Podcast
ABA Journal: Modern Law Library
  iTunes  Google Play

ABA Journal: Modern Law Library

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.

More Episodes
Jul 5, 2017
Harper Lee Prize finalists discuss their novels, careers, and the first time they read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

An interview with 2017 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction finalists, Jodi Picoult, Graham Moore, and James Grippando.

Jun 21, 2017
How government actions, not personal choices, created segregated neighborhoods

In this podcast episode, Richard Rothstein talks about his new book, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America.

Jun 7, 2017
David Grann uncovers the deadly conspiracy behind murders of oil-rich Osage tribe members

David Grann talks about how he first learned of the murders that inspired his book "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI."

May 17, 2017
How a Chinese-American family challenged school segregation in 1920s Mississippi

Author of “Water Tossing Boulders: How a Family of Chinese Immigrants Led the First Fight to Desegregate Schools in the Jim Crow South” discusses this little known chapter of history.

May 3, 2017
The Crime of Complicity: Examining the Role of the Bystander in the Holocaust and Beyond

Amos Guiora discusses his new book, "The Crime of Complicity: The Bystander in the Holocaust" and addresses the bystander-victim relationship.

Apr 19, 2017
Are prisoners’ civil rights being needlessly violated by long-term solitary confinement?

Keramet Reiter, a University of California Irvine professor, discusses her book "23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement."

Mar 15, 2017
What can neuroscience tell us about crime?

Kevin Davis discusses his new book "The Brain Defense: Murder in Manhattan and the Dawn of Neuroscience in America's Courtrooms."

Mar 7, 2017
Al-Tounsi by Anton Piatigorsky: The U.S. Supreme Court through a Human Lens

Piatigorsky discusses the right of habeas corpus and differences between the U.S. and Canadian Supreme Courts relating to his debut novel.

Feb 1, 2017
Legal Asylum by Paul Goldstein: A Satiric Look at Legal Academia

Harper Lee Prize-winning author Paul Goldstein discusses his new novel "Legal Asylum: A Comedy."

Jan 18, 2017
Alberto Gonzales reflects back on Bush administration and gives his advice for Trump staff

The Hon. Alberto R. Gonzales, White House counsel and U.S. attorney general under President Bush, talks about his new memoir, "True Faith and Allegiance."

Dec 21, 2016
Was this lawyer-turned-WWII-spy the basis for James Bond?

Florida attorney Larry Loftis discusses his book about Dusko Popov, the "real James Bond," and what he discovered while researching this incredible character.

Nov 16, 2016
What can past presidential history teach us about today?

Talmage Boston talks about historical context when judging a president's actions and what history tells us about the future of the Trump administration.

Oct 19, 2016
John Lennon’s lawyer explains how the musician’s deportation case changed immigration law

Leon Wildes and his son Michael join the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles to discuss the legacy of the John Lennon Immigration case and the effect on their family.

Sep 21, 2016
A seismic shift in how the US wages war and what it means for the American public

Georgetown law professor Rosa Books shares the experiences she had in the U.S. government which led her to write her new book.

Aug 17, 2016
Freedom isn’t the end of the story for exonerees

Journalist Alison Flowers discusses her book and what efforts have been made to help the wrongfully convicted reconstruct lives for themselves.

Jul 13, 2016
How a 1980s lynching case helped bring down the Klan

On the morning of March 21, 1981, the body of 19-year-old Michael Donald was found hanging from a tree in Mobile, Alabama. The years that followed saw the conviction of his two killers and a civil case brought by Donald’s mother which bankrupted the largest Klan organization in the United States. In this episode of...

Jun 22, 2016
In ‘The Last Good Girl,’ Allison Leotta tackles the fraught subject of campus rape

Author Allison Leotta has used her 12-year experience as a federal sex-crimes prosecutor in Washington, D.C., to bring real-world issues into her fiction. Leotta has written five novels chronicling the adventures of her protagonist, prosecutor Anna Curtis. The most recent, The Last Good Girl, takes on the issue of campus sexual assault at a fictional private...

May 11, 2016
Before stop-and-frisk there were vagrancy laws; ‘Vagrant Nation’ explores their rise and fall

Lee Rawles speaks with Risa Goluboff about her new book, 'Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s.'

Mar 22, 2016
Prosecutor’s book offers first-hand look at ‘Making a Murderer’ subject Steven Avery

A year before Netflix’s viral hit Making of a Murderer was making headlines, Manitowoc County prosecutor Michael Griesbach released his book The Innocent Killer: A True Story of a Wrongful Conviction and its Astonishing Aftermath. Griesbach was the prosecutor who worked to free Steven Avery after DNA evidence proved he had been wrongfully convicted of a terrible assault. In this...

