144 episodes

Law is alive. It doesn’t live in books and words. It thrives in how well we understand and apply it to everyday life.

We ask questions, find answers, and publish what we discover in feature episodes and live storytelling.

Life of the Law Nancy Mullane / Panoply

    • News

Law is alive. It doesn’t live in books and words. It thrives in how well we understand and apply it to everyday life.

We ask questions, find answers, and publish what we discover in feature episodes and live storytelling.

    139: Release Day [Rebroadcast] & Special Announcement

    139: Release Day [Rebroadcast] & Special Announcement

    It's official, and it's one more amazing step into the future at Life of the Law: we have a new Executive Director. Six years after Nancy Mullane, Tom Hilbink and Shannon Heffernan launched the first episode of Life of the Law, with stories about jury nullification and jailhouse lawyers, we welcome a new fearless leader. Tony Gannon, whom you have come to know as our talented behind-the-scenes Senior Producer brings his vision and exciting energy to LOTL as our new Executive Director.  This change will allow Nancy Mullane to focus on reporting, which, as many of you know, is what Nancy lives to do!
    To celebrate this moment for Tony and Nancy, we have chosen to publish one of Nancy's stories from our archives... "Release Day." In 1994, California voters passed thethree strikes lawwhich required anyone with two felony convictions to receive a sentence of 25 years to life for committing their third felony. Between the mid-1970s and 2006, the three strikes law and other harsh sentencing guidelines increased California's prison population by 750 percent.
    On November 6, 2012, Californians voted to change the three strikes law. That measure, known as Proposition 36 eliminated life sentences for non-violent crimes and allowed some of the prisoners sentenced under the three strikes law to petition for release for time served.
    Curtis Penn is one of those prisoners. Life of the Law executive producer Nancy Mullane chronicles the day Curtis was released from prison.
    Produced by: Nancy Mullane, Kaitlin Prest, Alisa Roth, Shannon Heffernan, Jillian Weinberger & Katie BarnettEdited by: Julia Barton
    Music by: Kyle Kaplin, Matthew Dahar and Todd MacDonald
    Special Thanks: Tom Hilbink
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    • 20 min
    138: Call NOW! [Rebroadcast]

    138: Call NOW! [Rebroadcast]

    When things go bad all you need to do is pick up the phone and CALL. Since the US Supreme Court allowed lawyers to advertise in the 1970s, practices like these have skyrocketed, with often shoddily-produced results. Are tacky lawyer ads trashing the profession or simply making it more easily accessible to those who might not otherwise know who to call when they need an attorney?
    We are rebroadcasting a long-time favorite episode from our archive as we slow down for the summer. We aim to publish some classic episodes until we return in the fall. Please do not hesitate to reach out in the meantime with suggestions or comments!Below please find producer Sean Cole's original write-up for Call NOW!
    I have always been so impressed by lawyer commercials on TV, and by impressed I mean…totally confused. I’m always like, “Who told you that disaster footage or wooden readings from cue cards or your cousin wearing a judge’s robe would be a great way to represent your law practice?” But then I stumbled into the engine room of lawyer advertising regulation. And learned about the silent era before these ads were even allowed. And the Big Bang after which they couldn’t be contained. And the subtle, possibly endless civil war in Lawyer Nation over how and even whether attorneys should advertise their services—whether lawyers have doomed themselves as a profession with all these swiveling gavels and toll-free numbers, or whether they’re reaching the aggrieved, attorney-less masses while exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech.
    If you want to know more, click on the audio above. Hammers await you. Flaming cars and talking cars and possibly aliens await you. Seriously, do not delay: CLICK NOW.
     
    To donate, visit our website www.lifeofthelaw.org
    Send an email connect@lifeofthelaw.orgProduction Credits:

    Reporter/Producer: Sean Cole
    Producer: Kaitlin Prest
    Music: Kyle Kaplan, Todd MacDonald, Matthew Darr
    Additional Production: Shannon Heffernan, Ashleyanne Krigbaum
    Additional Music - Andrea Hendrickson
    Social Media Editor - Rachael Cain
    Executive Producer - Nancy Mullane
    Executive Director - Tony Gannon
    We are a non-profit project of the Tides Center and we’re part of the Panoply Network of Podcasts from Slate. You can also find Life of the Law on PRX, Public Radio Exchange.

