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Joe Patrice

Joe Patrice is an Editor at Above the Law. For over a decade, he practiced as a litigator at...

Elie Mystal

Elie Mystal is the Managing Editor of Above the Law Redline and the Editor-At-Large of Breaking Media. He’s appeared...

Episode Notes

Joe and Elie catch their breath by recapping the top legal stories of last week. At the annual meeting of the Association of Corporate Counsel, Elie describes an in-house community deeply concerned with navigating the #MeToo era, the gang discusses the abrupt decision of Baker McKenzie’s managing partner to step down for “exhaustion,” and the pair argue over a new set of law school rankings.


Thinking Like a Lawyer

New Law School Rankings, The Plight Of The Managing Partner, And In-House Work In The #MeToo Era



Narrator: Welcome to Thinking Like a Lawyer with your hosts Ellie Mystal and Joe Patrice talking about legal news and pop culture, all while thinking like a lawyer here on Legal Talk Network.


Joe Patrice: Hello and welcome to another edition of Thinking Like a Lawyer.


Yes, thank you, thank you.

Elie Mystal: You know what, try the hello again, you sounded like a teenage boy with your voice cracking there.

Joe Patrice: I mean, I kind of was aiming for that, it’s all part of my grand attempt to make people think I am younger.

Elie Mystal: Ah.

Joe Patrice: Yeah. I am Joe Patrice from Above the Law and with me as you just heard is Elie Mystal.

Elie Mystal: I am back, back in the New York groove.

Joe Patrice: You were not here for couple of days.

Elie Mystal: I have been in Austin.

Joe Patrice: Yeah, I can tell from all the content you have been producing from there.

Elie Mystal: Austin is a lovely town and I love going there, I love all the food, I generally like the live music, I am more of a piano bar kind of a guy than a country and western kind of guy, but you can find that in Austin, so that’s pretty cool. But the thing that I am pissed off today is actually about the City of Austin.

Joe Patrice: Oh.

Elie Mystal: I got there just in time for there to be some kind of freaking water crisis where — it’s Texas so you kind of expect potentially drought conditions. This was the opposite. There was so much water flooding in through Colorado from all these different places that it overloaded the Austin water filtration system. And so, for the entire time that I was down there, you were not allowed to drink tap water, you had to boil your water, you had to — I was brushing my teeth with bottled water which felt like really strange first-worldy kind of dystopia.

Joe Patrice: Sounds like flint but for white hipsters.

Elie Mystal: The worst that I did not think about until what happened was that without clean running water there is no ice.

Joe Patrice: Yeah, that would be true.

Elie Mystal: Without ice there is no cocktail.

Joe Patrice: I mean, you can have warm cocktails, but sure.

Elie Mystal: But who does that?

Joe Patrice: I don’t know, have a hot toddy.

Elie Mystal: Right. So once you get — and I am not a huge beer-drinker, I’ll have – I’ll enjoy an autumnal mead, but…

Joe Patrice: So, you don’t like beer?

Elie Mystal: It’s not my go-to, right? My go-to is the rum and coke depending on the weather, sometimes it’s the G&D, but I couldn’t have either, because there was no ice. So, being in Texas naturally I was like, well, then I guess I am just having shots of tequila.

Joe Patrice: Yeah, I mean, shots is a perfectly acceptable way of —

Elie Mystal: And let me tell you there is some — and I don’t think this was true when I was like in my 20s or 30s, but now as I am into my 40s just replacing rum and cokes with shots of tequila turns out to be a terrible idea.

Joe Patrice: Well, I mean, tequila is not my friend, I would rather — like I don’t know why you weren’t taking shots of rum or something like that.

Elie Mystal: I just — because I was in Texas, and I was like, you know, I mean, if I was in the islands I would have had shots of rum, if I was in the islands and there was no ice, I would have had shots of rum, but I was in Texas, “when in, do as”.

Do you know what’s the worst thing then about having shots of tequila all night, besides losing $100 to strippers as maybe happened to me in this poker game that I was in? The worst is waking up in the morning, completely dehydrated, and not being able to have any water.

Joe Patrice: Yeah, yeah, that’s where Pedialyte comes in.

