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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.