About the podcast
The Podcast: The Readers digest version
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.
Host Katie Cowan has conversations with lawyers and law-adjacent professionals from all backgrounds and levels of experience. Her purpose is to illuminate all the different experiences possible in the practice of law, to connect listeners with new perspectives about their careers, and to repeatedly refer to things Amy Poehler has said.
The New Lawyer: What we're doing
The New Lawyer is so-named for two reasons: its target audience is new and prospective lawyers, and it aims to think in new ways about the practice and culture of law.
Our hope is to contribute to a transformation of the experience of the next generation of junior lawyers for the better. We will do this via our more specific purposes:
illuminating the practice of law, including the broad variety of ways one can practice;
helping struggling junior lawyers feel connected and less isolated;
jointly imagining how to make the industry better;
empowering lawyers to make authentic decisions about their career;
entertaining listeners; and
confronting and transforming key problems the industry and juniors face.
Episodes of 30 to 60 minutes are released fortnightly and will feature a conversation between Katie as host and a different guest each episode, followed by a short listener advice section at the end.
Guests fall into one of two categories. They are either a junior lawyer or law student themselves, talking about their current experience, or they are a senior lawyer or industry leader talking about their careers and thoughts on key issues.
What we discuss
The podcast traverses all aspects of junior practice and career development, with special attention given to the following issues:
the transition from law school to practice;
finding the practice that fits your own needs, values and career aspirations, including interviews with people in a wide range of legal roles, and discussion of how to know where you might fit;
stress and wellbeing management, including how to handle a mental health issue alongside legal practice (with a special focus on success stories);
how to deal with difficult situations at work, such as mistakes or a difficult boss, as well as bullying and harassment;
gender, race and LGBTQ issues in practice; and
ideas and examples of new ways to practice and where the industry might go.
The podcast acknowledges the areas where the legal industry is not performing as it should, but uses the optimistic "appreciative inquiry" model to discuss how change can come about. Its tone is professional but conversational and tends towards personal, authentic story-telling over dry analysis or theory.
Each episode is accompanied by a blog post on this website that catalogues content so that in time listeners can identify episodes relevant to issues they are especially interested in.
Why the need?
In 2016 Josh Pemberton published his research on the experience of junior lawyers in New Zealand. This podcast was created in response to some of the troubling issues identified in that report. You can read the full report here or all the mini articles in LawTalk 891 here.