Law Podcast Series: American Constitution Society, UNL

Friends, Law Scholars, Law Students:

I know your type.

You can’t jog without your iPod.  To run the miles, you need that melodic beat of the Black-Eyed Peas, the triumphal boasts of Jay-Z, the fluid rhymes of Snoop.

I feel you.

But you, like me, have always wished, deep down, that you could jog to the soothing cadence of Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig. You have often prayed you could punctuate each step of a morning jog with the faint Russian accent of  Eugene Volokh.  Yes, the UCLA law professor and blogger extraordinaire.  You’ve often regretted putting down that footnote-laced Article on legal ethics of death penalty reform, just to get your daily run–or even to get into the car and run an errand.

I feel you.

I’ve been there.

And that’s why today turns a new leaf.

An announcement: the University of Nebraska College of Law’s American Constitution Society is introducing a law-interviews podcast series.  In each podcast, the student-hosts will interview a  guest about  significant legal controversies  of the day–as well as enduring questions our democracy must face. These guests will be diverse in terms of viewpoint (liberal, progressive, libertarian, conservative) and experience (law scholars, aspiring law scholars, legal advocates, and other experts.)  But it is still ACS.

These guests call into our UNL studio, where our student-hosts command the microphone with dog-eared, highlighted copies of the guest’s most important law-review articles at hand, giving each other high-fives whenever a guest says, “Student podcaster, that is an excellent question.”

Audience: The target audience is law students, lawyers, and legal academics. Tell your friends. Tell your lawyer.

Timing:  These brave law students will begin interviewing guests twice a month beginning this fall. The will podcast irregularly till then, about the Kagan nomination and other issues.

In anticipation of the fall, during this past spring, the students interviewed four guests generous enough to be early adopters/guinea pigs.  These podcasts are now up online and will be on iTunes by next week.  They are awesome. You want to listen to them.

First: Lawrence Lessig (podcast).  Lessig is an seminal thinker in constitutional law, campaign finance, political corruption, and copyright and technology law.  He teaches at Harvard. He is always ahead of his time–meaning, here, his interview made us realize a better way to capture the guest’s audio. (Sorry Larry.  Really. We improved the original recording… But… thank you again!) He discusses Citizens United, Caperton, fair use.

Second: Eugene Volokh (podcast). Volokh is an expert on the First Amendment, Second Amendment, and much else.  He and his brother Sasha, among others, run the Volokh Conspiracy, a popular legal blog. Eugene teaches at UCLA.  On the podcast, he discusses a wide range of issues, from gun rights to protests at military funerals. (Yes, he probably is not the ACS faculty advisor at his law school. But the point of the podcasts is to provoke thought and to educate, rather than to broadcast a uniform view. )

Third: Jen Moreno (podcast). Moreno is an expert and leading advocate on death penalty issues.  She is the staff attorney at the Berkeley Death Penalty Clinic.  She discusses her work and the state of the death penalty in the US.

Fourth: Josh Blackman (podcast). Josh is an aspiring academic, who also has a legal blog, created a Supreme Court fantasy league, and has an organization meant to promote high schoolers’ understanding of the legal system.  He discusses McDonald v. City of Chicago. (Also, I can safely bet he is not a member of ACS–a libertarian, I think.)

All the podcasts are available on the UNL ACS website and will be posted on iTunes, of course for free, subject to Creative Commons license to share as you wish.


If you would like to be a guest, email us at amoreperfectpodcast AT acslawnebraska DOT org.

Also, if you’d like to help in other ways (especially ACS current students at any law school), send us an email as well.

On another note: a few thanks are in order as we begin the project. Thanks to the UNL students kicking this off–particularly Omaid Zabih, Bobby Truhe, and Adam Morfeld. The technological stuff required a lot of time, and each interview requires hours of research to prep. Thanks to  American Constitution Society national, for being so supportive. Thanks to Eric Berger, who is UNL ACS’s other faculty co-director (the yin to my yang, or the other way around, whichever is a compliment). And thanks especially to our first guests, for making my jogs this summer in the California sun even more enjoyable.

And thanks to you. Enjoy. And stay tuned. Beginning in the fall, we will be posting these regularly.

Cross-posted at Balkinization.

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