Lee Rawles

Lee Rawles

Host of ABA Journal: Modern Law Library

Lee Rawles joined the ABA Journal in 2010 as a web producer. She has also worked for the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal and Legacy.com. She holds an M.S. in New Media from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a B.S. in journalism from the University of Illinois.

Lee is the host of ABA Journal: Modern Law Library, the 2016 Lisagor Award winner for Best Podcast.

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Recent Episodes
June 5, 2024

‘The Originalism Trap’ author wants to see originalism dead, dead, dead

Originalism is the ascendant legal theory espoused by conservative legal thinkers, including the majority of U.S. Supreme Court justices. But far from being an objective framework for constitutional interpretation, says author and...

May 29, 2024

How to strike up conversations that build your book of business

Networking is something that comes naturally to some people. But if the idea of talking to strangers makes you break out into a cold sweat, there’s help and hope, says Deb Feder,...

May 15, 2024

When states’ rights and healthcare access clash

From COVID-19 response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the results of 50 states having individual approaches to public health, medical outcomes and healthcare access raise troubling questions. A husband-and-wife team of...

May 1, 2024

‘In the Shadow of Liberty’ shines light on American immigration history

When the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the country’s borders was announced, opposition from the public and the legal community was swift. The outcry and judicial decisions led to a...

April 10, 2024

Users keepers: Pirates, zombies and adverse possession

“Trespassing plus time equals adverse possession,” Paul Golden writes in his new book, Litigating Adverse Possession Cases: Pirates v. Zombies. When someone has occupied or used a piece of property as though they...

March 20, 2024

James Patterson dishes on his new legal thriller, ‘The #1 Lawyer’

James Patterson has written bestsellers in many genres. But as he tells the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles in this episode of The Modern Law Library, he has always been fascinated by legal...

March 6, 2024

‘When Rape Goes Viral’ looks at why cases like Steubenville happen

After cases like in Steubenville, Ohio, where the assault of an unconscious girl at a party by two boys was filmed and spread on social media, "the question gnawing at everyone, myself...

February 28, 2024

NY law prof is calling on ‘Lawyer Nation’ to reform

Ray Brescia, a law professor at Albany Law School, has taken a hard look at the country’s legal system in his new book, Lawyer Nation: The Past, Present and Future of the American...

February 14, 2024

‘Police & the Empire City’ explores race and the origins of the NYPD

In Police & the Empire City: Race & the Origins of Modern Policing, Matthew Guariglia looks at the New York City police from their founding in 1845 through the 1930s as “police transitioned...

January 31, 2024

Yale Law’s Owen Fiss talks about threats to democracy and ‘Why We Vote’

After 50 years as a professor at Yale Law School, Owen Fiss says his students are still idealistic and passionate about the rights won in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and...

January 10, 2024

Access to justice can be achieved, says ‘Law Democratized’ author–but not without change

In 2013, the ABA Journal named Renee Knake Jefferson a Legal Rebel for her work co-founding the Michigan State University’s ReInvent Law Laboratory and rethinking how legal services could be delivered to consumers. In...

December 20, 2023

How to plan your post-law life

There are lawyers who love the practice of law so much, they’ll only leave it feet first, in a box. But for those who’d prefer to exit the bar before closing time,...

December 6, 2023

Our favorite pop culture picks in 2023

It’s the time of year when The Modern Law Library hosts like to look back on the media we’ve enjoyed, our annual pop culture picks episode. This year, host Lee Rawles is...

November 22, 2023

How is the true crime genre impacting the way people think about innocence?

Human beings have told stories about violence and victims from our earliest records. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, newspapers and magazines flourished on crime coverage. Hollywood has churned out crime movies...

November 8, 2023

Law grad turns culinary passion into TikTok fame and a brand new cookbook

Like many others, Jon Kung figured law school would be a safe harbor to weather the storms of the Great Recession. But after graduating in 2011, Kung changed course, becoming established in...

October 25, 2023

How reckoning with trauma can help you, your clients and the legal profession

“You can’t think yourself out of trauma,” the introduction to Trauma-Informed Law: A Primer for Lawyer Resilience and Healing warns. “An analytical response is insufficient. As lawyers and law students, we have been trained...

