ABA Journal

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The Modern Law Library

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.

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The Modern Law Library

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.

Legal Rebels Podcast

How this contracts platform uses AI to help users manage and analyze key documents

Evisort co-founder Jake Sussman says when the company began developing its contract management and analysis platform, its goal was to use artificial intelligence as a last resort.

The Modern Law Library

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.

Asked and Answered

Do federal jurors still care whether a witness is caught in a lie? Not as much, say 2 veteran litigators

If you have a trial coming up in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, it’s likely that jurors will be spread out across the courtroom and masked, rather sitting in the box.

Year in Review

Listen to our 10 favorite podcast episodes of 2021

Looking for a new listen? We've picked our favorite 2021 episodes from each of the ABA Journal's three podcasts. And if this whets your appetite, find more than 10 years of 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

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.

Legal Rebels Podcast

How an e-discovery platform has evolved to meet the new challenges facing clients

AJ Shankar, the founder and CEO of e-discovery platform Everlaw, likes to say his company’s technology is designed to help clients find needles in a haystack.

The Modern Law Library/Year in Review

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.

Asked and Answered

3 decades ago, legal headhunting required more time for fewer placements

The heavy, hardback editions of Martindale-Hubbell law directories, which were published annually and had different volumes for each jurisdiction, represented an important tool for executive search consultants back in the 1980s, before internet access was common, and lawyers’ backgrounds could only be found through paper or word of mouth.

The Modern Law Library

America’s fights over medical treatment choices didn’t start with COVID-19 and ivermectin

Like the legal profession, the practice of medicine in the United States is highly regulated. But it hasn't always been, and the idea that a person has the right to try the medical therapies of their choice has a much longer history. In Choose Your Medicine: Freedom of Therapeutic Choice in America, law professor Lewis A. Grossman introduces readers to a fractious history with some unexpected combatants—and comrades.

Legal Rebels Podcast

How a law prof is training paraprofessionals to represent immigrants in legal proceedings

Michele Pistone, a professor at the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, says there are not enough immigration lawyers and attorneys who take on pro bono cases to meet the demand of immigrants seeking legal assistance.

The Modern Law Library

Discover the man behind ‘12 Angry Men’ and the real-life case that inspired him

Whenever the ABA Journal has conducted a survey to find the best legal movies or the best legal plays, 12 Angry Men has made the list. The black-and-white 1957 film about a deadlocked jury coming to a consensus in a murder trial has become a classic, one of Henry Fonda's most striking roles. As a play, 12 Angry Men is performed around the world, in many languages, in theaters large and small.

Asked and Answered

When most of law school faculty were straight white men, how did those who were not bring change?

In the late 1980s, law school groups for gay and lesbian students met off campus in case members didn’t want the school community to know their sexual orientation, says Joan Howarth, who started her teaching career in 1989 as a visiting professor at the University of California at Davis School of Law.

The Modern Law Library

Want to change a veteran’s life through pro bono? There’s a manual for that

Since World War II, more than 2 million service members have been discharged from U.S. military service with a status other than "honorable discharge." Having a discharge that falls below a certain level can impact a veteran's access to pensions, GI Bill education benefits, health care, insurance or home loans, as well as carrying a stigma.

The Modern Law Library

How SCOTUS enabled police abuses of civil rights⁠—and what we can do about it

Much has been said about police officers and departments who violate civil rights or enforce the law in discriminatory ways. But not as much attention has been paid to the ways in which the U.S. Supreme Court has enabled police excesses and insulated police from civil or criminal responsibility, says Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the University of California at Berkeley School of Law and author of the new book Presumed Guilty: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil Rights.

Legal Rebels Podcast

Why this BigLaw firm is embracing an ‘augmented automation solution’ for clients

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati announced last month that it had teamed up with Workiva Inc. to create an application that automates the S-1 form that companies must file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission when going public.

Asked and Answered

How has practicing in the Supreme Court changed throughout the years?

A few decades ago, there were no page limits for U.S. Supreme Court briefs, and that brought considerable headaches for the clerks who had to read them. Also, the justices rarely, if ever, asked more than 15 questions total during oral arguments. But that changed in 1986, after Antonin Scalia joined the high court.

The Modern Law Library

How to market your legal services to Hispanic clients

Hispanics are becoming an increasingly large segment of the U.S. population, and for an enterprising lawyer, serving the legal needs of Spanish-speaking clients seems like a solid business development goal. But running your existing marketing materials through Google Translate and slapping "Se habla español" on your website is not enough, says Liel Levy of Nanato Media.

Legal Rebels Podcast

Why an online legal marketplace has added tech companies and other alternative providers

Priori is an online platform known for using data and technology to connect in-house legal teams with lawyers and law firms who can assist with a wide variety of projects. But Basha Rubin, CEO and co-founder at Priori, says the company noticed that clients were sometimes turning to its online marketplace for help with problems that “might be best solved by a ‘new law’ company or a nontraditional legal provider.”

The Modern Law Library

A tale of love, loss and conservatorships in the Golden Age of Hollywood

Britney Spears' legal battle over the conservatorship that put her under the control of her father brought international attention to the conservatorship system. But many other rich and famous people have—appropriately or not—also found themselves in the grips of a system that is much more easy to enter than to leave.

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