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Stephanie Francis Ward

Stephanie Francis Ward

Host of ABA Journal: Asked and Answered

Stephanie Francis Ward, a legal affairs writer, joined the ABA Journal staff in 2001. Stephanie had worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and California Law Business, a publication of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals. She earned her B.A. in journalism from California State University at Long Beach.

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Recent Episodes
October 30, 2023

So Long and Farewell: Asked and Answered’s host is stepping down

After 13 years and 170 episodes, Asked and Answered host Stephanie Francis Ward is hanging up her headphones and switching off her mic. Asked and Answered, the ABA Journal’s first and longest-running...

September 25, 2023

Interested in trying AI to write? It’s as easy as opening a document

"A founding father" of bar exam software cautions that human knowledge and judgment are needed to make sure that AI-generated writing is accurate.

August 28, 2023

Investigations of federal judges are rare and should happen more, former clerk says

Investigating federal judges falls under the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act, and it doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should, says a co-founder of the Legal Accountability Project.

July 31, 2023

First quarter of 2023 had some of highest activist shareholder activity ever, say equity investor counsel

According to two New York partners, the increase started with the #MeToo movement in 2017, when an article was published about former film producer Harvey Weinstein.

June 26, 2023

Attorney for Lawrence v. Texas reflects on LGBTQ rights on 20th anniversary

Winning a 2003 landmark U.S. Supreme Court case expanded a gay lawyer's Supreme Court practice, he says, and looking back, it's his favorite case

May 29, 2023

The NextGen bar exam includes an expansion of skills testing, so how will candidates study?

With the current exam, candidates have a 90% chance of passing, if they follow the advice of their law schools’ academic support staff.

April 24, 2023

Through overseas currency exchanges, California deputy DA helps online romance scam victims get their money back

A California prosecutor has had some success getting California scam victims’ money back by serving subpoenas on overseas currency exchanges.

March 27, 2023

Many young people arrested for Chicago carjackings have been exposed to violence daily, lawyer and pastor says

“We see ourselves as a violence prevention agency. This is core to public safety," says an attorney and pastor who founded a Christian legal center.

February 27, 2023

Family law gave this lawyer some ideas about what clients really want

Design thinking is now used to understand client concerns by a variety of industries, including the law.

January 30, 2023

After seeing attitude shifts about opiate addiction, MDL lawyer targets Facebook

In 2022, a multidistrict litigation lawyer brought a federal action against Meta Platforms Inc. alleging that the algorithms are designed to be addictive.

December 26, 2022

How do you build trust with incarcerated clients? Exonerated jailhouse lawyer has ideas

A good way for lawyers to build trust with incarcerated clients is recognizing that for some case details, clients probably have a better sense of things than the counsel.

December 14, 2022

Why this BigLaw firm recently started a legal ops division

Shearman & Sterling’s global director of legal operations discusses his group’s objectives, goals, current and future projects and uniqueness in the law firm world.

November 28, 2022

Worried about the 2023 lawyer jobs market? This legal search consultant has some tips

While 2022 was a phenomenal year for attorneys and “anyone with a pulse” and a law license could find work, 2023 might “go back to normal,” says Valerie A. Fontaine, a founding...

October 31, 2022

Stressed about holiday parties? Think about skipping them, says lawyer in recovery

As we head into the holiday season, consider what you want your celebrations to look like, rather than meeting everyone else’s expectations, says Laurie Besden, a lawyer who has been sober for...

September 26, 2022

Employment outcomes were great for 2021 law school graduates; is that a sign of caution?

Based on high employment numbers for 2007 graduates, many law schools admitted more students than they should for the following years.

August 29, 2022

Lawyer who moved from Ukraine to US now has opportunity to help others facing similar situations

An immigration attorney started doing pro bono work for Ukrainian immigrants in February, shortly after Russia invaded the country.

July 25, 2022

Following her experiences, former law clerk seeks support for the Judiciary Accountability Act

The president and co-founder of the Legal Accountability Project focuses on helping law clerks have positive experiences.

June 27, 2022

Think you won’t pass the July bar exam? So did many others, but they did, say lawyers

Even if candidates haven’t done as much studying as they should by the end June, it’s not too late.

May 30, 2022

After a not-so-great elementary school experience, teen law school grad wants career in education policy

Haley Taylor Schlitz left public school at age 10 and at age 19 may be the youngest Black person to complete a JD program.

April 25, 2022

As states consider regulation targeting transgender youths, some minds have been changed

A lawyer at the National Center for Lesbian Rights says despite several legislative obstacles, many LGBTQ clients are finding support from churches, neighbors and schools.

March 28, 2022

Want to be a successful litigator? Come to the office, say 2 BigLaw trial lawyers

"This idea that we’ll all be sitting at home practicing law, I don’t think that will work," says a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell.

February 28, 2022

The country has a long way to go with ADA compliance, say 2 civil rights lawyers

Two civil rights attorneys are featured in this new Asked and Answered podcast, which is looking at how the practice of law has changed over the years.

January 31, 2022

Control is often an issue in breakups, and COVID-19 made it worse, say 2 family law attorneys

Two family law lawyers say it’s much simpler representing clients now, thanks to virtual depositions and court hearings.

December 27, 2021

Do federal jurors still care whether a witness is caught in a lie? Not as much, say 2 veteran litigators

Two veteran litigators are featured in this month’s Asked and Answered podcast, which is looking at how litigation has changed over the years.

November 29, 2021

3 decades ago, legal headhunting required more time for fewer placements

Two female recruiters are featured in this month’s Asked and Answered podcast, which is looking at how legal recruiting has changed over the years, including an incredibly hot job market for 2021.

