Career Appellate Prosecutor Dishes On What It's Really Like To Argue Before The Supreme Court

A look at the life of an appellate attorney.

In this episode, I welcome Lisa Sarnoff Gochman, an appellate lawyer and author of the book At the Altar of the Appellate Gods: Arguing before the US Supreme Court, to talk about how her career shifted from being in law school to being an appellate lawyer who has spent the last 40 years writing. Lisa also discusses how an appellate attorney is different from a lawyer doing trial work. She recalls how she worked her way up from the Bronx District Attorney’s office to the New Jersey Supreme Court and ended up working on a case that went all the way to the US Supreme Court.


The Jabot podcast is an offshoot of the Above the Law brand focused on the challenges women, people of color, LGBTQIA, and other diverse populations face in the legal industry. Our name comes from none other than the Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the jabot (decorative collar) she wore when delivering dissents from the bench. It’s a reminder that even when we aren’t winning, we’re still a powerful force to be reckoned with.

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Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter @Kathryn1 or Mastodon