, focusing on UK legal developments.

 

#2 LawNext

Presented by Robert (Bob) Ambrogli, lawyer and legaltech writer at LawSites, LawNext offers weekly podcasts on the many aspects of the future of law. Each week, Bob interviews the innovators and entrepreneurs who are driving what’s next in the legal industry, from legal technology startups to new law firm business models to enhancing access to justice. Recent podasts included Stanford’s Margaret Hagan on designing for justice and LawClerk Cofounder Greg Garman on changing-up the model for small firms.

 

#3 Law Pod UK

Now running for more than 100 episodes, Law Pod UK is another stalwart of the UK legal podcast scene, discussing developments across all aspects of civil and public law in the UK. Presented by Rosalind English and Emma-Louise Fenelon, creators of the UK Human Rights Blog, it is produced by the barristers at One Crown Office Row.

 

#4 Talking Politics

The beauty of podcasts is they not only broaden the mind but keep us in the conversation. Particularly in this current fast-paced unpredictable and volatile political climate, we can all do with a handy way of keeping up-to-date. Step forward the Talking Politics podcast, recorded in David Runciman’s office in the Cambridge politics department. David is Head of the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge and each week unpicks the latest stories with a regular panel of experts and invited guests. Talking Politics is a weekly podcast, uploaded every Thursday morning.

 

#5 EU Confidential

From Brussels, Berlin, Paris and London comes Politico’s EU Confidential, Europe’s premier political podcast. This is an all-round good listen for current affairs junkies as well as a go-to for lawyers who work across European countries and in areas of EU law that require a broader understanding of the political structures, cultures and practices and their legal implications. The podcast also features interviews from experts and leading figures giving the inside view.

 

#6 The Hardwicke Podcast

Launched in 2019, the barristers at leading commercial set Hardwicke Chambers have developed a podcast series concentrating on providing an informal view of important legal issues and unpicking legal topics arising from Hardwicke’s key practice areas in discussion with leading barristers from the chambers. This is quality legal commentary – Brie Stevens-Hoare QC and Steven Woolf set the tone in the first episode.

 

#7 LexisNexis Environmental Law Podcast

This monthly series aimed at environmental lawyers and practitioners is hosted by LexisNexis and each month invites guests including barristers and other experts to discuss and provide commentary on topical issues. January’s episode is hosted by Christopher Badger and Mark Davies of 6 Pump Court and they discuss case updates and predictions for key areas in environmental law during 2020.

 

#8 Mens Rea

Mens Rea is an independent true-crime podcast discussing crime in Ireland and the UK. Mens Rea is researched, written and produced by the podcast’s host, known only as Sinead, who every two weeks delves into the most notorious crimes, examines the people involved, the investigation of the police and the court cases that followed.

 

#9 Legal Toolkit

Legal Talk Network’s Legal Toolkit is a comprehensive resource for people in law practice management. With a new episode every month, Jared Correia invites forward-thinking lawyers to discuss the services, ideas, and programs that have improved their practices. January’s episode is about acquiring top-notch talent for your team including the best strategies for defining your firm’s staffing needs.

 

#10 LeGal LGBT

Making the list again this year is LeGal, one of the USA’s first associations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) legal community, and this podcast consists of lively discussion with LGBTQ lawyers, policy experts and activists on the latest legal news affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in the US around the world.

 

#11 Employment Law Matters

Daniel Barnett is an employment law barrister who back in 1999 set up his Employment Law (UK) email bulletin, sending 2-3 emails a week on all matters relating to employment law. Quickly becoming the go-to employment resource and key website for employment lawyers, 20 years later he has set up the weekly Employment Law Matters podcast aimed at HR professionals and lawyers who want to help their businesses and clients with tricky, practical, employment law issues.