October 25, 2021

When most of law school faculty were straight white men, how did those who were not bring change?

This month’s Asked and Answered podcast looks at how work environments have changed for female law school faculty.

September 27, 2021

How has practicing in the Supreme Court changed throughout the years?

This month’s Asked and Answered podcast is looking at how advocacy has changed in the country’s highest court. It’s part of a special series on how lawyers’ work has changed over the...

August 30, 2021

Following a viral video, Harvard Law School student finds ways to connect remotely

A Harvard Law School student has been connecting with classmates and professors remotely over the past year.

July 26, 2021

For this lawyer, becoming more flexible was a benefit of the pandemic

Lawyer Patrick Krill learned to be more flexible during the pandemic, with inspiration from "Be Water," an ESPN documentary about martial artist and actor Bruce Lee.

June 28, 2021

Saying yes has been part of this law school dean’s strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic

Law dean Hari Osofsky wonders whether some aspects of the pandemic might stay with legal education, which she has thought was on the brink of significant change even before the pandemic.

June 1, 2021

A year after his COVID-19 recovery, Above the Law founder David Lat makes some big changes

Lawyer and author David Lat thinks remote working for lawyers is here for the foreseeable future, and that’s just one of the many significant changes that he sees the pandemic bringing to...

April 26, 2021

The pandemic brought this lawyer to legal commentary, and the work includes sponsorship deals

Lawyer and influencer Emily D. Baker thinks YouTube is a great place to teach people how the law works.

March 29, 2021

The pandemic has not slowed down Howard Bashman of How Appealing

Howard Bashman of How Appealing discusses blogging during COVID-19 and how appellate work in Pennsylvania has changed in the pandemic.

February 22, 2021

Public defender with Patreon for FOIA lawsuits shares her thoughts on lawyers and social media

Lawyer Beth Bourdon is willing to go places where other attorneys may be hesitant, including this summer when she joined Parler.

January 25, 2021

Law prof focuses on positives from the COVID-19 pandemic

A Colorado law professor recently discussed how he incorporates mindfulness in his life and finding “pandemic positives” with ABA Journal Senior Writer Stephanie Francis Ward.

December 28, 2020

What it’s like to argue before the Supreme Court during COVID-19

SCOTUS lawyer Jeffrey L. Fisher breaks down how he had to adapt during the coronavirus crisis for three recent Supreme Court cases that he argued.

November 30, 2020

Law prof finds ways to connect remotely amid historic election and COVID-19 restrictions

Law professor April Dawson talks to Senior Writer Stephanie Francis Ward about finding creative ways to use technology in the classroom, even before the pandemic.

October 26, 2020

How to maximize your business development during the COVID-19 crisis

Karen Kaplowitz talks with the ABA Journal's Stephanie Francis Ward about how many people are discovering the benefits of long-term telecommuting and why they may continue to support the work schedules after...

September 28, 2020

How is the lawyer known as ‘Popehat’ on Twitter keeping busy during the pandemic?

Kenneth White, a former assistant U.S. attorney known as "Popehat" on Twitter, spoke with ABA Journal Senior Writer Stephanie Francis Ward about what he's been up to during the COVID-19 crisis.

August 31, 2020

This law prof has been fighting off Twitter trolls during the coronavirus crisis

Veena Dubal tells listeners about her experience with online trolls during the pandemic and how she deals with them.

July 27, 2020

2020 Harvard Law grad postpones bar exam and her wedding plans because of COVID-19

Molly Coleman updates listeners on the latest going on in her life: moving back to her home, her decision to forgo the bar exam this year and postponing her wedding to 2021.

June 29, 2020

COVID-19 hasn’t stopped this lawyer from advocating for wellness and recovery

Brian Cuban chats about how he’s been focusing on what he can control during the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than what he can’t, and what he misses the most.

May 26, 2020

Can cyborg lawyers convince their clients to listen?

Colin Rule, Warren Agin, Sherrill Ellsworth, and Joshua Browder talk about how their apps are working to help detect and block sarcasm in texts between parents fighting with each other.

April 27, 2020

Trials and tiaras: How do pageant winners fare as lawyers?

Ashley Halfman, Teresa Scanlan and Bill Alverson talk about the similarities between the pageant circuit, law school and the practice of law with pageant winners or working as a pageant coach.

March 30, 2020

How to practice law remotely and efficiently during the COVID-19 crisis

Shauna Barnes share information with lawyers about how they can adjust to the world’s current situation—such as having to work from home, whether they want to or not.

February 24, 2020

Why did a Georgia city prohibit tattoos on Sundays?

Stephanie Francis Ward explores people’s changing views of laws inspired by Christian outlooks and whether it’s worth changing those laws, even if they are rarely if ever enforced.

January 27, 2020

Getting real: What happens when clients go on reality TV

Stephanie Francis Ward, host of Asked and Answered, speaks with three lawyers, Dustin Sullivan, Michael Beck and Jerry Buting, who are all involved in the world of reality television.

December 30, 2019

The financial costs for firms when women and minority lawyers leave

Ripa Rashid talks with Senior Writer Stephanie Francis Ward about how can firms keep female and minority lawyers from leaving their firms and the high cost for said firms when they depart.

November 25, 2019

Introverted lawyer offers tips for office holiday parties

Heidi Brown talks about how to navigate the office holiday party and still appear to be having fun and how to come out of your shell when you'd rather be alone.

October 28, 2019

What seasoned and new lawyers can learn from each other

Karen Kaplowitz talks about how newer and older lawyers can work together and discover unique business development opportunities, while also having more a diverse legal teams, and finding better ways to use...