    © Copyright 2018 Life of the Law. All rights reserved.
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    • 24 min
    137: Law and Society Association Conference Highlights

    137: Law and Society Association Conference Highlights

    Where does one find a discussion of research on abduction for forced marriage amidst West and Central African conflicts? Where does one find research on how ‘yes means yes’ policies on university campuses have affected the college students intended to follow these new rules of consent? What about a conversation on the various strains of conservative thought?
    The Law and Society Association’s annual conference just came to an end, and we were happy to find the scholars and researchers engaging these questions and more. For the first time, Life of the Law set up a listening station where attendees could interface with the production team, listen to previous podcast episodes and engage in impromptu conversation.
    Life of the Law also co-presented the panel Building Partnerships, which was a discussion on the year-long process of producing our four-part Uganda series. The series was an international collaboration of journalists, researchers and legal scholars that worked together across time zones in order to tell the stories of people once held in captivity.
    Life of the Law facilitated two panels where attendees pitched potential ideas for stories based on their own work. We are grateful to everyone who stopped by our listening station to contribute ideas, make suggestions, listen to our podcast and even agree to impromptu interviews. The exchange of information that was based on years of research by LSA scholars, advocates, attorneys, sociologists and political scientists made for an incredible conference.
    For our next episode, we also had the opportunity to speak with former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas Wallace B. Jefferson and Professor of Law at the University of Houston Renee Knake.
    To donate, visit our website www.lifeofthelaw.org
    Send an email  connect@lifeofthelaw.org
    Production Credits:

    Executive Producer - Nancy Mullane
    Sr. Producer - Tony Gannon
    Associate Producer - Andrea Hendrickson
    Social Media Editor - Rachael Cain
    We are a non-profit project of the Tides Center and we’re part of the Panoply Network of Podcasts from Slate. You can also find Life of the Law on PRX, Public Radio Exchange.

    © Copyright 2018 Life of the Law. All rights reserved.
     
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    • 9 min
    136: New Voices Series - Law Students Take on Immigration

    136: New Voices Series - Law Students Take on Immigration

    Immigration law is a mystery. Unless you’re an immigrant seeking relief under the law, or you’re an immigration law attorney, it’s an unknown. Then, earlier this year, Karla McKanders, a professor of immigration law at Vanderbilt Law School sent us an email. Her law students were producing their final reports on immigration and refugee law as audio stories, and would Life of the Law be interested in listening to, and possibly publishing their work as part of our New Voices series? Absolutely. Tony Gannon, our senior producer and I met with the class for a conference call workshop but they were well on their way to building their stories.
    Today, Life of the Law presents three of the stories produced by the students in Professor McKanders' immigration law class at Vanderbilt University Law School. A note - they were not asked to approach the project as journalists, but as law students, so some of their stories include their perspectives on immigration and refugee law.
    Many refugees leave their home country because of a well-founded fear they will be persecuted if they remain. As Joshua Minchin reports, how “well-founded fear” is defined and interpreted can make a profound difference for individuals seeking refuge in the United States. Our first story is Well Founded Fearby Joshua Minchin.

    So if a refugee appears in a US Immigration court with a claim of well founded fear, will they receive a fair neutral hearing by the court, or do judges bring their own bias to the bench in asylum hearings? Our second story is Wrong Judge, at the Wrong Time by Simina Grecu.

    Our final story… is from Rachael Pikulski. The US places an important role in helping refugees throughout the world by providing funding to the United Nations. But this year, the Trump Administration cut funding to the UN agency that provides services to refugees. Rachael Pikulski took a look at the impact of these cuts on one group of refugees, Palestinians.
    Production Credits:

    This episode of Life of the Law was produced by Joshua Minchin, Simina Grecu and Rachael Pikulski, students in Professor Karla McKanders' Immigration Law Class at Vanderbilt Law School. It was edited by Life of the Law’s Senior Producer, Tony Gannon and Associate Producer, Andrea Hendrickson, who also composed the music. Additional music by Alex Blank. Our Social Media Editor is Rachael Cain.
    We are a non-profit project of the Tides Center and we’re part of the Panoply Network of Podcasts from Slate. You can also find Life of the Law on PRX, Public Radio Exchange.