 

#12 Lawyer 2 Lawyer

Lawyer 2 Lawyer is a US award-winning podcast covering relevant, contemporary news from a legal perspective. Presented by American lawyers and bloggers Bob Ambrogi (who gets double mention this year, see LawNext above) and J. Craig Williams, the two invite industry professionals (usually with opposing viewpoints) to examine current events and recent rulings in discussions that raise contemplative questions for those involved in the legal industry. Launched in 2005, Lawyer 2 Lawyer is one of the longest-running podcasts on the Internet.

 

#13 Legal Current

Another US podcast which is a staple for many podcast-loving lawyers, Legal Current by Thomson Reuters makes the list again as it continues to run a series of commentary on the business and practice of law. With a global outlook, it explores many issues that affect legal practitioners in other countries, as well as setting issues in context for listeners in the UK.

 

#14 UK Law Weekly

We’ve included UK Law Weekly again as we think it makes for excellent listening and a great resource for studying and practicing lawyers alike. Hosted by former university professor Marcus Cleaver, the weekly episodes are short, concise and easy to digest, focusing on the week’s legal decisions and news. Listeners gain analysis of topical talking points as well as specific cases that have recently gone through the Supreme and other UK courts.

 

#15 Building NewLaw

Canadian Counter Tax Lawyers Peter Aprile and Natalie Worsfold joined forces to build (literally, they were the technical architects) a better law firm to serve their tax clients. They fully admit to being unique characters and wanted to search out the like-minded odd, creative, hardworking, and obsessive people building interesting things and pushing to do better and interview them for their podcast, which now spans four series.

 

#16 Thinking Like a Lawyer

Hosted by Above the Law’s Ellie Mystal and Joe Patrice, this US podcast takes on a range of topics that are talking points amongst the wider population, and in their own words ‘shine it through the prism of a legal framework.’ This results in lively and fascinating conversations around issues as broad as free speech, drones and droids, weddings and parenting. Definitely one for broadening the mind!

 

#17 Hey Legal

This new podcast wants to make its listeners a better Scottish lawyer. From learning how to eat for a busy day in Court, to hearing from Scotland’s brightest legal minds, Hey Legal aims to release new episodes every week, inviting new guests to share their expertise to build a better Scottish legal sector.

 

#18 Legal Ops

The Legal Ops Podcast is an Australian podcast with a global appeal.  Every episode covers a new aspect in relation to legal operations, legal business and legal technology, hosted by Alex Rosenrauch and Elliot Leibu. Recent topics include change management, transformation, operationalisation and technology implementation, overlaid with the human elements of change management and organisational psychology. If you’re interested in the changing nature of legal services delivery, and you want to be a part of it, this is the podcast for you.

 

#19 The New Lawyer

From New Zealand comes The New Lawyer podcast, aimed at new and prospective lawyers as well as to think in new ways about the practice and culture of law. Hosted by Katie Cowan, The New Lawyer Podcast is an occasional interview podcast series produced by Symphony Law for junior lawyers, law students, and anyone wanting to think differently about the culture of legal practice. Topics include finding your fit, going solo and networking.

 

#20 Practicing While Black

This US podcast aims to increase representation one story at a time, leading with the statistic that in the US, black attorneys make up only 5% of attorneys. Practicing While Black aims to increase this figure, using the podcast to broadcast experiences of black attorneys and serving as a platform to inspire and share strategies to accelerate career and business success. Each month considers a new topic, often with a guest, that all lawyers will find interesting and inspirational, including creating a better law firm and all manner of topics around being a better lawyer.

 

Bonus: First 100 Years

Of course, we can’t make a list of legal podcasts without mentioning our own. First 100 Years recorded the last of a series of 10 podcasts following the course of the 100 years of women in law in November 2019. In collaboration with Goldman Sachs and Linklaters, the series charts each decade of the last 100 years and the history of women in the legal professions, 45-minute discussions between legal pioneers, historians, academics and legal practitioners based on key themes, including gender stereotypes, work/life balance and diversity.