Elie Mystal: Oh my God. Austin – Austin — you almost killed me Austin.

Joe Patrice: Fair enough, but you are here, you are back. So let’s talk about why you were in Austin, because it certainly wasn’t for the tequila.

Elie Mystal: No, it was not.

Joe Patrice: So, you were there for the ACC Show, so how did that go?

Elie Mystal: Association of Corporate Counsel.

Joe Patrice: Gathering, it’s like the Gathering of the Juggalos for in-house counsel.

Elie Mystal: Yes, I was in Austin for the Annual Meeting for the ACC organization. ACC is the biggest organization for in-house counsel, and so from an Above the Law kind of perspective it’s always good to get out with the people and hear what they are concerned about.

One of the straights of Above the Law is that all of us have been lawyers, all of us have worked at firms, none of us have worked in-house, none of our full-time people have worked in-house, my wife works in-house, but I can’t usually understand what she is talking about, when she comes home even. So that’s not the best resource for me. So, getting out and talking to this important group of lawyers about what they think about, especially in terms of client services, because they are the clients for a lot of the big law firms we cover. That’s always interesting time.


Joe Patrice: Yeah. So, did you pick up any trends that were coming out of this show that like everyone was talking about, yeah?

Elie Mystal: Well, yes, I did and I would say that the biggest one is, I don’t know, if you have heard of this, but apparently Hollywood Mogul got in trouble for some sexual harassment issues.

Joe Patrice: Really?

Elie Mystal: And it started a whole kerfuffle right now.

Joe Patrice: Wow.

Elie Mystal: About sexual harassers in the workplace.

Joe Patrice: You would have thought this would have come up, but this is the first time ever I am hearing this.

Elie Mystal: It’s kind of a movement happening right now.

Joe Patrice: Almost, yeah.

Elie Mystal: And sure enough in-house lawyers are particularly concerned about what they need to do now should one of their employees be credibly accused of various levels of sexual assault and sexual misconduct; that was kind of a thing.

Joe Patrice: Okay, so that was lot of the focus. It was kind of HR issues.

Elie Mystal: Yeah, lot of focus — HR, a lot of focus was crisis management in these situations, and then surprisingly one of the more interesting panels that I went to was really talking about from the perspective of multinational corporations, right?

So, most people were pretty — at least that I talked to, were pretty aware of the American laws regarding sexual harassment, and inappropriate conduct and the reporting structure and what you have to do here. But what happens when your company sends a manager to India, to Guatemala, to a place with kind of a completely different regulatory environment and in some cases, a completely different workplace culture, and then one of them is accused of harassment or really grave misconduct what are your duties, what are your abilities, which law are you even under, right? If you got a guy in India is he protected by Indian laws which are somewhat more protecting of the accused in certain contexts or not, or is he subject to American law if your company is based — if you have a Delaware corporation or both, a lot of times the answer is both, which is confusing.

So, that was interesting, and obviously in-house counsel tend to be pretty much your first line of defense here and I think that one of the things that we have seen in the #MeToo movement it’s not always clear what side they are on.

Joe Patrice: Yeah.

Elie Mystal: Right? In-house counsel — I guess it is always clear what side, they are on the side of the company, but what does that mean exactly, right? You have one perspective that’s basically being on the side of the company means routing out these predators who commit the misconduct routing them out quickly and decisively to protect the company’s exposure on these issues.

Joe Patrice: Right, but —

Elie Mystal: There is another school thought that protecting the company means protecting these people who are usually men in higher-up positions from the always the spectre of the unfounded allegation, un-collaborated allegation we know that that does not happen nearly as much as the men’s rights people say that they have been. But as corporate counsel kind of putting in processes to feel like the accused as being given some measure of process even if you are a closely held private company, it’s still an issue, a lot of these corporate counsels are trying to figure out. So, I was kind of — I mean, it was interesting and that kind of like, oh, this is why we can’t have nice things, but it was interesting.

Joe Patrice: Interesting. Yeah, so that totally makes sense why that would be a big deal. Were there in any — since I didn’t go to this, were there any discussions —

Elie Mystal: People keep talking about you. They kept saying, where is Joe, because —

Joe Patrice: Well, that’s nice, because I was there last year, so I understand why they might remember.

