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Whose Law Is It Anyway?

Whose Law Is It Anyway?

By American Bar Foundation

Whose Law Is It Anyway? explores social issues and legal challenges through conversations with the American Bar Foundation’s award-winning community of researchers and practitioners. Join Matthew Martinez Hannon, the ABF’s temp-turned-staff member-turned-podcaster, as he goes beyond the headlines and into our classrooms, courtrooms, and homes to learn how sociolegal research matters in everyday life.

Note: The American Bar Foundation is an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit research institute. Any of the viewpoints expressed during the podcasts are those of the guests, not the ABF.
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Raising the Bar on Diversity

Whose Law Is It Anyway?

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Season One Finale: When Law Meets Society
Season One Finale: When Law Meets Society
What sets the ABF apart in the world of sociolegal research? Seventy years after its inception, how can we continue to ensure that the ABF’s research impacts the world for the better? In EPISODE 8 we're taking a look back at our inaugural season with finale host Devin Johnson and ABF Executive Director Ajay Mehrotra! Join Devin and Ajay as they revisit some of your favorite moments, reflect on the biggest topics and discuss the ABFs past and future role in the world of innovative, interdisciplinary, and empirical sociological research.
34:12
March 23, 2022
Rule of Law: World Tour
Rule of Law: World Tour
In this episode, we’re covering the rule of law and exploring its relationship with legal professionals and the public around the world. What is the rule of law, and how does it relate to legal freedoms? What role do judges and lawyers have in upholding and defending these legal freedoms? And how are countries held accountable when these freedoms are violated? To answer these questions and cover this extremely relevant topic, we’ll speak with ABF Research Professor Terence Halliday and National Judicial College President Benes Z. Aldana.
48:06
December 21, 2021
Courting Civil Rights
Courting Civil Rights
Established by Article Three of the United States Constitution, the Supreme Court began to take shape with the passage of the Judiciary Act of 1789, which specified that the court would be made up of six justices who would serve on the court until they died or retired. Congress altered the number of Supreme Court seats multiple times before settling on its current standard, nine justices, in 1869. As the Court changed in size and scope, its decisions played a key role in defining America’s ever-evolving views surrounding the civil rights of its people. In this episode, we’ll be discussing the United States Supreme Court and the pursuit of civil rights. What is the Supreme Court’s purpose? How has it evolved over time? And is the Court an effective tool for moving civil rights forward? To get a better handle on these huge subjects, Matthew speaks with Christopher Schmidt, ABF Research Professor, Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law, and Co-Director of the Law Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States; and Paul Smith, ABF Life Fellow, Professor from Practice at Georgetown Law, and Vice President for Litigation and Strategy at the Campaign Legal Center.
01:03:46
November 03, 2021
Raising the Bar on Diversity
Raising the Bar on Diversity
Despite the increased emphasis on diversity and inclusion within the legal field over the past several years, the legal profession remains one of the least diverse professions in the U.S. According to the American Bar Association’s National Lawyer Population Survey, the past decade has seen little to no growth among people of color in the law. This lack of diversity matters within the legal profession – not just for lawyers, but more importantly for the people who seek legal remedies for their justice problems. What do diversity, equity, and inclusion look like in legal academia and the legal profession? How do individual challenges for underrepresented lawyers affect the law more broadly? And how has the pandemic shaped experiences for women and women of color in the legal profession? To answer these questions, Matthew sits down with Meera E. Deo, recent ABF Neukom Fellows Research Chair to explore how race and gender impact experiences for legal academics and legal education. Then, he speaks with Jamila M. Hall, ABF Fellow and Partner at Jones Day about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the law and how individual challenges for underrepresented lawyers affect the law more broadly.
01:04:37
September 28, 2021
The Health Equity Variant
The Health Equity Variant
