ABA Journal

The Modern Law Library


Nina Totenberg’s early life, NPR legacy and friendship with the Notorious RBG

In this special two-part episode of the Modern Law Library, Lee Rawles speaks with Lisa Napoli, author of Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR, and we hear from Nina Totenberg about her new book, Dinners With Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships.

9th Circuit judge shines light on Justice William O. Douglas’ environmental campaigns

U.S. Supreme Court 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…

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 ABA just had in August) to being asked to chair a nonprofit board or preside at a homeowners association meeting, lawyers are often looked to for guidance.

Summer pop culture picks and what else we lost when Roe was overturned

It's time for the Modern Law Library's summer recommendations episode, in which host Lee Rawles shares her pop culture picks with you, plus a re-airing of one of our older episodes that has become relevant again.

After collaborating with bestselling author, judge discusses new solo book

After several collaborations with bestselling author James Patterson, Judge David Ellis of Illinois, a prolific novelist, decided to go it alone for his latest book, Look Closer.

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 have made the U.S. Border Patrol a national police force that operates without appropriate accountability.

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 level while fighting systemic problems is no easy task. It was this challenge that lawyers Nora Riva Bergman and Chelsy A. Castro set out to address in their new book, 50 Lessons for Happy Lawyers.

Do you have what it takes to make esports your practice niche?

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 could break into esports on a professional level—whether you're armed with a game controller or a briefcase?

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

As a lawyer, Michelle Good spent years investigating the trauma that Canada’s residential school system inflicted on Indigenous people. As an author, it took her nine years to write her first novel about the lives of five teenagers who leave a church-run school and coalesce in Eastside Vancouver, British Columbia. For Good, it was imperative that she took her time to get the story right. Her patience paid off.

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 a skewered olive. Someone attempting to judge a book by its cover may think this is a riff on James Bond and his brethren in espionage. But international espionage is not the primary use of wiretapping in the United States; it's been a longer, stranger tale than that.

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 Kazakh people and livestock was likewise massive, though the full scale of the effects was understudied and suppressed for decades. Through massive public protests in the 1980s, nuclear-weapons testing in the Semipalatinsk region of Kazakhstan was brought to a halt.

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 per day, every day, for a month. Frederick thought that she might be able to keep up a string of several days in a row. Instead, her daily posts became a way to connect with colleagues, build business, create a brand identity, and have a social lifeline during the isolation of the pandemic. A selection of those posts also found its way into her self-published book, Practical Tips on How To Contract: Techniques and Tactics From an Ex-BigLaw and Ex-Tesla Commercial Contracts Lawyer.

‘No Equal Justice’ shares Detroit lawyer’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, came from the Detroit legal community, as does the current ABA president, Reginald Turner. But the full story of one of the city's pioneering legal figures has not been told—until now.

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

Retired judge and bestselling novelist Martin Clark had to deal with his fair share of rejection before he finally broke in more than two decades ago with his debut novel, The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living.

Tough decision to make? Here’s how to break it down like a lawyer

Law professor Kim Wehle is used to helping her students begin to think like lawyers. But the methodology behind making tough decisions as a legal professional can also benefit the general public. It's why How To Think Like a Lawyer—and Why: A Common-Sense Guide to Everyday Dilemmas was a natural follow-up to her two previous books, How To Read the Constitution—and Why and What You Need To Know About Voting—and Why.

Regulate cryptocurrencies and fintech products before it’s too late, urges author

Hilary J. Allen isn't sorry if you find her new book scary. In fact, she's hoping that Driverless Finance: Fintech's Impact on Financial Stability can spook enough people to create momentum for change.

Need to sharpen your legal writing? 10th Circuit Court judge shares his tips

There's plenty of conventional wisdom about what makes a good legal brief or court opinion. Judge Robert E. Bacharach of the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says when judges socialize, their conversations often devolve into discussions about language and pieces of writing that they enjoy or revile.

Outcomes in state supreme courts aren’t as simple as blue vs. red

Most of the spotlights are on the U.S. Supreme Court when it comes to legal cases that impact civil rights. But state supreme courts are the final arbiters of what each state's own constitution dictates.

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

In her debut novel, All Her Little Secrets, attorney Wanda M. Morris has written a legal thriller full of corporate intrigue and small-town secrets. Morris takes readers inside Atlanta boardrooms and back into the past of her heroine, Ellice Littlejohn.

Our favorite pop culture picks in 2021

In our annual Year in Review episode, Lee Rawles speaks to her ABA Journal colleagues Blair Chavis, Matt Reynolds and Amanda Robert to find out how they spent their free time in 2021.

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