Elie Mystal: What I realize is that when you go to these — and I have seen this before at other — when you go to these things, you especially — the exhibit halls or the venue, you do a very good job of either being interested or fainting interest in what they are selling. I do a less good job.

Joe Patrice: Well I find — like I mean some of the stuff is cool, right? Some of these products — yes?

Elie Mystal: No, very little.

Joe Patrice: I don’t know like especially in the document review space some of the things that they are now able to do with technology to get through a document review quickly, expeditiously and in a way that you can find quality stuff is impressive, and so I like watching that and hearing what they are up to. So, yeah, there are some fun things in there, but yes, I do walk around there a lot.

Elie Mystal: The boredom really reads on my face, so literally I am having conversation with one, I can’t remember who he is or what they are selling, which goes to show — this man is going to turn out to be not wrong, you will see why.


So, you know, whatever he is talking to me and I am like — I am nodding, I am trying to keep my eyes open and whatever, and halfway through the conversation he just like realizes what’s happening and he goes, so is Joe Patrice here?

Joe Patrice: Yeah, fair enough.

Elie Mystal: Not you. And then like the crestfallenness of like, you are not even — not only are you not going to write about this, you do not understand what I am saying, and I had given him that knowing look back of like yeah, no.

Joe Patrice: I didn’t know as much about it when I started doing this certainly, but yeah, over the years I have gotten to see a lot of cool things.

Elie Mystal: ACC, catch the tequila.

Joe Patrice: Yeah. So how did — ACC, in my experience, did have events with cocktails and drinks, what were they doing with no ice?

Elie Mystal: All beer.

Joe Patrice: Oh, wow.

Elie Mystal: It was all beer, beer and wine.

Joe Patrice: Yeah, I guess wine, that’s fair.

Elie Mystal: That’s what Emmitt Smith was having.

Joe Patrice: That’s right, Emmitt Smith was there.

Elie Mystal: The other like crazy thing about ACC is that like whatever city they are in, they bring in usually a sports star, usually a football star to come to the actual conference and sign autographs. When they were in San Francisco, Joe Montana came out, when they were in Boston, Big Papi came out. So in Dallas, Emmitt Smith showed up at the ACC —

Joe Patrice: At Austin, yeah.

Elie Mystal: In Austin, showed up at the event.

Joe Patrice: Nice.

Elie Mystal: I decided not to hang around for that, I am too much of a — I can still remember — I can remember him separating his shoulder, going to the locker room, then coming out after halftime and overtime and just running over the Giants in the playoffs, and like when I saw him walk in, like that is all I could think about and so I just left. He doesn’t need me to be like, I hate you. You beat my team 15 years ago.

Joe Patrice: I heard a cow was involved at an event. Did you hear this one? Somebody told me that one of the events brought in a steer.

Elie Mystal: Yes, yes, that was a — my take on it was that this was not a Texas company, by the way, that brought in the cow and it was just like, you are trying too hard, right? You are trying too hard to be Texas when you have a live steer at your corporate party, right, that’s a bit much.

Joe Patrice: I mean, yeah.

Elie Mystal: People were talking about it though, but not necessarily — ACC is not Trump world. All press is not good press.

Joe Patrice: Yeah. So fair enough, so that’s ACC. We have had some news here.

Elie Mystal: Yeah, what’s been going on while I have been away, because when I go to these things I do generally radio silence?

Joe Patrice: Right. So the head of Baker McKenzie has taken a leave of absence citing exhaustion, which is usually what —

Elie Mystal: Their associates feel.

Joe Patrice: Well, no, but I was saying like that’s what you hear when like somebody misses a concert, like they have been hospitalized for exhaustion, but yeah, so it’s kind of kicked off — while you have been gone there has been a little undercurrent of people asking questions like are managing partners and the stress they face really so awful and they are overworked, if we don’t take enough time to consider the wellness of the managing partner.

Elie Mystal: Oh my God, people are treating that like it’s real, like that’s the — they are not treating it like it’s a cover story, they are treating it like maybe he is just actually exhausted from making $3.3 million a year, that’s what we are doing?

Joe Patrice: That is —

Elie Mystal: That’s how you can tell I haven’t been here.