    © Copyright 2018 Life of the Law. All rights reserved.
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    • 34 min
    135: In-Studio: Peril and Promise of Genetic Testing

    135: In-Studio: Peril and Promise of Genetic Testing

    How curious are you about your genetic makeup? There are hundreds of companies that provide direct-to-consumer tests that promise  your genealogy, deep ancestry and biogeographical ancestry. Other tests offer genetic information about your health and traits, with some promising your whole genome sequencing. But when you get the results, do you really know what you have? And do you know, without a doubt, who ultimately has access to your genetic information?
    This week, our team meets up in the studios of KQED in San Francisco to see if we can sort out the answers to the question - genetic testing - promise or peril?
    Join Life of the Law's team Osagie Obasogie, Tony Gannon, Nancy Mullane and guest, Lea Witkowsky who joined the Innovative Genomics Institute as a science policy analyst to look at the regulatory landscape as it relates to new genetic engineering technologies and the role of public perception in biotechnology development and adoption.
    Production Credits:

    This episode of Life of the Law was edited and produced by Nancy Mullane, Tony Gannon and Andrea Hendrickson. Our in-studio engineer was Katie McMurran. Our Social Media Editor is Rachael Cain.
    Thanks to our In-Studio team Lea Witkowsky, Policy Analyst with the Innovative Genomics Institute; Osagie Obasogie, Professor at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health; and Life of the Law's Associate Producer, Andrea Hendrickson.
    We’re a non-profit project of the Tides Center and we’re part of the Panoply Network of Podcasts from Slate. You can also find Life of the Law on PRX, Public Radio Exchange.

    Special thanks to The Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, and Marcy Darnovsky and Osagie Obasogie at The Center for Genetics and Society.

    © Copyright 2018 Life of the Law. All rights reserved.
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    • 43 min
    134: GATTACA REVISITED - Up the Borrowed Ladder

    134: GATTACA REVISITED - Up the Borrowed Ladder

    Some two decades ago, filmmaker Andrew Nicols wrote and directed GATTACA a sci-fi movie that presented a future in which individuals and society were at risk from having gained access to, and control of, our genetic code.
    Today, 20 years after the movie's initial release, that future fiction, once considered distant and impossible, is, in many ways, now. More than 500 laboratories offer 2,000 genetic tests. Once limited to medical professionals, the FDA has approved direct-to-consumer genetic tests that can test for 5,000 variants. Instead of looking at simple chromosomes, we can pay for the sequencing almost all of our genetic material.
    For some parents-to-be, prenatal genetic screening allows couples to decide whether to complete a pregnancy to term, or with preimplantation genetic diagnosis, allows them to allows couples to decide whether to have an embryo found to have "disorders and mutations" implanted at all.
    Are we paying attention to the ways this information is, and could, alter the human race in ways once thought only possible in sci-fi novels and movies like GATTACA? While the general consensus in the scientific community seems to be to steer clear of research that affects hereditary genetic traits, the push to test that boundary seems inevitable.
    To consider these questions in 2018, The Center for Genetics and Society and the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society presented two screenings of GATTACA followed by panel discussions with the audiences in the Bay Area.
    This episode of Life of the Law was produced by Senior Producer, Tony Gannon and Associate Producer Andrea Hendrickson. Nancy Mullane is our Executive Producer. Our Social Media Editor is Rachael Cain. We sampled audio clips from the film GATTACA. All other music was composed by Andrea Hendrickson. Katie Murphy audio described portions of the film.
    We’re a non-profit project of the Tides Center and we’re part of the Panoply Network of Podcasts from Slate. You can also find Life of the Law on PRX, Public Radio Exchange.
    © Copyright 2018 Life of the Law. All rights reserved.
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    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

sllimaraik ,

Stop reposting the same episodes

It’s a podcast feed; you can scroll to old episodes. No need to repost the same episodes several times

Supercube 3000 ,

Why only about prisons?

This podcast's early episodes were wonderfully produced with interesting, unique perspectives on how the law functioned for everyone (not just criminals). Now, though, every episode seems to be related to criminals or wrongfully convicted people.

But criminal law isn't all that exists in the world, and I wish LotL would go back to what it talked about before—how the law affects *everyone* and not just people in prisons.

Every episode is about prison life! Mix it up a little bit. Remember that episode about the Supreme Court justices riding their appellate circuits? Why can you do that again?

b1b4ur1 ,

Love it! Love it!

Five stars all the way. This podcast is eye-opening & often distrubing and essential for those reasons. We cannot close our eyes to injustice. I've enjoyed each episode immensely, but particular favorites include Radio Silenced (and the in-studio for that episode), Death on a Dairy, Bail or Bust, and the unforgettable Life as Lady J.

My only complaint is having to wait so long for each new episode.

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