The U.S. legal system is complicated. Even if you were born and raised in the United States, you likely didn’t get a thorough overview of our legal principles in your schooling unless you went to law school. With legal topics frequently in the news, you may be left wondering about aspects of American law. Why do courts decide cases the way they do? Why don’t legal rulings always comport with what seems like common sense?
As long-time readers know, I like to listen to podcasts, particularly educational ones. In this post, I thought I’d round up some of my favorite law-related podcasts that can help you gain a better understanding of the legal concepts that shape current events and daily life in the United States. Readers, what are your favorite legal podcasts? Please tell us in the comments.
*Updated to add some great advice posted by readers on social media – see below.
As we enter October, some states have already released the results of the July bar exam, and other states will post their results soon. I thought this would be a good time offer some advice to this year’s class of new lawyers as they embark on their careers. I spent my first two years after law school working at a fairly large law firm, and the following tips might be less applicable to those working in other settings (i.e., in-house legal departments, government agencies, etc.), but I think most of these points apply across the board. Lawyers, please add your own advice in the comments below.
In this occasional series, I share what I’ve been reading, watching, thinking, and doing.
What I’m Reading:
What I’m Watching: The Good Place
What I’m Listening To: The Gen Why Lawyer Podcast, “Taking 100% Responsibility for Your Happiness with Okeoma Moronu”
Current Guilty Pleasure: Long naps (although truthfully, I don’t really feel that guilty about them!)
Where I’ve Been Recently: Athens and Santorini (in June and July)
What I’m Looking Forward To: The arrival of baby D!
Latest Personal Project: Cooking more and trying new recipes with the help of PlateJoy
Recent Moment of Joy: Feeling another being moving around in my belly. It’s pretty amazing!
Currently Inspired By: Several smart, driven, all-around-impressive women lawyers I’ve met recently through the Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women.
Grateful For: The many kind and understanding people in my life who have graciously listened to me complain about the less fun aspects of my pregnancy, and who have cut me some slack while I don’t feel like my usual self. Thank you!
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Across the United States, recent law school graduates have begun studying for the bar exam, a two-day (sometimes three-day) test offered during the last week of July and also in February). Each state gives its own version of the exam, which usually includes a day of tricky multiple choice questions and a day consisting of some combination of essay questions, short answer questions, and a closed-universe performance test. Intensive test-prep courses usually begin in late May, and many test-takers study full-time and then some.
As you’ve probably realized, this is not a law blog. I’ve previously written about why I can’t comment on controversial legal and political issues. As a judicial staff member, I’m governed by ethics rules that prohibit me from opining on legal issues that may come before my court. The ethics folks take these restrictions seriously. I once attended a training in which the speaker said it would be unethical to post a recent Supreme Court decision on social media with nothing more than the comment “interesting case.”