ABA Journal

The Modern Law Library

‘The Lawyer Millionaire’ author shares the 7 biggest money mistakes lawyers can make

Finances are a fraught area for many attorneys. Despite a high earning potential, new lawyers often start out with a financial disadvantage because of the opportunity cost of the years devoted to school and bar prep, coupled with high student loans.

‘The Originalism Trap’ author wants to see originalism dead, dead, dead

Originalism is the ascendant legal theory espoused by conservative legal thinkers, including the majority of U.S. Supreme Court justices. But far from being an objective framework for constitutional interpretation, says author and attorney Madiba K. Dennie, its true purpose is to achieve conservative political aims regardless of the historical record.

How to strike up conversations that build your book of business

Networking is something that comes naturally to some people. But if the idea of talking to strangers makes you break out into a cold sweat, there's help and hope, says Deb Feder, author of the book After Hello: How to Build a Book of Business, One Conversation at a Time.

When states’ rights and health care access clash

From the COVID-19 response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the results of 50 states having individual approaches to public health, medical outcomes and health care access raise troubling questions. A husband-and-wife team of University of Utah professors dig into the ethics of the American health care system in States of Health: The Ethics and Consequences of Policy Variation in a Federal System.

‘In the Shadow of Liberty’ shines light on American immigration history

When the Trump administration's policy of separating families at the country's borders was announced, opposition from the public and the legal community was swift. The outcry and judicial decisions led to a reversal of the administration's stated policy. But detention and family separation have a long history in this country, history professor Ana Raquel Minian says.

Users Keepers: Pirates, zombies and adverse possession

"Trespassing plus time equals adverse possession," Paul Golden writes in his new book, Litigating Adverse Possession Cases: Pirates v. Zombies. When someone has occupied or used a piece of property as though they own it for long enough, a court could determine that they are the rightful owner—regardless of what the paperwork says. It's a concept more popularly discussed as squatter's rights.

James Patterson dishes on his new legal thriller, ‘The #1 Lawyer’

James Patterson has written bestsellers in many genres. But as he tells the ABA Journal's Lee Rawles in this episode of The Modern Law Library podcast, he has always been fascinated by legal thrillers, courtroom dramas and crime novels. He even considered becoming a lawyer—before his literary career took off.

‘When Rape Goes Viral’ looks at why cases like Steubenville happen

Three high-profile cases of sexual assault in 2012 followed a basic pattern: A teenage girl was sexually assaulted at a house party by one or more teenage boys while she was incapacitated by alcohol. The attacks were recorded, and the photos, videos and stories were shared on social media or via texts. The photos and videos were used to ridicule the victims among their peers. Those texts and posts later became evidence in criminal cases.

NY law prof is calling on ‘Lawyer Nation’ to reform

Ray Brescia, a law professor at Albany Law School in New York, has taken a hard look at the country's legal system in his new book, Lawyer Nation: The Past, Present, and Future of the American Legal Profession.

‘Police & the Empire City’ explores race and the origins of the NYPD

In Police & the Empire City: Race & the Origins of Modern Policing in New York, Matthew Guariglia looks at the New York City police from their founding in 1845 through the 1930s as "police transitioned from a more informal collection of pugilists clad in wool coats to what we can recognize today as a modern professionalized police department."

Yale Law’s Owen Fiss talks about threats to democracy and ‘Why We Vote’

After 50 years as a professor at Yale Law School, Owen Fiss says his students are still idealistic and passionate about the rights won in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Access to justice can be achieved, says ‘Law Democratized’ author—but not without change

In 2013, the ABA Journal named Renee Knake Jefferson a Legal Rebel for her work co-founding the Michigan State University's ReInvent Law Laboratory and rethinking how legal services could be delivered to consumers. In 2024, she's looking back at more than a decade of research and experimental programs aimed at improving access to justice—the successes and the failures.

How to plan your post-law life

There are lawyers who love the practice of law so much that they'll only leave it feet first—and in a box. But for those who'd prefer to exit the bar before closing time, Kevin McGoff has advice on planning that next chapter.

Our favorite pop culture picks in 2023

It's the time of year when The Modern Law Library hosts like to look back on the media that we've enjoyed: our annual pop culture picks episode. This year, host Lee Rawles is joined by three ABA Journal reporters: Julianne Hill, Amanda Robert and the Journal's newest employee, Anna Stolley Persky.

How is the true-crime genre impacting the way people think about innocence?

Human beings have told stories about violence and victims from our earliest records. In the 19th and 20th centuries, newspapers and magazines flourished on crime coverage. Hollywood has churned out crime movies and TV shows, based in fiction and nonfiction.

Law grad turns culinary passion into TikTok fame and a brand-new cookbook

Like many others, Jon Kung figured that law school would be a safe harbor to weather the storms of the Great Recession. But after emerging from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2011, Kung changed course.

How reckoning with trauma can help you, your clients and the legal profession

"You can't think yourself out of trauma," the introduction to Trauma-Informed Law: A Primer for Lawyer Resilience and Healing warns. "An analytical response is insufficient. As lawyers and law students, we have been trained to learn only with our minds. But there are other epistemologies—other ways of knowing and interacting with the world."

Transform your negotiations with a ‘win-win-win’ mindset, says author

Moving from a "win-lose" mentality to a "win-win" mentality has been a central focus of the field of negotiation and conflict resolution since the 1980s, says Sarah Federman. Working to walk away with a deal that pleases both sides was a huge departure from the idea that one side of a transaction will necessarily lose.

Tales of 3 generations of Black women intertwine to form ‘Memphis’

Admittedly, Tara M. Stringfellow became an attorney simply because her first book of poetry didn’t sell and she needed an income. But after a few years at Crown Castle in Chicago doing family and real estate law, she left, heading straight to the Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing at Northwestern University to get back into the writing game—this time with a lawyer’s sharpened pencil.

Complex litigation judge has 50 ideas to simplify the courts

As both an attorney and a judge, Thomas Moukawsher has spent the majority of his career dealing in complex litigation. And the Connecticut Superior Court judge would like to make the legal system, well, less complex.

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