The COVID-19 pandemic is an unusual and extraordinary global medical emergency that is overwhelming healthcare systems, shaping economies, and changing lives. While the pandemic effects are global, it has been particularly devastating to vulnerable and marginalized communities. How did the pandemic impact international health governance and health equity around the world? Was the vaccine rolled out equitably? And, looking beyond COVID, how can we reduce health disparities in the future? First, Matthew speaks with ABF Research Professor Carol Heimer about how international health law confronts and contends with public health issues. Then, he interviews Reuben Moore and ABF Fellow Miguel Alexander Pozo, executive leaders for Minnesota Community Care, about the impact of COVID-19 in the United States and how we might improve domestic health equity. Read the full episode transcription: http://www.americanbarfoundation.org/uploads/cms/documents/podcast_4_transcript.pdf
58:60
August 16, 2021
Yes, No, and #MeToo
Yes, No, and #MeToo
The issue of consent to sex has been making headlines in recent years. Whether it’s the #MeToo movement, discourse about rape culture, or simply more open discussions of sexual assault and violence, our evolving understanding of consent has recently been at the forefront of public debate. But how does the law define and regulate consent? How do institutions such as colleges and universities handle training around consent? And how do these institutions handle rape and sexual assault allegations? In this episode, Matthew Martinez Hannon interviews ABF Research Professor Laura Beth Nielsen about her research studying consent to sex on college campuses. Then, Matthew speaks to UMass Law Professor and ABF Fellow Margaret Drew, who will discuss her focus on domestic violence as a practicing lawyer and in academia. Finally, Matthew interviews Kristina Fluty, Assistant Professor at the Theater School at DePaul University, who also works as an Intimacy Director. All of the guests will touch upon how attitudes toward consent have evolved in recent years, how institutions create rules and handle training around consent, and how laws and regulations respond when consent is violated. Read the full episode transcription: http://www.americanbarfoundation.org/uploads/cms/documents/episode_3_transcription.pdf Additional Resources: · Know Your IX website: https://www.knowyourix.org/ · End Rape on Campus: https://endrapeoncampus.squarespace.com/ · Planned Parenthood Consent and FRIES: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/relationships/sexual-consent
01:03:45
June 21, 2021
Rent (Reform) Is Due
Rent (Reform) Is Due
The United States is facing an affordable housing crisis. Although the past decade has seen a growth in the number of renters in the United States, this growth has been marked by persistent affordability challenges. Rents have dramatically outpaced wage increases, leading to more and more cost-burdened households. And, most recently, COVID-19 has exposed the limited legal protections available for renters. In this episode, host Matthew Martinez Hannon interviews ABF Research Professor Anna Reosti about her sociolegal research examining the consequences of modern background screening practices for rental housing access. Then, Matthew is joined by Jennifer Litwak, Executive Director of Housing on Merit, a nonprofit organization with the mission to create a bridge to permanent affordable housing for vulnerable populations. Both Anna and Jennifer speak about what access to affordable housing looks like across the country, the obstacles facing low-income renters, and how the pandemic is impacting the way people rent. Read the full episode transcription: http://www.americanbarfoundation.org/uploads/cms/documents/episode_2_transcription.pdf  Additional Resources: Read “The Costs of Seeking Shelter for Renters With Discrediting Background Records” by Anna Reosti: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/15356841211012483?journalCode=ctya  Visit Housing On Merit at housingonmerit.org Visit the Housing Innovation Collaborative: housinginnovation.co
01:22:33
May 25, 2021
...And Justice for All
...And Justice for All
Access to justice is experiencing a crisis in the United States. Every day, millions of people contend with justice problems that can lead to devastating results such as bankruptcy, poverty, and homelessness. Yet, effective legal assistance remains out of reach for many Americans. How can lawyers help ordinary people get the affordable legal support they need? And how will the COVID-19 pandemic compound these problems? Host Matthew Martinez Hannon interviews sociologist and ABF Faculty Fellow Rebecca Sandefur to discuss her work studying how average Americans view and grapple with their justice problems. Then, Washington-based lawyer and ABF Life Fellow Salvador Mungia discusses his access-to-justice work and the lessons learned from Washington state. Full episode transcription: http://www.americanbarfoundation.org/uploads/cms/documents/full_episode_transcription.pdf 
01:10:46
April 26, 2021