Joe Patrice: That is the direction that it is going, yes. Now, Baker McKenzie has had a series of bad press clippings over the last couple of months, so I am not altogether sure I don’t believe that the guy is actually exhausted, I think that it could easily be that this has been the awful, terrible, no good month for Baker McKenzie, so.

Elie Mystal: If you have other information about Baker McKenzie, please reach us at Tips, T-I-P-S at Above the Law.

Joe Patrice: Yeah.

Elie Mystal: Come on.

Joe Patrice: It’s been real bad for them.

Elie Mystal: Come on. Exhaustion. And then he is going to probably — and then he is going to spend more time with his family.

Joe Patrice: Could easily be a more time with family situation coming up, yeah. We have had some —

Elie Mystal: In the movie ‘Deep Impact’, one of the ways they figure out that there is a — there is a meteor coming and there has been massive cover-up is that like the Secretary of Treasury like decides to take more time with his family. Secretary of Treasury in this movie, by the way, played by, I forget his real name, but Rollo Tomasi from ‘L.A. Confidential’. The guy who plays that plays the Secretary in ‘Deep Impact’.

And the reporter just doesn’t buy the more time with my family line and like goes and hunts down and eventually figures out what the hell is going on, but the fun thing about that is that he really did — with the impending doom of the meteor, he really did want to spend more time with his family. So sometimes it’s true.


Joe Patrice: Fair enough.

Elie Mystal: If there is a giant meteor coming for your company or country, maybe you really do want to spend more time with your family.

Joe Patrice: I mean the firm kind of colossally botched a #MeToo issue recently with a partner and then there are rumors that they were the mysterious firm involved in a London overworking issue; we don’t know that for sure, but we have —

Elie Mystal: Are we even allowed to say that?

Joe Patrice: Yeah. I mean, we have multiple people saying that they believe that was the firm involved and not that it was anything illegal, but it was just a PR headache kind of a thing.

Elie Mystal: An exhausting one.

Joe Patrice: And that’s what I am saying, like I could totally see this guy maybe is a little exhausted because it’s been one fire after another for Baker McKenzie over the last few weeks.

So do you really think that — I mean we often are accused, probably accurately, of having more of a — being more on the associates’ side in the grand associate versus partner war, but do you think maybe we are giving shortchange to the pressures that partners feel?

I mean, it’s not like that 3.3 million just shows up, a lot of it is because they have to kind of constantly be on. They are the ones actually getting yelled at by the clients, and when you add on top of that the responsibilities of managing a global entity and practicing, is it possible that we should have a little bit more sympathy for the stress that these folks face?

Elie Mystal: I mean as I get older and as I take on more senior and more managerial roles, even in my life, no, no, I don’t think that we are in danger of not giving enough credence to the pressures of management. Obviously there — look, heavy lies the crown. Fine, I get that. But first of all, as Don Draper might say, that’s what the money is for, okay? So like they are not being — all these people are not being paid simply for their legal expertise; they are being paid because they have shown over the course of their training, which included being an associate under an intense amount of pressure, that they can handle the pressure, right? So that’s part of the compensation package, right?

B, and I think this is where I — this is one of the reasons why I so often side with associates in these general disputes, anybody can handle responsibility if you have enough control to effectuate the things that you are responsible for. The nadir is when you have responsibility and no control, right?

So associates are often in a situation, the midlevel, senior associates, junior partners even sometimes are often in a situation where they are responsible for a whole host of matters, but have very little control over how they proceed, what the timing is, what the scheduling is, what the deals are — what deals are made with the clients, they have no control over that, they are just given kind of a work order and then mush, go finish the race, right?

At senior management levels you do have some control over those things, right? Yes, the client is going to have demands. You, the senior partner, are the only person in the whole sphere here who has any ability to push back against the client. Now, if you are too scared to push back against the client because you are afraid that they will take their business elsewhere, if you don’t know how to effectively advocate for yourself and your team, those can be issues, but those are your problems.

What you are supposed to do if the client is making unreasonable demands, senior partner level management are the only people in the game that can say hey, that’s an unreasonable demand, that’s going to lead to low quality work. Look, I will take your money, but you are going to want us to do this in this way as opposed to that way, they are the only people who can do that.

