ABA Journal

Podcasts

book cover

The Modern Law Library

Need to sharpen your legal writing? 10th Circuit Court judge shares his tips

There's plenty of conventional wisdom about what makes a good legal brief or court opinion. Judge Robert E. Bacharach of the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says when judges socialize, their conversations often devolve into discussions about language and pieces of writing that they enjoy or revile.

Read more ...


The Modern Law Library

Federal Judge Pens Memoir About His Time on the Bench and His High-Profile Cases in ‘Disrobed’

In his time on the federal district court in Brooklyn, Judge Frederic Block has presided over many high-profile cases. He speaks with ABA Journal web producer Lee Rawles about his time in private practice; his involvement with cases, including the Kitty Genovese and Crown Heights Riot murders; and appearing before the Warren Supreme Court to argue a one man, one vote case at the age of 33. He says that he wrote Disrobed: An Inside Look at the Life and Work of a Federal Trial Judge to help further readers’ understanding of federal courts and to combat the typical “judicial lockjaw.”

Reviews:

“Judge Block gives the reader an engaging, often humorous account of his life, as always, and a compelling introduction to the world of a federal judge, whose decisions are subject to plenty of public scrutiny but whose decision-making process remains a mystery for most Americans.” - President Bill Clinton

The Villager: “Judge’s book gives an insider’s view of life on the bench”

Updated at 2:20 p.m. to remove a reference in Judge Block’s bio.

Law Scribbler Podcast

What Can the Real Rate Report Tell Us About the Value of Entry-Level Lawyers?

For in-house counsel reluctant to pay fees for entry-level associates, a new study that uses actual billing data from 2007 to 2011 may further justify that resistance. Controlling for partner and associate hours per matter, associates with less than two years of experience cost clients $72,185 more than using more seasoned associates for short-term litigation matters that billed 40 hours or more, according to the Real Rate Report, featured in this month’s ABA Journal’s Law By the Numbers.

Given the reports’ additional findings that less than 3 percent of total lawyer hours billed to a company, on average, in 2011 were for entry-level associates, down from 7 percent in 2009 (even as junior associate salaries increased), how can firms offer the best value to their clients and still provide the necessary legal experience to their associates?

Hear ABA Journal business of law reporter Rachel M. Zahorsky talk with Craig Raeburn, managing director of TyMetrix Legal Analytic, co-producer of the Real Rate Report, and Stuart Dodds, director of global pricing at Baker & McKenzie (a now-growing position in the legal profession that existed at only a handful of firms just five years ago), as they discuss the impact of the study’s findings on law firm-client relationships, best practices for efficient case management, and how firms can ensure the proper investment in entry-level lawyers to serve clients now and in the future.

The Modern Law Library

‘Failing Law Schools’ Author Challenges Law Schools to Make Dramatic Changes

ABA Journal Business of Law Reporter Rachel Zahorsky talks with Brian Z. Tamanaha, author of Failing Law Schools, on the need for new law school models that reflect today’s reality, where the six-figure cost of a J.D. is grossly disproportionate to the economic benefits for most graduates. Tamanaha proposes updated accreditation standards and federal lending programs, and challenges prospective students, their parents and Congress to demand the critical changes necessary to preserve the future of the profession.

Reviews:

The National Law Journal: “Book Gives Law Schools Failing Grade”

TaxProf Blog: “Jim Chen Reviews Brian Tamanaha’s New Book, Failing Law Schools

Related articles:

ABAJournal.com: “Law Prof: Economics of Legal Education Are Broken Because of Exacting Standards, Loan System”

ABAJournal.com: “Around the Blawgosphere: Suit Against Avvo Dismissed; Ex-Associate Starts Book on Cross-Country Walk”

ABAJournal.com: “Law Deans and a Law Professor Respond to the ‘Law School Bubble’”

ABAJournal.com: “Law Prof’s Upcoming Book Chronicles Oversupply of New Lawyers, Proposes Flexible Legal Ed System”

ABA Journal Podcast

Picking a Winner: How to Identify Great Contingency Cases

What are some signs of a great contingency case? Or what are the signs of a real stinker—one that’s already sucked up a bunch of your time and money? ABA Journal Podcast moderator Stephanie Francis Ward and seasoned litigators discuss spotting the winners and coping when cases take a turn for the worse.

