The Law and Society Association is a proud sponsor of Life of the Law, a website that explores the relationship of law to American society and culture, reaching into the parallel worlds of scholars and journalists, engaging the listener’s imagination through sound-rich narrative storytelling, and presenting investigative reporting and thoughtful analysis over multiple platforms, including broadcast radio, podcasts, blogs, an interactive website and live law events.

Latest Episode

"Prosecuting Discretion"

This week on Life of the Law, our team met up in the studios of KQED to talk about the law, moral luck, and prosecutorial discretion in America.

Featuring LSA members, Hadar Aviram and Osagie Obasogie

Past Episodes

"Locking People Up"
This week on Life of the Law we ask scholars who have studied the history and changing conditions of prisons, and a man who was incarcerated for more than 20 years, to join us in the studios of KQED in San Francisco — to talk about the social, financial and cultural impact of mass incarceration and what change would look like.

"Death on a Dairy"
What do you eat for breakfast? A bit of steel cut oatmeal with warm milk.  Yogurt with fresh fruit. And when you sit down to eat do you think about where it all comes from? That might be a problem for the people who work to make your breakfast possible. Advisory Scholar: LSA Member, Anna-Maria Marshall, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

"Kids Doing Life"
When you’re sixteen or seventeen do you really think about what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with? Sometimes, sure. But not all the time. There’s science to show that teens don’t think like adults. Their brains aren’t fully developed. That means two things. First that they don’t have the same ability as an adult to consider the consequences of their actions, and second, that in time, when their brains do become fully developed, they can be rehabilitated.
Includes interview with LSA member, Hadar Aviram, Professor of Law at UC Hastings College of the Law and the co-director of the Hastings Institute for Criminal Justice

"Live Law New Orleans - A Scholar's Life"
Several LSA scholars worked with Live Law’s professional producers to craft a story of 5 to 7 minutes in which they talk about their research subject and how studying it has impacted their lives personally.Some have chosen their research subjects because of prior personal experiences, and others have been blind-sided by the impact their choice of research subject would eventually have on them personally. We have sought story-tellers from around the globe and from various disciplines, representing the full range of LSA’s fantastic diversity.
Our allstar lineup includes LSA members: Bernadette Atuahene, Kitty Calavita, Lynette Chua, Javier Couso, Laura Hatcher, Liora Israel, Jamie Longazel, Michael McCann, Bronwen Morgan, Laura Beth Nielsen, Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve, and Tom Tyler. Osagie Obasogie was Master of Ceremonies.

"A Conversation on Eugenics and the Law"
Life of the Law invited scholars who have studied eugenics to join us in the studios at KQED in San Francisco to talk about eugenics, past and present.
Includes Osagie Obasogie is Professor of Law at UC Hastings San Francisco, author of Blinded by Sight.

"Bit of an Edge"
The business of jury selection is a 400 million dollar industry. In a world of high priced jury consultants what does a jury of our peers look like?  Life of the Law presents Ashley Cleek's investigative report on the hidden business of selecting juries.
Advisory Scholar: LSA President, Valerie Hans, Professor of Law at Cornell Law School.

"Commuting Cops"
If you  live in a city, there's a good chance the local beat cop that patrols your streets doesn't live anywhere in the city--but commutes out to the suburbs when their shift is over.  Some law enforcement agencies require officers to live in the same city they work in.  It’s a controversial practice that dates back more than a century. 
Advisory Scholar: LSA member, Elizabeth Joh, professor of law at UC Davis School of Law.

"Outside the Womb"
The law isn’t actually written in stone. It morphs and changes with the times. What happens when laws change all of a sudden and people find themselves in legal limbo in a foreign country.  Couples who want babies—but can’t have them naturally—often turn to a surrogate mother. And in some countries, surrogacy is big business. For years, surrogacy in Thailand was commonplace. But in a legal split second, the government recently banned surrogacy for foreigners. 
Advisory Scholar: LSA member, Martha Ertman, JD. University of Maryland School of Law

"Marijuana Rules"
Recreational pot has earned the state of Colorado $53 million dollars in tax revenue. All on a drug that, according to federal law, is still illegal. How does a marijuana business navigate all the uncertainty?
Advisory Scholar: LSA member, Hadar Aviram, Professor of Law at UC Hastings College of the Law and the co-director of the Hastings Institute for Criminal Justice

