- Alyte Mazeika, a law-focused YouTuber, has 64,000 subscribers on LegalBytes.
- About a month ago, she made a prescient call to live stream the Depp v. heard.
- Her streams reached over 10,000 concurrent viewers and she earned around $5,000 from YouTube in one week.
Alyte Mazeika, the lawyer and commentator behind the LegalBytes YouTube channel, is having a moment.
About a month ago, Mazeika made a prescient call: to live-stream every day of the six-week defamation trial of Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard, who is currently in her second week of depositions in Fairfax, VA.
Depp is suing Heard for $50 million over a 2018 Washington Post editorial in which she said she was a victim of domestic abuse; Heard’s $100 million counter-suit alleges that Depp fueled an online harassment campaign against her.
Mazeika is currently hosting 24/7 streams from an undisclosed location abroad, where her days arrive in a sort of nighttime haze, punctuated by meals that seem to float on her husband’s screen and loving cuddles for walks and food by her Labrador, Indy and two cats, Astra and Holmes.
“In terms of endurance, it’s tough, but I also run half and full marathons,” Mazeika said. “So in a lot of ways, mental rigor is similar because you know what the end goal is. So you’re like, ‘I’m going to work hard because this is important.'”
Recent broadcasts have lasted about 10 hours, during which Mazeika welcomes a circle of regular guests, including Nate The Lawyer (180,000 subscribers) and Hoeg Law (60,000). It’s a bit like Court TV, but with unvarnished analysis and a barrage of user comments arriving via Super Chat, a YouTube tips feature that allows viewers to have their comments highlighted in the live stream.
When she’s finished, Mazeika reviews the day’s notes and records video on demand, sending the footage to her editor before dropping off around 3am. Fortunately, the courthouse is out of session on Fridays, she said.
But the hard work is paying off. Since she started covering the case, her channel has grown from around 40,000 subscribers to a current count of 64,000. Wednesday’s test stream reached over 11,000 concurrent viewers and racked up 158,000 total views. Their recaps reached 100,000 views.
And your earnings are growing.
Mazeika said she made about $5,000 from YouTube last week, with the biggest chunk coming from Super Chats. Insider verified her earnings with the documents she provided.
The lawtube community is growing thanks to a series of high-profile trials
Mazeika is just one creator within a burgeoning community known as the “lawtube”, made up of professional lawyers turned commentators who offer expert opinions – and subjective reflections – on the high-profile cases of the day. The genre has been overwhelmed by a number of defendants who have made headlines in recent months, including Derek Chauvin, Kyle Rittenhouse, Elizabeth Holmes, Ghislaine Maxwell and Jussie Smollett.
The Depp v. Heard marks something of an anomaly, as not only does it involve high-profile figures flaunting the gory details of a marriage gone wrong, it also allows for cameras inside the courtroom.
This is not Mazeika’s first rodeo. Her channel first saw a leap in November when she began appearing on Rittenhouse’s 24-hour trial broadcasts hosted by fellow attorney Nick Rekieta, a Minnesota attorney with 350,000 subscribers.
“We were watching live streams during Kyle Rittenhouse’s testimony, where the simultaneous audience was over 100,000 viewers,” Mazeika recalled. “It was absolutely unreal. I had to pull pictures of stadiums to see what a hundred thousand people look like.”
Across the lawtube community, there is an unspoken agreement that whoever is hosting the stream keeps all associated revenue. However, Mazeika said there is a collaborative sensitivity — and a kind of open-door policy — when it comes to inviting each other’s channels.
Still practicing law but aiming to become a full-time YouTuber
Mazeika, a self-proclaimed introvert who speaks with an airy, comforting cadence, is a bit new to YouTube. She launched her channel two years ago after being fired from the DC law firm where she worked full-time at the start of the pandemic. She continues to practice as a freelancer to supplement her income, but intends to become a full-time YouTuber.
She also earns money on subscription platforms
and locals, and sells merchandise in the spring, including T-shirts emblazoned with concise judgment quotes. Mazeika has also started diving into brand deals and is currently offering the 10% off promo code “Amber Turd” – a nod to Depp’s claim that Heard defecated in his bed – to a small company called Dragon’s Treasure. teas
Despite her legal experience, Mazeika is not impartial. She is open about being in the “Justice for Johnny” field and believes that all lawtubers inevitably view each case through their own individual lens. But she said she tries to keep an open mind.
“When you base your analysis on a factual basis, you allow yourself to change as more facts come out,” she said. “Based on what I’ve seen, this is what I’ve concluded. If I see something that makes me change my mind, I’ll let you know.”