Do you have an essential listen to add to our list of podcasts for lawyers? Let us know @ObeliskSupport

2019

Are podcasts a part of your daily life yet? Research suggests that there are over 630,000 podcasts in existence today in more than 100 languages. In South Korea, 58% of people are podcast listeners, while the UK languishes behind at 18%.

In the legal sphere, there is also a growing number of engaging and diverse podcast series covering topics ranging from criminal cases-  such as popular modern podcast pioneer Serial – to industry current affairs and wellbeing.

Podcasts are a great way to learn, relax and broaden the mind. If you’re looking to increase your podcast listening this year, start with our list (in no particular order) of the best podcasts for lawyers we’re listening to in 2019.

#1 Resilient Lawyer

The resilient lawyer in question is Jeeno Cho, partner at JC Law Group PC and co-author of The Anxious Lawyer: An 8-Week Guide to a Joyful and Satisfying Law Practice Through Mindfulness and Meditation. Cho’s podcast share tools and strategies for finding more balance, joy, and satisfaction in your professional and personal life. She talks to lawyers, entrepreneurs, mentors and teachers about their approaches to mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing while navigating the demands of their professions.

#2 Legal Current

A staple for many podcast-loving lawyers, Legal Current by Thomson Reuters makes the list again as it continues to run a series of commentary on the business and practice of law. Based in the USA, it has a global outlook and explores many issues that affect legal practitioners in other countries.

#3 Legal Toolkit

Legal Talk Network’s Legal Toolkit is a comprehensive resource for people in law practice management. With a new episode every month, Jared Correia invites forward-thinking lawyers to discuss the services, ideas, and programs that have improved their practices. In January’s episode, Sarah Schaaf talks about how lawyers can optimise their payment processes with technology and automation.

#4 Sworn

From the makers of Up and Vanished comes a new series pledging to pull back the curtain on the criminal justice system. Host Philip Holloway is a defense attorney and former prosecutor with a background in law enforcement. He delves into the legal aspects of major cases as well as discussing the emotional consequences of their outcomes.

#5 Beyond Brexit

If you haven’t read/heard enough about the latest Brexit updates and opinions, check out PwC’s Beyond Brexit discussing all aspects of how life post March 29th 2019 will impact life and business in the UK. GDPR, trade negotiations, the economy and immigration are all discussed in depth with experts to provide some clarity in the face of increasing uncertainty.

#6 Happy Lawyer Happy Life

Of course we endorse the message Clarissa Rayward brings, and the infectious energy she brings to each episode will hopefully help you manage different life stresses, deal with grief, or give you the advice you need to launch a legal start-up, Happy Lawyer Happy Life makes for great listening and the popular Facebook page is very lively.

#7 The Gen Y Lawyer

This forward-thinking blog continues to explore the new age of law, with the first episode of 2019 focusing on Twitter and how Jaime Santos and Kendyl Hanks (appellate advocate and appellate litigation associate respectively) created their movement to highlight women in law and call out sexism in the industry.

#8 Modern Law Library

A great podcast by ABA Journal for lawyers who are avid readers as well as listeners. Lee Rawles interviews authors of recently published books to hear their unique insight on the next additions to your to-read list. Recent featured authors include Stewart Levine author of The Best Lawyer You Can Be: A Guide to Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Wellness,  and Nancy Maveety author of Glass and Gavel: The U.S. Supreme Court and Alcohol.

#9 West Cork

An Irish true crime series made by a British couple, if you didn’t get a chance to listen to one of the most talked about podcasts of 2018, now’s the time. Even gaining praise from documentary high king Louis Theroux himself, West Cork puts the victim of the crime at its heart, with the makers ensuring heavy involvement from Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s family and their solicitor. Without the sensationalism that sometimes features in podcasts of this genre, the 13 part series explores the complexities around the unsolved murder and the accused’s High Court action against the State for wrongful arrest.

#10 The Happy Lawyer Project

Moving back to happier subject matter, Okeoma Moronu Schreiner continues her mission to help young lawyers find the formula for a happy life of accomplish and contentment in law. Through her podcast we hear the stories of legal professionals who have worked for change in their industry and community, and who have managed to find a way to create balance in their own lives. It’s an inspirational and uplifting series that will motivate you to refocus on your own personal priorities.