Dec 21, 2015
Harper Lee Prize winner tells how history and race shaped her Southern gothic novel

The Secret of Magic is a book within a book. It is both the title of Deborah Johnson’s 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction-winning novel, and (in the world of that novel) a reclusive writer’s scandalous 1920s children’s book, which dared to feature black and white playmates solving mysteries together in a magical forest. The...

Aug 26, 2015
Linda Fairstein chats about her Alex Cooper series–and reveals an exciting new project

In the hands of author Linda Fairstein, fictional sex-crimes prosecutor Alex Cooper has enjoyed a career spanning 17 books and almost two decades. Cooper’s 16th adventure, Terminal City, was selected as one of the three finalists for the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. Fairstein spoke with the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles to discuss...

Apr 30, 2015
Grammar nerds, meet your Comma Queen

Mary Norris has been a copy editor for the New Yorker since 1978. In her new book, Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, she offers clear and understandable grammar lessons for some of the most common conundrums faced by English speakers. Along the way, she also lifts the veil on the editorial...

Jan 28, 2015
Author Tells Tangled Tale of the $19B Verdict Against Chevron in ‘Law of the Jungle’

In February 2011, an Ecuadorean court found the Chevron Corporation liable for environmental damage caused by oil-drilling activities in the rainforest region El Oriente in the 1970s and 1980s. Chevron, which in 2001 purchased Texaco (the company which had actually operated the oil wells), was ordered to pay $19 billion to the class-action plaintiffs who brought...

Dec 17, 2014
All is not as it seems for 9th Circuit clerk in ATL founder’s new novel (podcast)

In this episode of the Modern Law Library, moderator Lee Rawles chats with Above the Law’s David Lat about his novel Supreme Ambitions, his career, and his time as the anonymous author of the sometimes-scandalous blog Underneath Their Robes. Read more about Lat and his book at the ABA Journal.

Sep 30, 2014
How a series of attacks by a breakaway Amish sect became a landmark hate-crimes case

The Amish religion is a branch of Christianity that adheres to a doctrine of simplicity, nonviolence and forgiveness. How then did a breakaway group come to be implicated in the first federal trial to prosecute religiously motivated hate crimes within the same faith community? From September to November in 2011, there was series of five...

Aug 28, 2014
Boies and Olson reveal the backstory of the case against California’s Proposition 8

Before their successful partnership on Hollingsworth v. Perry, the federal case that overturned California’s anti-same-sex-marriage law, the most prominent case Ted Olson and David Boies had been involved in together was Bush v. Gore. Olson, who argued on behalf of George W. Bush, prevailed over Al Gore, who was represented by Boies. But people who...

Jul 28, 2014
Growing up during BTK serial-killing spree informed author’s new crime novel (podcast)

Alafair Burke’s fascination with crime stories came far before her career as a novelist, or her work as first a prosecutor and then a law professor. “When I was growing up in Wichita, there was an active serial killer there who called himself ‘BTK,’ which stood for ‘Bind, Torture and Kill,’ which is kind of...

Jun 30, 2014
Why should 9/11 terrorism trials be held at ‘Mother Court’ in New York? Author explains (podcast)

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York goes so far back in our nation’s history that it predates the U.S. Supreme Court by several weeks, says author James D. Zirin. Established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, it is known as the “Mother Court.” The Manhattan courthouse has seen some of...

May 29, 2014
How 50 children were saved from Nazi Germany by a Philadelphia lawyer and his wife (podcast)

Gil Kraus was a Jewish business lawyer in Philadelphia. But when the head of the Jewish fraternal order Brith Sholom approached him in 1939, it wasn’t for business advice. Instead, Louis Levine had a proposition for Kraus. Brith Sholom (of which Kraus was a member) had recently built a 25-bedroom dwelling in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. It...

Apr 30, 2014
This 18th-century British judge helped SCOTUS decide the fate of Guantanamo detainees (podcast)

How did an 18th-century British judge whose advice on how to treat American revolutionaries was “if you do not kill them, they will kill you” come to be cited in more than 330 U.S. Supreme Court opinions? William Murray was born in 1705 to a Scottish family in decided disfavor with the crown due to...

Your Hosts
Lee Rawles

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

Jonathan Malysiak

Jon Malysiak is the Executive Editor of Ankerwycke. With more than 17 years of experience as an acquisitions editor,...