Leather biker jacket ✅ 80s heavy metal band t-shirt ✅ Rock’n’roll haircut ✅
A criminal defence lawyer lets his rocker hair down as he swaps the corporate garb for a leather jacket and 80s band t-shirt to breakdown caselaw on YouTube.
A quick watch of one of Joseph Kotrie-Monson’s videos will tell you what his series, Lawcracker, certainly is not. “You won’t find fancy legal words and you won’t find a load of stuff about lifestyle and what it’s like to be in law school and aspirational crap like that,” says Kotrie-Monson, a managing solicitor at national criminal defence outfit Mary Monson Solicitors.
Instead, Kotrie-Monson, who specialises in business crime and fraud, sets out to explain “how the legal rules really work, whether they serve society, whether they don’t and what the true purpose of law is”.
Videos so far have tackled complex legal issues, including lockdown laws and the Crown Court case backlog, as well as edgier topics, such as medical cannabis and the Cyberpunk 2077 scandal. “People have a right to feel they know what’s going on,” he told Legal Cheek.
At first glance, Kotrie-Monson isn’t what you’d expect from a stereotypical lawyer. To get a point across in an easy-to-understand way, his animated, arm-waving alter-ego, ‘Lawcracker’, isn’t afraid to swear and hop between comical voices as he stands in front of a Have I Got News for You-esque tabloid backdrop — which if you look closely features legal icon Lady Hale, slippery Saul Goodman from Better Call Saul, and old-timer TV barrister Horace Rumpole.
Kotrie-Monson is also often seen sporting a black leather biker jacket or a colourful mix of racing merch. The casual vibe continues underneath with his printed t-shirt collection, including nods to 80s glam metal band Def Leppard, arcade racing video game ‘OutRun’ and cult movie classic, ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’. Oh, and then there’s the brown shoulder-length locks tying his rocker look together.
But, as Kotrie-Monson explained to Legal Cheek, that’s the whole point. He tells us:
“Law is something that affects everyone but not everybody feels it’s a world they can easily understand or access. The clothes lawyers and judges wear, the language we use, and even the old fashioned court rooms, I think it sometimes does more harm than good, even though I don’t criticise anyone for it. It’s just the way that our profession is.”
Instead, through Lawcracker, he wants to show that lawyers “are actually a lot more approachable” in real life. “We get enough of an undeserved kicking for being out of touch fat cats, and most of us aren’t like that at all,” Kotrie-Monson added.