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ABA Journal: Modern Law Library
ABA Journal: Modern Law Library
ABA Journal: Modern Law Library
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ABA Journal: Modern Law Library

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ABA Journal: Modern Law Library is a 2016 Lisagor Award-winning podcast featuring top legal authors and discussions of interesting legal theories and historical events. Join Lee Rawles each month to review a legal publication on ABA Journal: Modern Law Library.

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Sep 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...

Aug 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...

Aug 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.

Jul 27, 2022

After collaborating with bestselling author, judge discusses new solo book

An Illinois judge talks about his writing process and career and how he balances the demands of writing with his work on the bench.

Jul 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...

Jun 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...

Jun 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 25, 2022

Work for Canadian residential school survivors informs lawyer’s debut novel

A lawyer explains how her work informed the writing of her book and why many Indigenous people still feel the impact of the Canadian school system to this day.

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...

Apr 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...

Apr 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...

Mar 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,...

Mar 16, 2022

The justice system is the antagonist in retired judge’s legal thriller novel

A retired judge talks about his career and his writing process, and he offers some tips to lawyers itching to write their first book.

Feb 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.

Feb 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.

Jan 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...

Jan 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.

Dec 22, 2021

In ‘All Her Little Secrets,’ the death of an attorney’s boss could bring her secrets to light

Wanda M. Morris, author of "All Her Little Secrets", discusses her 13-year journey towards publication, tips she has for fellow lawyers who want to write books, and the motivations behind her characters'...

Dec 8, 2021

Our favorite pop culture picks in 2021

The ABA Journal team looks back at 2021 through the lens of what they read and watched, and looks forward to 2022.

Nov 24, 2021

America’s fights over medical treatment choices didn’t start with COVID-19 and Ivermectin

Lewis A. Grossman discusses the historical skepticism Americans have held towards medical authorities through the majority of the country's history and what these attitudes could mean for the country's public health.

Nov 10, 2021

Discover the man behind 12 Angry Men, and the real-life case that inspired him

Author and business professor Phil Rosenzweig discusses his book "Reginald Rose and the Journey of 12 Angry Men" about the man who brought 12 Angry Men to screen, first as a television...

Oct 20, 2021

Want to change a veteran’s life through pro bono? There’s a manual for that

Dana Montalto shares how she became involved in veterans legal services, answers some common questions lawyers have when considering pro bono work in this area, and talks about the many people and...

Oct 13, 2021

How SCOTUS enabled police abuses of civil rights–and what we can do about it

Dean Chemerinsky discusses why the Supreme Court did not address police powers during the first century of its existence; why the Warren Court was an aberration when it came to curtailing police...

Sep 22, 2021

How to market your legal services to Hispanic clients

In this episode of The Modern Law Library, author Liel Levy discusses his book Beyond Se Habla Español: How Lawyers Win the Hispanic Market.

Sep 8, 2021

A tale of love, loss and conservatorships in the Golden Age of Hollywood

Author Liz Brown discusses the tale of Harrison Post, a story that starts in the Gilded Age and moves through the Golden Age of Hollywood, a film noiresque tale of betrayal, and...

Aug 25, 2021

How LinkedIn can help lawyers develop and market their brands

Marc Halpert shares how the pandemic has made online networking more important than ever, and the most common missteps he has seen lawyers make on LinkedIn.

Aug 11, 2021

How neurodiverse lawyers can thrive in the profession–and change it for the better

Lee Rawles and Haley Moss discuss Moss's journey as a child who was non-verbal to an adult with a law degree, law firm job and numerous public-speaking engagements.

Jul 21, 2021

Can the raucous history of Chicago’s lakefront teach us how to preserve land for public use?

Joseph D. Kearney and Thomas W. Merrill discuss the shenanigans that ultimately gave the city and the state of Illinois one of its most priceless parcels of land and preserves it for...

Jul 7, 2021

Do we need to rethink how we handle classified leaks?

In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Pentagon Papers, First Amendment scholars Lee Bollinger and Geoffrey Stone discuss their book "National Security, Leaks and Freedom of the Press: The Pentagon Papers...

Jun 23, 2021

Summer reading and a book coming to the silver screen

Host Lee Rawles shares some of her favorite books she's read since this year, and we revisit our 2017 interview with David Grann in anticipation of the upcoming Scorsese film based on...