"Bad Gig"
Exotic dancers, on-call drivers and writers might have a different name for what they do — freelancing, part-time work and independent contracting — but it all means the same thing. Work that doesn’t start at 9 and end at 5. And sure, it has its perks but do 1099 workers have protections?
Advisory Scholar: LSA member, Ajay Mehrotra, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

"Anatomy of a Confession"
A triple murder, a habitual liar on a stolen motorcycle and a confession that doesn’t add up. Why would anyone confess to a crime they didn’t commit? On Life of the Law, the story of a man dying of cancer on Texas’s Death Row who confessed to a crime he says he didn’t do.
Advisory Scholar: LSA member, Austin Sarat , Associate Dean of the Faculty and William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College and Hugo L. Black Visiting Senior Scholar at the University of Alabama School of Law.

"Birth Rights"
What's the difference between a birth with a midwife and a doctor? Often, legality.
Advisory Scholar: LSA member, Renee Cramer, Drake University

“Life After Doxing”
If you’re constantly harassed by someone in real life, you can get a restraining order. But can the law protect you when threats take place online?
Advisory Scholar:
LSA Member, Laura Beth Nielsen, Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation, Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Legal Studies at Northwestern University

"Boiled Angel"
Freedom of speech is a right guaranteed in the first amendment of the US Constitution. One exception
to the rule is obscenity. But determining what is obscene is difficult, especially for those making it.
Advistory Scholar: LSA Member, Laura Beth Nielsen, Laura Beth Nielsen a Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation, Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Legal Studies at Northwestern University

"One Conjugal Visit"
In prison, couples are forced to keep their relationships alive in visiting rooms, with 2 second hugs. One two. Let go. So they write letters and make phone calls. Many break up.
Advisory Scholar: LSA Member, Hadar Aviram, UC Hastings College of the Law

"There Oughta Be A Law"
In Tennessee, it’s illegal for grocery stores to sell wine, but perfectly legal for passengers to ride in cars and drink alcohol. 
Advisory Scholar: LSA Member, Anna-Maria Marshall
, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

"In the Name of the Father"
The Scottsboro Boys.
Advisory Scholar: LSA Member Osagie K. Obasogie
, University of California Hastings

“Jury Nullification”
The Power of Jury Nullification at the Global Freedom Summit
Featuring LSA member,Shari Diamond, Northwestern Law School

“The Necessity Defence”
Advisory Scholar: LSA member, Austin Sarat, Amherst College

“Trouble with Profiling”
Advisory Scholar: LSA member, Jon Gould, American University, Washingon Institute for Public and International Affairs

“On Prison and Pregnancy”
Advisory Scholar: LSA member, Renee Cramer, Drake University

“Justices on the Move”
Advisory Scholar: LSA member, Jon Gould, American University, Washingon Institute for Public and International Affairs

“Judging Steinbeck’s Lennie”
Advisory Scholar: LSA member, Ben Fleury-Steiner, University of Delaware

Interviews and Articles related to Law & Society Review

How We Talk About Abortion: When the Doctors Disappeared
Written by LSA member, Vincent Vacera, June 24th, 2014

The Rise of Lock 'Em Up: How Crime Became a Politics Question
Written by LSA member, Michael Campbell, June 18th, 2014

Law on the Books and Law in Action Don't Always Align
Written by LSA member, Mona Lynch and Marisa Omori, June 19, 2014


Life of the Law blog posts featuring LSA members

Blinding Us With Science: The Trouble with Forensic Sciences
Written by Anna-Maria Marshall on Monday, October 6, 2014

The Shrinking Death Penalty at Home and Abroad
Written by Benjamin Fleury-Steiner on Friday, January 10th, 2014

Will Big Data Change How Police Do Their Job?
Written by Elizabeth Joh on Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

A Mostly Untold Story: Botched Executions and the Legitimacy of Capital Punishment
Written by Austin Sarat on Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

How the Death Penalty is Linked to Resources
Written by Jon Gould on Friday, October 18th, 2013

Integrating Mindfulness into the Criminal Justice System
Written by David Onek on Wdnesday, October 16th, 2013

Parenting Through a Government Shutdown
Written by Renee Cramer on Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Silenced: No Prison Access, No Prison Story
Written by Nancey Mullane on Friday, October 4th, 2014

Let's Talk: How Congress and the Court Make It Work
Written by Scott Barclay on Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Inquiring Minds: Nothing Simple About Simple Justice
Written by Anna-Maria Marshall on Wednesday, August 28th, 2013