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The Modern Law Library

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.

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The Modern Law Library

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.

Legal Rebels Podcast

Could automated transcription tools replace human court reporters?

For the longest time, one of the staples of any courtroom has been the stenographer. Typing on a small machine that produced a seemingly random series of letters onto a small strip of paper about the same size as what cash registers use to produce receipts, being a court reporter required extensive training and superhuman attention span. One missed sentence or one inaccurate transcription and the entire trial record could be compromised.

The Modern Law Library

‘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.

The Modern Law Library

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.

The Modern Law Library

‘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."

Legal Rebels Podcast

Fall in love with legal technology at this year’s ABA Techshow

It’s that time of year again. The ABA’s annual technological showcase—the ABA Techshow 2024—starts Feb. 14 and runs through the weekend in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

The Modern Law Library

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.

Legal Rebels Podcast

Want to clear a criminal record? This lawyer has an app for that

The impact for people clearing their criminal records can be life-changing, leading to long-term employment and financial security. And research shows that it also helps prevent recidivism. But the path to expungement is not always easy, requiring people with criminal records to navigate an unfamiliar, costly and drawn-out process. That’s where lawyer Noella Sudbury comes in.

The Modern Law Library

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.

Year in Review

Listen to our 10 favorite podcast episodes of 2023

Looking for a new listen? We've picked our favorite 2023 episodes from each of the ABA Journal's three podcasts, one of which is bidding adieu after a 13-year run. If this whets your appetite, find all our past episodes on our podcast page. You can also check out more legal podcasts from our partners at Legal Talk Network.

The Modern Law Library

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.

Legal Rebels Podcast

What were the top legal tech stories of 2023?

As 2023 draws to a close, the Legal Rebels Podcast looks at the top stories in legal technology for the year.

Year in Review: The Modern Law Library

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.

The Modern Law Library

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.

Legal Rebels Podcast

How this lawyer uses TikTok to skewer law firm culture

In the past decade, influencer culture has exploded. However, content creation is not just about Gen Zers and millennials promoting new brands, hot products and lifestyle choices.

The Modern Law Library

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.

Asked and Answered

So Long and Farewell: Asked and Answered’s host steps down from the podcast

After 13 years and 170 episodes, Asked and Answered host Stephanie Francis Ward is hanging up her headphones and switching off her mic. Asked and Answered, the ABA Journal's first and longest-running podcast, is ending its run—at least for now.

The Modern Law Library

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."

Legal Rebels Podcast

How generative AI is already changing contract review

A lot has been made about how generative artificial intelligence has already changed many aspects of the legal industry. Heck, we’ve already done a few shows on this very topic.

The Modern Law Library

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.

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