October 11, 2023

Transform your negotiations with a win-win-win mindset, says author Sarah Federman

Moving from a “win-lose” mentality to a “win-win” mentality has been a central focus of the field of negotiation and conflict resolution since the 1980s, says Sarah Federman. Working to walk away...

September 27, 2023

Tales of 3 generations of Black women intertwine to form ‘Memphis’

A Tennessee lawyer shares how her lawyerly research techniques prepared her to dig into her family’s history to develop characters in her novel focused on three generations of Black women and...

September 6, 2023

Complex litigation judge has 50 ideas to simplify the courts

As both an attorney and judge, Thomas Moukawsher has spent the majority of his career dealing in complex litigation. And the Connecticut Superior Court judge would like to make the legal system—well,...

August 23, 2023

Summer reading and back-to-law-school tips

It’s time for the Modern Law Library’s summer recommendations episode, in which host Lee Rawles shares her pop culture picks with you, plus a re-airing of one of our older episodes with...

August 9, 2023

Trial lawyer’s tales include wins, losses and international intrigue

The year was 1961. Freshly minted attorney James J. Brosnahan had been on the job as a federal prosecutor in Phoenix for two days when he was handed his first trial: a...

July 26, 2023

Is family court too flawed to be fixed?

Jane M. Spinak did not set out to write a book arguing for the abolition of family court. She thought she would be making the case for a set of sensible reforms....

July 12, 2023

Didn’t get it in writing? There may still be a way, says author of ‘Litigating Constructive Trusts’

“If you don’t have it in writing, you’re out of luck.” That’s the common wisdom you’ll hear from TV judges, helpful uncles, well-meaning friends and even lawyers in your life. But while...

June 7, 2023

SCOTUS faces ‘a catastrophic loss of institutional legitimacy,’ warns author

In his new book, The Supermajority: How the Supreme Court Divided America, Michael Waldman identifies three times the U.S. Supreme Court caused a public backlash against itself—and warns the court may be well...

May 17, 2023

‘The Shadow Docket’ shines light on an increasingly uncommunicative Supreme Court

In The Shadow Docket: How the Supreme Court Uses Stealth Rulings to Amass Power and Undermine the Republic, University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck argues the U.S. Supreme Court is expanding...

May 10, 2023

End of the Cold War launched new efforts to build the rule of law

As chunks of the Berlin Wall were being torn down by jubilant crowds on November 9, 1989, James Silkenat was serving his term as chair of the ABA International Law Section. But...

April 5, 2023

‘Never Far from Home’ brings readers from NYC projects to 90s hip-hop scene to Microsoft offices

Bruce Jackson grew up shuttling between Brooklyn and Manhattan public housing projects. His journey led him to Hofstra University, then Georgetown Law. He ditched a white-shoe firm job to launch a career...

March 29, 2023

Why NYT v. Sullivan mattered in 1964 and is under attack today

The 1964 decision in New York Times v. Sullivan protected the civil rights movement, established the “actual malice” standard, and is the basis for modern American libel law. But in recent years, criticism of...

March 8, 2023

In ‘Her Honor,’ trailblazing women judges take center stage

When Lauren Stiller Rikleen was approached in 2020 by the ABA Judicial Division to help compile autobiographical stories from women judges in America, a powerful motivating factor for her was to capture...

February 22, 2023

In ‘Myth America,’ historians challenge misinformation about our past

Some American patriotic myths are harmless; George Washington may have chopped down a cherry tree at some point in his life, but the popular story told to children where young George fesses...

December 21, 2022

This lawyer tackled lifelong anxiety to free herself from ‘The Box’

Since childhood, Wendy Tamis Robbins experienced debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. Her perfectionism pushed her to achieve in sports and academics, and her high level of achievement masked her mental anguish from...

December 7, 2022

Our favorite pop culture picks in 2022

In our annual Year in Review episode, Lee Rawles speaks to her ABA Journal colleagues Blair Chavis, Julianne Hill and Stephanie Francis Ward to find out how they spent their downtime in...