The Modern Law Library

‘Breach of Trust’ Tells Ripped-from-the-Headlines Tale of Government Corruption and Intrigue

An intrepid attorney (with nothing left to lose after the deaths of his wife and daughter) scales the state government ladder to solve the murder of a potential witness and expose the corruption that leads all the way to the governor’s mansion.

That is the plot of Breach of Trust, one of the three finalists for the 2012 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. ABA Journal web producer Lee Rawles spoke with author David Ellis about the real-life influences behind the novel: his own experience with the impeachment trial of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Ellis also speaks about what To Kill a Mockingbird has meant to him, and how he feels about being a finalist for the Harper Lee Prize.

The reader’s choice poll will be open until July 8. The winner of the 2012 Harper Lee Prize will be announced in August.

Reviews:

Chicago Tribune: “Bullets and bureaucrats: New thriller lifts veil on villainous state government”

Library Journal: “Fiction Reviews, January 2011”

Kirkus Reviews: “Breach of Trust, by David Ellis”

The Modern Law Library

Author Discusses How to Identify and Deal with an ‘Almost Psychopath’

Corrected: When does dealing with a manipulative person go from difficult to dangerous?

ABA Journal reporter Martha Neil talks about psychopathy with Jim Silver, one of the authors of Almost a Psychopath: Do I (or Does Someone I Know) Have a Problem with Manipulation and Lack of Empathy?

He discusses how a true psychopath differs from an “almost psychopath;” techniques for dealing with one at work or in your personal life; the neurological differences in their brains; and what treatments are available.

Reviews:

CapitolGazette.com: “Are you ‘Almost a Psychopath’?”

Harvard Gazette: “Six fresh books worth perusing”

Updated July 6 to correctly identify Jim Silver as the co-author interviewed for this podcast.

ABA Journal Podcast

Diversify or Die: How Adding Ancillary Businesses Can Get Your Firm Through Tough Times

The previous winter at Avanti Law Group had been a slow one, and with January quickly approaching, the partners didn’t want to sit around and wait for business again, managing member Raquel A. Salas said. So they bought an accounting firm housed in the same building as their Michigan law firm. Hear Salas discuss her experiences as an ancillary business owner with ABA Journal Podcast moderator Stephanie Francis Ward, as experts in legal ethics and marketing weigh in.

The Modern Law Library

Lack of Online Privacy Rights Is Very Troubling, Says Author

Are you in control of your digital self? ABA Journal web producer Lee Rawles talks with Lori Andrews, author of I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy about the lack of online privacy rights and the need for a social media constitution.

They discuss the changes that social networks have brought to all areas of the law, including evidence gathering; what evidence is admissible in courts; how social media can affect the right to a fair trial; and the right to control one’s image. Andrews touches on how secret data aggregation about your online activities can affect the price of your health insurance, the advertisements you see, what jobs you qualify for and the limits on your credit card balance.

Reviews:

The New York Times: “The Dangers of Sharing”

Kirkus Reviews: “I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did”

The Diane Rehm Show: “I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy”

Law Scribbler Podcast

What Risks Do Lawyers Face When Clients Keep Some Legal Tasks In-House Or Assign to Outside Vendors?

As the breakdown of complicated legal tasks among both expanded in-house departments and outside non-firm vendors becomes the new normal, law firms are at greater risk for malpractice and mismanagement claims.

ABA Journal business of law reporter Rachel M. Zahorsky discusses with Beazley’s Brant Weidner and solo practitioner and legal ethics professor John Steele the challenges of this trend for outside law firms and what lawyers can do to protect themselves and their clients when faced with the increased disaggregation of legal work.

The Modern Law Library

‘Show Trials’ Author Advocates for Systemic Changes to Immigration Courts

Welcome to the ABA Journal’s new podcast, The Modern Law Library.

On the second and fourth Mondays of each month, we will discuss a law-related book with its author and listen to a short excerpt.

In today’s podcast, ABA Journal Web producer Lee Rawles speaks with Peter Afrasiabi about his recently released book Show Trials: How Property Gets More Legal Protection than People in Our Failed Immigration System.

Reviews:

“A powerful critique of our failed immigration system. In beautiful prose and with moving stories, Peter Afrasiabi tells of the unfairness and inhumanity of immigration proceedings. His proposals for change provide a blueprint for essential reforms.” – Erwin Chemerinsky, constitutional scholar and dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law.

Kirkus Book Reviews: “Show Trials, by Peter Afrasiabi”

Check out our monthly discussion show, regular @LawScribbler chats and new books discussion, “The Modern Law Library” here on iTunes.