Jun 9, 2021

‘Vice Patrol’ examines how police and courts enforced anti-gay laws before Stonewall

In Vice Patrol: Cops, Courts, and the Struggle Over Urban Gay Life Before Stonewall, author Anna Lvovsky examines the way that queer communities were policed in the 1930s through the 1960s.

May 26, 2021

Little-known labor history is illuminated in union attorney’s new book

An attorney's research for a novel turned into an in-depth look at Long Island labor camps where workers lost their lives.

May 12, 2021

Are you good in a crisis? There may be a growing practice area for you

Ray Brescia and Eric K. Stern discuss their book, Crisis Lawyering: Effective Legal Advocacy in Emergency Situations, their experiences, and delve into the ethical issues the legal profession should be examining as...

Apr 21, 2021

Sen. Mazie Hirono speaks out in ‘Heart of Fire’

Sen. Mazie Hirono's journey to becoming an outspoken opponent to Trump and the GOP is shared in "Heart of Fire."

Apr 7, 2021

Increasing revenue while cutting down on billable hours? ‘AI for Lawyers’ says it’s possible

Can artificial intelligence increase firms' revenue while cutting down on billable hours? The authors of AI for Lawyers say it's possible.

Mar 24, 2021

‘Watergate Girl’ give an inside look at special prosecution team that brought down Nixon

In 'Watergate Girl,' Jill Wine-Banks battles obstruction and the era's sexism to bring Nixon and cronies to justice.

Mar 10, 2021

Interested in infectious disease litigations? Before you accept a case, read this

A different kind of wave of coronavirus cases will be coming to courts. Here's what you should know before you take a case.

Feb 17, 2021

What can Texas tell us about the rise and fall of the death penalty?

In Let The Lord Sort Them: The Rise and Fall of the Death Penalty, Maurice Chammah shares how Texas became the country's capital punishment capital.

Feb 3, 2021

Why do barristers wear wigs? ‘Dress Codes’ explores fashion and the law

The rules surrounding what we wear can be unwritten social mores or codified in law. Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History explains why.

Jan 27, 2021

How your firm can use technology to build business and keep clients

Most lawyers are cautious about change, but in The Modern Law Firm, Heinan Landa says technology adoption is key to getting and keeping clients.

Jan 13, 2021

‘White Fright’ author discusses historical lynch mobs and the attack on the Capitol

White Fright author Jane Dailey discusses what America's history with lynch mobs can teach us about the attack on the Capitol.

Dec 23, 2020

Our favorite reads from 2020

Lee Rawles speaks with editor Victor Li and reporters Lyle Moran, Amanda Robert and Stephanie Francis Ward to find out which books helped them make it through 2020–and what listeners could be...

Dec 9, 2020

Former corporate lawyer draws inspiration from her family for her tireless clemency work

Brittany Barnett shares how formative experience changed her and made her identify strongly with Sharanda Jones, an incarcerated woman Barnett met during law school.

Nov 25, 2020

Lawyer recounts the life and legacy of the mysterious man behind Pilates

John Howard Steel tells the ABA Journal's Lee Rawles about the unlikely history of Pilates–both the exercise phenomenon and the man himself.

Nov 11, 2020

Having a hard time connecting with your witness? Try these tips

Katherine James explains how she uses her theater background to advise lawyers.

Oct 21, 2020

Knowing when to tell your client ‘no,’ and other ethical dilemmas

Legal ethics experts Lawrence J. Fox and Susan R. Martyn walk through the Six C’s” of legal ethics and share their advice for what lawyers most need to keep in mind during...

Oct 7, 2020

Voting rights attorney tells a tale of dark money chicanery in ‘The Coyotes of Carthage’

Steven Wright discusses how he got into creative writing, what it's been like to teach students at the University of Wisconsin Law School remotely, and the possibility of turning The Coyotes of...

Sep 23, 2020

The case for separating Church and State

Erwin Chemerinsky and Howard Gillman are sounding a warning about the direction of SCOTUS rulings on the separation of church and state.

Sep 9, 2020

‘Demagogue’ tells the story of Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s rise and fall

Larry Tye takes an in-depth look at Joseph McCarthy's life, in his book 'Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy'.

Aug 26, 2020

6 key numbers that can diagnose the financial health of your law practice

Brooke Lively discusses her book and breaks down the 6 key numbers that will help you understand the financial health of your law practice.

Your Hosts
Lee Rawles

Lee Rawles joined the ABA Journal in 2010 as a web producer. She has also worked for...

Matt Reynolds

Matt has been a legal affairs writer at the ABA Journal since January 2020. His work has...

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