So yeah, life is tough, but like these are people with — senior management are people with a lot of responsibility, but also with some modicum of control over their environment that their underlings do not have. And so if I have to choose which to feel sympathy for, and granted, to be clear, I like to name the lobsters regardless, I don’t like to feel sympathy for anybody, but if I am going to have sympathy for somebody, it’s going to be the person that has that same level of workload and nobody asked him or her how they wanted to manage it.

Joe Patrice: That’s fair.

Elie Mystal: What about you?

Joe Patrice: No, I mean, I do think that — look, I think that the whole — the media response to this has gone a little bit overboard in the direction of wellness. Look, things are stressful, I get it, but that is what the money is for, I agree with all that.


I do think though that it’s probably — so all this we should start really thinking about how all managing partners are being treated and take care of them, that’s overboard, but I do think there is something to be said for the pressures of running a global firm at this point are higher than they have ever been, given the way in which costs are going up, demand seems flat, the big firms are in this case it is actually a big firm, but like anybody who is not at one of the top elite firms is getting their lunch eaten by the kind of stratification of boutiques and smaller firms taking work from general counsel and the big elite firms taking work and that middle is getting crunched. I can see that this is a rough job and it’s worth remembering there are people who are doing this and who have feelings and stuff, but yeah.

I think it’s gone a little bit overboard, but I do have some sympathy for it.

Elie Mystal: So not only are we buying the cover story, but we are now feeling sorry for the purveyor of the cover story, that’s where we are.

Joe Patrice: I mean I think the cover story is accurate. I mean not that it’s exhaustion, but I definitely think it’s stress, I think it’s, this is ridiculous, I have worked everyday this last month on putting out PR fires, I didn’t sign up for this, I think that’s true, and that broadly fits under the word exhaustion.

Elie Mystal: Sure. You know what happened when I reached my level of exhaustion, I had to quit. I had to leave all that money. I can’t go back. There is no sabbatical when you are a junior associate, you either eat the hours or you wash out. You eat the hours or you find something else to do with your life, which is not the position than any of these people are going to be in.

Joe Patrice: That’s fair.

Elie Mystal: No parachute for me. And that’s true for so many — I am not talking about people who just get straight up — I mean people who want to keep the job and get fired, I am talking about people like me who could have kept the job if they could have kept kind of eating all those hours and there is no soft landing for those people when it’s time for them to get out.

So again, the word sympathy is not the right word, because I don’t feel it as like a human emotion, but certainly if I was going to feel it, it’s going to be for the eighth year who just now realized they are still a good 6,000-8,000 hours away from even being considered a partner.

Joe Patrice: Yeah, that’s fair. Yeah, I mean I have heard — I am increasingly hearing that the eight year model that we all kind of grew up on is nonexistent. No one is really believing that anymore, which is unfortunate.

Elie Mystal: Younger listeners are going to think that I pulled eight years out of my ass as opposed to actually being a thing.

Joe Patrice: So finally, we have a new law school ranking out, a new methodology.

Elie Mystal: Oh God.

Joe Patrice: It’s an interesting one.

Elie Mystal: Tell me that Penn is number one because Amy Wax is just so —

Joe Patrice: No, no, no, no, it’s not number one. Number one is, I have got to find this, number one is, see, this is why we have sound effects, NYU.

Elie Mystal: Oh, this is like the worst of all possible worlds.

Joe Patrice: Yeah. No, but the reasoning actually makes some sense.

Elie Mystal: Keggers?

Joe Patrice: No, the model — what he did with this model is he took kind of Brian Leiter’s long, sitting out there, who is the most important academics ranking that he has.

Elie Mystal: People still read that?

Joe Patrice: Well, I mean no, but it’s out there and it does a job of counting citations across the field so that you can kind of say like hey, this person wrote something and everybody in the field thinks it’s important enough to cite so that means something.

So he took those numbers, but he also said look, we don’t need a set up where if you are Harvard and have three of the best con law people in the world, but aren’t teaching anyone how to do contracts, then you are not really performing at your peak capacity; Harvard obviously is not one of those schools that’s going to have that problem as much, but that was what he did.