#11  UK Law Weekly 

Hosted by former university professor Marcus Cleaver, UK Law Weekly is a great resource for studying and practicing lawyers alike. The series focuses on the week’s legal decisions and news, therefore giving listeners analysis not just of topical talking points but specific cases that have recently gone through Supreme and other UK courts.

#12  Thinking Like a Lawyer

Hosted by Above the Law’s Ellie Mystal and Joe Patrice, this podcast takes on a range of topics that are talking points amongst the wider population, and in their own words ‘shine it through the prism of a legal framework.’ This results in lively and fascinating conversations around issues as broad as free speech, drones and droids, weddings and parenting. Definitely one for broadening the mind!

#13 LeGal LGBT

LeGal was one of the USA’s first associations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) legal community, and this podcast consists of lively discussion with LGBTQ lawyers, policy experts and activists on the latest legal news affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in the US around the world.

#14 The Docket

Canadian Criminal Defence Counsel Michael Spratt discusses the intersection of the law, the courts, and government. He has spoken to guests such as former Canadian Supreme Court Justice and UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, Louise Arbour, and topics include political scandals, best fictional lawyers, and women and the law.

#15 Talking Law

The youngest podcast on our list, Women in the Law UK launched their new series on 7th January 2019. It is hosted by Women in The Law UK’s founder, the award-winning barrister Sally Penni, and produced by the BBC Radio5Live presenter Sam Walker. The first episode interviews Jodie Hill, managing director of Thrive Law.

Bonus: First 100 Years

To add to your ‘one to watch’ list, First 100 Years has recently launched a series of 10 podcasts following the course of the 100 years of women in law. In collaboration with Goldman Sachs and Linklaters, it charts the history of women in the legal professions. Progressing decade-by-decade, the podcasts will be 45-minute discussions between legal pioneers, historians, academics and legal practitioners based on key themes, including gender stereotypes, work/life balance and diversity.

2018

Part of the online media landscape for over a decade, legal podcasts have really only become mainstream in the last few years. It’s about time – there are some great reasons for anyone to listen to podcasts during your commute and winding down time in the evening. Podcasts introduce you to new ideas and explore old ones in more depth, while listening to a singular voice encourages the mind to make a more personal connection with the subjects being discussed.

Legal podcasts are therefore an excellent way for lawyers to stay current and up to date with their understanding and interpretation of the law. In no particular order, we take a look at the best ground-breaking legal podcasts, well-established and new, to add to your 2018 listening-list.

#1 Legal Current

Produced by Thomson Reuters, Legal Current is a series of commentary on the business and practice of law. Based in the USA, it has a global outlook and explores many issues that affect legal practitioners in other countries. A quick glance over recent broadcasts shows topics ranging from Brexit, Trump and the history of Executive Orders, emojis and the law, to improving diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

#2 Happy Lawyer Happy Life

Produced by a family lawyer based in Australia, this weekly podcast features lawyer interviews around Australia on the theme of happiness. From tips on managing different life stresses, being involved with foundations, dealing with grief or starting a legal start-up, Happy Lawyer Happy Life makes for great listening and the popular Facebook page is very lively.

#3 Life of the Law

One for those particularly interested in USA state law updates, Life of the Law adopts a story-telling approach to its investigative reports and discussions on all things law. The podcast works closely with investigative journalists, scholars, scientific and legal associations to ensure a well-rounded and factually robust presentations of pertinent issues across the US.

#4 BBC Law in Action

One of the longest running legal podcasts, this is staple for many a Radio 4-listening lawyer. Law in Action magazine programme is hosted by Joshua Rozenberg and episodes are available to download on the website or on Apple Podcasts. The episodes run weekly with interviews and studio discussions, focusing on UK legal developments.