ABA Journal Podcast

Stand and Deliver: Tips on Trying Your First Case

Thinking on your feet means being on your feet and doing your prep work, say seasoned litigators on this month’s podcast. Standing to address the courtroom may feel awkward, but juries feel it shows respect. Hear more trial tips and tricks they shared with ABA Journal Podcast moderator Stephanie Francis Ward.

The Modern Law Library

‘Born, Not Raised’ Author Discusses the Flaws in the Juvenile Justice System

Welcome to the ABA Journal’s new podcast, The Modern Law Library.

On the second and fourth Mondays of each month, we will discuss a law-related book with its author and listen to a short excerpt.

In today’s podcast, ABA Journal Web producer Lee Rawles speaks with Susan Madden Lankford about her recently released book Born, Not Raised: Voices from Juvenile Hall.

Reviews:

Publishers Weekly: “Born, Not Raised: Voices from Juvenile Hall”

KPBS: “‘Born, Not Raised’ Explores The Links Between Development And Juvenile Crime”

Check out our monthly discussion show, regular @LawScribbler chats and new books discussion, “The Modern Law Library” here on iTunes.

Law Scribbler Podcast

How Can You Make Sure Your Client Pays You What You’re Owed?

As the difficult economy intensifies pressure on lawyers and law firms to keep billings and collections up, clients are finding it difficult to pay large legal fees on time. This combination is fueling an uptick in fee suits filed by lawyers looking to collect and the boomerang malpractice claims filed in response by their clients.

Hear ABA Journal business of law reporter Rachel M. Zahorsky discuss with Beazley’s Brant Weidner this dangerous trend, along with key points for lawyers to contemplate when weighing the risks and rewards of a fee suit and ways to prevent the predicament altogether.

The Modern Law Library

‘Devil in the Grove’ Author Discusses Early Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Case

ABA Journal Podcast

Jerks at Work: How to Deal with Difficult Colleagues

If you work with bullies, backstabbers and queen (or king) bees, work can make you crazy.  But it doesn’t have to, and employees might find the best solutions by first looking at themselves, say employment experts.  Hear them share their thoughts with ABA Journal podcast moderator Stephanie Francis Ward.

Related article:

ABA Journal: “No Jerks: Some Firms Argue that Collegiality Pays”

Law Scribbler Podcast

Law Deans and a Law Professor Respond to the ‘Law School Bubble’

We received nearly 200 emails and online comments on “The Law School Bubble” cover story in January. The second installment of the Paradigm Shift series, it showed how traditional U.S. legal education paradigms, driven by federal loan underwriting, are not responding to the market forces as law schools continue to add students and raise tuition rates in a mature legal services industry.

Hear ABA Journal business of law reporter Rachel M. Zahorsky host follow-up discussions with law school deans and professors to explore the merits and critiques of federal loan programs, examine the root causes of the deep debt students face and propose potential solutions to combat future tuition hikes.

ABA Journal Podcast

How to Craft a Resume That Recruiters Will Love

Never include your head shot or hobbies in a resume, but do mention your GPA, providing it’s a good one. What else should you include?  Hear veteran legal recruiters discuss their likes and dislikes with ABA Journal podcast moderator Stephanie Francis Ward in this month’s podcast.

ABA Journal Podcast

Show Me the Money: Helping Clients Find and Protect Assets in a Divorce

A client can try to preserve his or her assets during a divorce, but if the judge sees actions more along the lines of hiding money, the court will likely take more. Matrimonial lawyers Ira Friedman and Randall M. Kessler discuss this and other battle stories with ABA Journal Podcast moderator Stephanie Francis Ward.

ABA Journal Podcast

Hanging a Shingle: How to Start Your Own Law Practice

Many lawyers dream of opening their own law firm, but sometimes the golden handcuffs are cinched too tight to make it a reality. Some lawyers who actually did it discuss the challenges, and rewards, with ABA Journal podcast moderator Stephanie Francis Ward.

ABA Journal Podcast

Santa or Scrooge: How Do BigLaw Firms Determine Associate Bonuses?

Cravath, Swain & Moore on Dec. 28 announced 2011 associate bonuses, and a handful of New York-based law firms matched them within a few days.  ABA Journal podcast moderator Stephanie Francis Ward and Bruce MacEwen of Adam Smith, Esq., discuss how Wall Street law firms—and those that would like to be seen as Wall Street law firms—decided on the numbers.

Read more ...