So the plan was to use those numbers and J.B. Heaton, by the way, is the person who did this study, took those numbers, took them across fields and said oh, you know, these are different specialties and who puts together basically the best faculty team, the best academics according to that Leiter thing, but balanced by having them in all these subfields and subgenres of law, so that like it shows that you have a broad faculty that can accomplish a lot of different things, which I think is important.


Because if you think of going to law school as one, a professional school; but two, one that you have probably entered without knowing exactly where you want your career to go, it’s actually kind of valuable to know that if you decide hey, family law or whatever is my thing, that there are actually people there who know how to teach that and are smart people at that.

Elie Mystal: Yeah, I don’t think I agree with any of that.

Joe Patrice: Well, you went to the second best law school on here so I can understand why you might not be at my level here.

Elie Mystal: A question about methodology, did he adjust for size of school, because one of the things that most bad rankings don’t do — one of the things that most bad rankings do is that they don’t adjust for the size of the school.

Joe Patrice: Size would not matter in this instance because it’s just about being able to have consistently somebody who is a high-ranked professor in each field. Yale still needs to have a professor covering each field, right?

Elie Mystal: Does it? So that comes to my second issue, right, does Yale need to have a really good professor in divorce law to be the best law school? Are there people who go to Yale Law School who are looking to go to top law schools and find out that their matrimonial law professor was not up to snuff and thus they cannot get a job, does that actually happen, or is that something completely created in the mind of some goddamn researcher who isn’t actually thinking about how kids get jobs in this market?

Joe Patrice: Well, that wasn’t one of the subspecialties. So the core specialties are civil procedure, con law, contracts, crim law, evidence, real property and torts. Those are all bar exam topics.

Elie Mystal: Those are bar exam topics, they are not all — you don’t —

Joe Patrice: Yes, people going to Yale might be interested in becoming a commercial litigator or knowing about torts. Yes, they do. Now, granted, they are actually going to end up being the defense minister of some small nation, but they go to school with the — the professional school attempts to do that. Yale is only — Yale is four on this list, it’s not like they are bad. But Columbia fits in at three.

Elie Mystal: Look, I am crapping on the list a little bit. I am all for all different ways of looking at the strengths of law schools besides US News. Not that US News is even bad, but just like that’s not — the US News looks at law schools in a certain way, there are lots of different ways to skin the cat, there are lots of different ways to be able to value the strength of a law school in one area as opposed to another.

My thing to the students is always, don’t take any one list as gospel, look at them all, look at them all.

Joe Patrice: Yeah, I agree with that.

Elie Mystal: And talk to as many people as you can, because law schools are much more nuanced and complicated than can possibly be captured by any one ordinal list.

Joe Patrice: Yeah, I think that’s right, but I just think — I really find this list fascinating and for not just prospective students, though that’s valuable, but also the schools themselves in gauging where they have weaknesses when trying to build a faculty, adding a fourth person who is a con law expert may not be as valuable as getting some property people in there.

It’s interesting that you aren’t as big a fan of this, because I feel like this list captures something that you often complain about with the way law schools work, which is this kind of belief that it’s not a professional school. And I think this list kind of speaks to well, maybe it should be. That here are core things that you need to know to pass a bar exam and then go out and practice, who is doing the best job of teaching all of those things, and I think that kind of speaks to your philosophy in a lot of ways.

Elie Mystal: Right, but my philosophy is also kind of fundamentally based on a two-tier system, that there is one group of law schools that have become quite good at training federal judges and future defense ministers and the like, and that they don’t need a ranking that’s still slightly reordering them, but fundamentally still pimping the schools that we already know are the best schools, I am not sure how much value that’s adding.

At that second tier, and we can debate for days about where to make the cutoff or whatever, but at some tier of law school, then they should no longer be trying to teach you how to be a federal judge and they should instead be trying to teach you how to go out and get a real job.


And so while yes, this would suggest that we are going to that, but my issue then is going to be kind of like where I was going with does Yale need a matrimonial law practice leader, probably not. Does the University of typewriting in Bridgeport Law need a matrimonial professor? Yeah, they probably do. You know what they don’t need, a real property professor, because you’re not doing — trusting the states going to Bridgeport Community Law.

