Legal Podcasts

Over the winter break, I was able to catch up on many podcasts gathering cyberdust on my iPhone’s chips. With 2018 upon us, this may be a good time to review some of my favourite commuting companions and feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments below. In no particular order…

The Docket

Listening to Michael Spratt@mspratt and Emilie Taman @EmilieTaman chat about Canadian legal issues, their family and anything else that catches their attention is just like pulling up a chair into their family room. The tone is casual. The topics are timely and the banter is relaxed. Most importantly, Michael and Emilie are both experts in their fields who offer insight and genuine curiosity on every topic. I look forward to seeing new episodes on my device every few weeks. My only quibble is that the dialogue is not edited so I listen at 1.5x speed.

The Docket is the only Canadian legal podcast to make it on the Best Podcasts for Lawyers in 2017 list from FreshBooks.

Amicus

Dahlia Lithwick covers the US Supreme Court for Slate and interviews guests on key decisions. Dahlia was born and raised in Ottawa and moved to the US to attend Yale University. After law school, she clerked at the US Court of Appeal and she offers deep understanding and insight on both procedural questions of how the court operates and on the substantive issues in question. These episodes are well edited and extremely informative.

Canadian Immigration Podcast

Mark Holthe was a teacher before going to law school and his approach to his podcast is based on informing and educating listeners on our immigration system. (Full disclosure: I have been interviewed on Mark’s podcast once in 2016 and again in 2017.) Mark has invested ~$3,000 in audio equipment for a great sounding podcast. Each episode is a stand-alone Q&A with experts on various topics.

Stay Tuned with Preet

This is possibly my new favourite podcast. Preet Bharara served as former US Attorney for the Southern District of NY from 2009 to 2017 and now he is hosting a podcast. He starts off every episode with questions from his listeners that cover personal, political and legal topics. Then he interviews guests on various topics. He is extremely well prepared for each episode and engages the topics with a keen legal mind.

Borderlines

Vancouver immigration lawyers Peter Edelmann, Steven Meurrens and Deanna Okun-Nachoff focus on substantive immigration issues and government policies. (Full disclosure, Peter and I worked on the presentation for the 2017 CBA National Immigration Conference.) This podcast is great for in-depth analysis. I also greatly appreciate how each episode includes a guide so you can skip to sections you are interested in.

Judge John Hodgman

OK – I am including this comedy podcast simply because it is so much fun. John Hodgman (from the Daily Show, among other things) hands down “fake justice” to litigants (often lawyers) on diverse topics including whether homeowners should install a pool or how much time a spouse should chat at the grocery store.

Feel free to add links and descriptions to your favourite podcasts in the comments. I am constantly chatting with friends and discovering new content for my commute.

Comments

  1. Great list! Might I add the brilliant legal podcast More Perfect. It’s a project by RadioLab and highlights important cases from the US Supreme Court.

  2. “Oral Argument” is a podcast by two University of Georgia law professors, Christian Turner and Joe Miller. They often have guests on – usually other legal scholars – to discuss their research, but Joe and Christian sometimes just chat with each other about current legal (and related) topics. The tone is informal, the hosts are very smart, and the banter is often funny (often, but not always – sometimes you may find yourself doubling the playback speed on your podcast app). The focus is exclusively on American law, but often the discussion is about “big” legal ideas that are equally relevant to the Canadian legal community.

  3. The Docket is one of the best and so is Preet Bharara. Thank you for the well defined list, Alastair Clarke.

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