#5 Thinking Like a Lawyer

Hosted by Above the Law’s Ellie Mystal and Joe Patrice, this podcast takes on a range of topics that are talking points amongst the wider population, and in their own words ‘shine it through the prism of a legal framework.’ This results in lively and fascinating conversations around issues as broad as free speech, drones and droids, weddings and parenting. One for broadening the mind!

#6 The Digital Edge

Part of the Legal Talk Network, The Digital Edge discusses topics at the intersection of the law and technology, so it’s vital for anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of news and developments in legal tech. Artificial Intelligence, Metadata and alternative business structures are just some of the topics explored in this monthly podcast.

#7 Round My Kitchen Table

What do you get when you combine a Guardian law journalist, a Bircham Dyson Bell lawyer, a guest, the week’s big legal events and a bottle of wine? The #RoundMyKitchenTable podcast by Legal Cheek, which true to form addresses some of the more controversial and difficult topics relating to the law and the legal industry. Strap yourself in for some thought provoking debates.

#8 Compos Mentis

Compos Mentis is an Australian podcast series talking about well-being for lawyers, about staying happy, healthy and productive in the law, made by lawyers for lawyers. Going beyond billables and clients, this podcast explores what lawyers do and how they are outside of the law. Expect discussions on the concept of success, passion for side projects or  identity.

#9 UK Law Weekly 

Hosted by former university professor Marcus Cleaver, UK Law Weekly is a great resource for studying and practicing lawyers alike. The series focuses on the week’s legal decisions and news, therefore giving listeners analysis not just of topical talking points but specific cases that have recently gone through Supreme and other UK courts.

#10 Law Pod UK

Law Pod UK discusses developments across all aspects of civil and public law in the United Kingdom. Presented by Rosalind English, it comes from the creators of the UK Human Rights Blog and is produced by the barristers at One Crown Office Row. One of the newest additions to the legal podcast landscape, we look forward to hearing more from this series in 2018.

#11 Politico EU Confidential

Providing analysis and updates on European politics and policy, as well as an insight into social issues in EU countries, this is an all-round good listen for current affairs junkies as well as a go-to for lawyers who work across European countries and in areas of EU law that require a broader understanding of the political structures, cultures and practices and their legal implications. The podcast also features interviews from experts and leading figures giving the inside view.

#12 The Gen Why Lawyer

The weekly podcast highlights unconventional career paths for new lawyers, hosted by Nicole Abboud based in Los Angeles. This podcast features engaging, practical and always entertaining content that’s relevant to young lawyers. In The Gen Why Lawyer, you will hear about sexual harassment, launching a non-profit or getting in the right mindset to take the bar exam.

#13 Serial

Not strictly speaking a legal podcast, as it is an investigative journalism series, but worth an honorary mention as the kick-starter of the modern day popularity of podcasts. The legalities of the first series, an examination of the conviction of Adnan Syed for the murder of Hae Min Lee, people talking about the complexities of criminal law like never before. Serial continued with spin off, S-Town, released in 2017, which explored a very different but equally intriguing case. For criminal lawyers who missed it first time around, it is worth revisiting the initial series to understand why the case and the podcast captured the public imagination in the way it did.

#14 Up and Vanished 

Think of Up and Vanished as the Twin Peaks of criminal law podcasts. The podcast is even presented as having two seasons, season 2 being in production at the time of writing and season 1 being presented as episodes (not podcasts). The premise of the podcast is the real-life disappearance of a former beauty queen in Georgia in 2005. Based on interviews, tips and investigations, Up and Vanished examines the case from top to bottom, presenting a live investigation as it happens, with new evidence items and an interactive map on the website.

#15 The Happy Lawyer Project

Okeoma Moronu Schreiner is on a mission to help young lawyers find the formula for a happy life of accomplish and contentment in law. Through her podcast we hear the stories of legal professionals who have worked for change in their industry and community, and who have managed to find a way to create balance in their own lives. It’s an inspirational and uplifting series that will motivate you to refocus on your own personal priorities.

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