Joe Patrice: Yeah. So —

Elie Mystal: You might be doing simple wells, but then how are you — you went to law school to point your client to the right LegalZoom.

Joe Patrice: But I hear you there, but again this study also looked at categories that had another ranking where it went through and not just those core professional categories, those were included also, but this actually comes from Leiter’s original study, but it also had like legal ethicists, critical theory antitrust to be a little bit more core, more professional, but also philosophy law and economics. So we’ll get — it had a broader one that included those training of federal judge kind of things and in that list when you include all of those things. Number one is still NYU. Fun, yeah.

Elie Mystal: Why don’t you marry this list?

Joe Patrice: Yeah, I know. Well, because I think it’s fantastic. No, but it does speak to why I’ve always been kind of on the NYU and despite what people might think because I make fun of them in a gentle teasing sort of way Columbia.

The reason why I’ve always kind of been on the NYU in Columbia side when I’m talking about good law schools, is I really feel like because they are not Yale or Stanford which are very — we’re a small group of people who are training the new — the next tier of aristocrats.

And Harvard who I actually think is a good — a great school, but it kind of fits — it’s always — it’s kind of in this weird hybrid state because it’s chip-on-the-shoulder about not being Yaled means that they do some things that are Yaleish that are dumb, but I think it’s also good, but like NYU and Columbia specifically are where you tick over in that line to, you know what, maybe the answer is we just put out a lot of good lawyers who are going to go do lawyery things and so this list I thought did a really good job showing that NYU Harvard and Columbia are the schools that do the best job of building a massive team that crosses a lot of disciplines and gives students the access to the best opportunity of having great minds in a lot of different categories, so that’s why I really liked it.

Elie Mystal: I am not going to screw that.

Joe Patrice: Yeah.

Elie Mystal: And really if you’re listening at home or in your car and you’re actually trying to choose between, oh, Harvard, Yale or Columbia, you know what, don’t worry —

Joe Patrice: Yeah, you are going to be fine.

Elie Mystal: — it’s going to work out.

Joe Patrice: Yeah.

Elie Mystal: You made the right call.

Joe Patrice: Yeah, you’re going to be fine, you’re going to have a great career for a couple years and then watch out. So, no, that’s probably not the case, alright.

Elie Mystal: I end up drinking tequila in Austin because there’s no ice.

Joe Patrice: Yeah. Alright, so with that thank you all for joining us. You should be subscribed to this show already so that you get new episodes, but if you aren’t you should do that now, you should give it reviews, give it stars, give it a little write-up, something short just like these guys are great would be awesome, because it helps the algorithm figure out where we should be.

You should read Above the Law every day two or three times a day even. Keep hitting “Refresh” over and over and over again, that would be great. Also you should follow us on Twitter, I’m @JosephPatrice, he is @ElieNYC. You should — what else, oh, listen to all of our podcasts between the Jabot or anything on the Legal Talk Network. I always give the plug for On the Road, because I occasionally host that one.

And with that I think we’ve covered everything, so talk to you later.

Elie Mystal: Do you ever drink so much that when you wake up in the morning your fingers are shriveled like you’ve been in the bath too long?

Joe Patrice: No. No, you have a medical problem, you should seek help.

Elie Mystal: No, I was really dehydrated in Austin.

Joe Patrice: Yeah. No, I don’t have those problems when I drink. I can just keep drinking.

Elie Mystal: Running water…

Joe Patrice: Yeah.

Elie Mystal: …one of the most important innovations ever by modern man.

Joe Patrice: Fair enough. Probably not just man probably — probably —

Elie Mystal: Modern humanity is obviously what I meant.

Joe Patrice: 34:13 yeah, alright. Okay, that’s it.

Elie Mystal: I’m leaving now.

Joe Patrice: Bye.


Outro: If you would like more information about what you heard today, please visit You can also find us at,, iTunes, RSS, Twitter, and Facebook.

The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders, and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.


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Episode Details
Published: October 30, 2018
Podcast: Thinking Like a Lawyer - Above the Law
Category: Legal News
Thinking Like a Lawyer - Above the Law
Thinking Like a Lawyer - Above the Law

Above the Law's Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice examine everyday topics through the prism of a legal framework.

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