November 30, 2022

Can change really come from within the system? These 13 prosecutors think so

Miriam Aroni Krinsky worked as a prosecutor in Los Angeles County in the 1980s and 1990s as the War on Drugs was waged. Mandatory minimum sentences and tough-on-crime laws sent prison populations...

November 16, 2022

‘By Hands Now Known’ shines light on cold cases of lynchings and racial violence

By Hands Now Known: Jim Crow's Legal Executioners examines how the federal government enabled the subjugation of Black Americans; the relationship between racial violence and political power; and community resistance to Jim...

October 26, 2022

How do you calculate damages in injury trials?

For any plaintiff who’s been injured or any young attorney just starting out in the field of tort law, it can be daunting to calculate what monetary damages–and nonmonetary damages like pain...

September 21, 2022

Nina Totenberg’s early life, NPR legacy and friendship with the Notorious RBG

In this special two-part episode of the Modern Law Library, the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles speaks with Lisa Napoli, author of Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding...

September 7, 2022

9th Circuit judge shines light on Justice William O. Douglas’ environmental campaigns

Justice William O. Douglas could be known for his fiery opinions, turbulent personal life and longtime presidential ambitions. But Judge M. Margaret McKeown is shining a light on his groundbreaking environmental advocacy...

August 24, 2022

Sick of meetings that go off the rails? Robert’s Rules of Order can help

It’s no secret that lawyers are asked to attend or preside over many kinds and types of meetings. From attending a professional association’s annual meeting with hundreds of fellow attorneys (as the...

August 10, 2022

Summer Pop Culture Picks and What Else We Lost When Roe was Overturned

Host Lee Rawles shares her Top Picks for Books, Movies, TV Shows and Podcasts. And a look at Roe v. Wade and its impact on the the right to privacy.

July 13, 2022

The modern US Border Patrol is a national police force with dangerous capabilities, author warns

In Nobody is Protected: How the Border Patrol Became the Most Dangerous Police Force in the United States, geographer Reece Jones argues that Supreme Court precedent, a growing workforce and mission creep...

June 29, 2022

Authors of ’50 Lessons for Happy Lawyers’ share some top tips

Even during times less tumultuous than the one we are in now, lawyers as a profession report high levels of stress. Finding the way to keep motivated and healthy on an individual...

June 8, 2022

Do you have what it takes to break into esports?

Are you a lawyer who plays League of Legends late at night? A World of Warcraft warrior who engages in courtroom combat during your daytime gig? And have you ever wished you...

May 11, 2022

Wiretapping’s origins might surprise you

On the cover of Brian Hochman’s book The Listeners: A History of Wiretapping in the United States is a martini cocktail, complete with skewered olive. Someone attempting to judge a book by...

April 20, 2022

How–and why–Kazakhstan gave up its Soviet-era nuclear weapons

During its time as a Soviet republic within the USSR, Kazakhstan was the site of massive nuclear tests, both above and below ground. The cost to the environment and health of the...

April 6, 2022

Ex-Tesla attorney leveraged her contract expertise into a book and thriving LinkedIn community

In August 2020, contract attorney Laura Frederick accepted a challenge: Post to LinkedIn once a day, every day, for a month. Frederick thought she might be able to keep up a string...

March 30, 2022

‘No Equal Justice’ shares George Crockett Jr.’s civil rights legacy

Detroit has been the site of many civil rights and labor rights battles, and many notable Black attorneys have called the city home. The first Black president of the ABA, Dennis Archer,...

February 23, 2022

Tough decision to make? Here’s how to break it down like a lawyer

Professor Kim Wehle shares a more methodical approach to avoiding kneejerk or strictly partisan decision-making.

February 9, 2022

Regulate cryptocurrencies and fintech products before it’s too late, urges author

Prof. Allen speaks about the promise and downsides of some "cutting-edge" financial products, and why innovation is not inherently good.

January 26, 2022

Need to sharpen your legal writing? 10th Circuit Court judge shares his tips

Judge Robert E Bacharach explored what the science of psycholinguistics could teach lawyers and judges about how written words persuade an audience. He shares his top takeaways and offers advice for...

January 12, 2022

Outcomes in state supreme courts aren’t as simple as Blue vs. Red

James L. Gibson and Michael J. Nelson discuss their research into the impact state supreme courts have on civil rights.