ABA Journal

The Modern Law Library


From Amanda Knox to Kyle Rittenhouse, lawyer discusses justice and due process in the digital age

In Anne Bremner’s work as a Seattle-based trial attorney, she saw a disturbing pattern—that high-profile cases often trending on Twitter challenge the concept “innocent until proven guilty,” as cases are tried online, as well as in courtroom proceedings.

Lawyer digs into big data for new legal thriller ‘Code 6’

Lawyer and author James Grippando made a name for himself writing legal thrillers, including the bestselling series of novels featuring Miami criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck. He wanted to try something a little different for his new novel, Code 6, and explore the dangers of big data and tech.

This lawyer tackled lifelong anxiety to free herself from ‘The Box’

Since childhood, Wendy Tamis Robbins experienced debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. Her perfectionism pushed her to achieve in sports and academics, and her high level of achievement masked her mental anguish from public view. While she found success in her legal and political careers, Robbins was negotiating with her own brain to get through her days, minute by minute.

Our favorite pop culture picks in 2022

In our annual Year in Review episode, Lee Rawles speaks to her ABA Journal colleagues Blair Chavis, Julianne Hill and Stephanie Francis Ward to find out how they spent their downtime in 2022. We cover the usual lineup of our favorite books, movies and TV shows, but each participant also provides more niche content.

Can change really come from within? These 13 prosecutors think so

Miriam Aroni Krinsky worked as a prosecutor in Los Angeles County in the 1980s and 1990s as the war on drugs was waged. Mandatory minimum sentences and tough-on-crime laws sent prison populations soaring and ripped apart families and communities. Krinsky thought that change was needed—and that it could come from prosecutors.

‘By Hands Now Known’ shines light on cold cases of lynchings and racial violence

In summer 2020, when the murder of George Floyd was igniting protests in Minneapolis and around the country, it occurred to Margaret A. Burnham that "George Floyd" was a common-sounding name. Burnham is the founder and director of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project at the Northeastern University School of Law, where she is also a professor.

How do you calculate damages in injury trials? Longtime expert witness reveals methodology

For any plaintiff who's been injured or any young attorney just starting out in the field of tort law, it can be daunting to calculate what monetary damages—and nonmonetary damages such as pain and suffering—they should be asking for if they win a civil trial or are evaluating a settlement offer. Estimating what the future would have looked like if an accident had never occurred can seem more like a thought experiment than a scientific process.

Author and lawyer Scott Turow made generational leap for new legal thriller

Author and lawyer Scott Turow’s latest legal thriller Suspect reintroduces readers to Clarice “Pinky” Granum, the granddaughter of attorney Sandy Stern—a character from the author's novels The Last Trial and his blockbuster debut Presumed Innocent.

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.

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