Listen to the ABA Journal Podcast for analysis and discussion of the latest legal issues and trends the first Monday of each month. Also hear discussions with authors for The Modern Law Library books podcast series.
How SCOTUS enabled police abuses of civil rights–and what we can do about it
26:34Much 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, 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. In this episode of the Modern Law Library, Chemerinsky discusses why the Supreme Court did not address police powers during the first century of its existence; why the Warren Court was an aberration when it came to curtailing police powers; and what his experience was like when he investigated the Los Angeles Police Department’s notorious Rampart Division in 2000. While Chemerinsky is not in favor of abolishing police, he also suggests several pathways for the American people to reform policing systems and buttress Fourth Amendment protections without relying on the Supreme Court to hold police accountable. He also shares how he was able to finish his book on an accelerated deadline while juggling his work as an ABA Journal columnist and a dean of a law school during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to market your legal services to Hispanic clients
35:47Hispanics 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. Along with Natalie Fragkouli, his wife and business partner, Levy has written Beyond Se Habla Español: How Lawyers Win the Hispanic Market to share their tips on marketing legal services to Lantinx communities. By segmenting the Hispanic market in the U.S. into demographics based on acculturation–for example, whether they consider Spanish to be their first language, or how recently their family has come to the United States–there is data that can show how each group can be most effectively reached by advertising. Levy and Fragkouli can help lawyers figure out the best way to connect with the people they can best serve within their practice areas. In this episode of The Modern Law Library, Levy speaks with the ABA Journal's Lee Rawles about his own journey from growing up as a member of an Israeli family in Mexico City, to summers in his teens helping his uncle promote his law firm in Los Angeles, to launching Nanato Media in Austin, Texas. He shares some common missteps that law firms make with courting Hispanic clientele; some of the attributes that many Hispanic consumers share; the ways to quickly drum up business; and long-term strategies for building community connections.
A tale of love, loss and conservatorships in the Golden Age of Hollywood
35:19Britney 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. In Twilight Man: Love and Ruin in the Shadows of Hollywood and the Clark Empire, author Liz Brown tells the life story of Harrison Post, a story that starts in the Gilded Age and moves through the Golden Age of Hollywood, a film noiresque tale of betrayal, and a WWII fight for survival inside concentration camps. It's a story that began for Brown years ago when she discovered Post's signed photo inside her late grandmother's possessions and felt gripped by the gaze of the dark-eyed young man. In this episode of the Modern Law Library, Brown tells the ABA Journal's Lee Rawles how she discovered Post's distant connection to her own family. Post was the lover and longtime companion of William Andrews Clark Jr., founder of the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and heir to a Montana mining fortune. Clark, who was much older than Post, provided a trust to ensure that Post would be taken care of after his death. But his good intentions were foiled when Post's sister and her husband became Post's conservators and energetically began draining that trust. Only after they had completed selling off Post's possessions and draining his funds did they move to end the conservatorship and free Post, who fled Hollywood in the hope of finding a safe new life in Norway–just before the Nazis invaded. Brown discusses her research methods, including the providential discovery of Post's journals, in the podcast. She shares how anti-Jewish and homophobic public opinion may have played into Post's treatment, and how Clark's father's political shenanigans led directly to the passage of the 17th Amendment.
How LinkedIn can help lawyers develop and market their brands
43:04How do you use LinkedIn? Do you see it as a static resume, or is it the equivalent of your morning newspaper? For Marc W. Halpert, LinkedIn is the most effective way lawyers and other professionals can build their brand, display expertise in niche markets, and nurture business relationships. Halpert was so convinced of this that in 2017, he wrote a book on LinkedIn marketing techniques. Enough has changed in the swiftly moving internet landscape that he is now releasing a new edition of the book, LinkedIn Marketing Techniques for Law and Professional Practices, Second Edition. Do you feel awkward sharing your thoughts on LinkedIn? Finding own your voice and using it authentically is extremely important, Halpert counsels. As a LinkedIn consultant for professionals, he coaches people on how to use LinkedIn to demonstrate your worth to clients, colleagues–and recruiters. In this episode of the Modern Law Library, Halpert shares what's changed in the past four years, how the pandemic has made online networking more important than ever, and the most common missteps he has seen lawyers make on LinkedIn. He discusses how he works LinkedIn into his day and when to say no to someone who wants to connect with you. He also warns about ethical pitfalls to steer clear of, and common faux pas people should avoid.
How neurodiverse lawyers can thrive in the profession–and change it for the better
49:30There’s a business case to be made for hiring attorneys with ADHD, autism, learning disabilities and other neurological differences. Businesses have long touted out-of-the-box thinking, but cookie-cutter hiring practices don’t tend to result in diversity of thought. A legal professional who quite literally thinks differently can be an invaluable part of a team. In her book Great Minds Think Differently: Neurodiversity for Lawyers and Other Professionals, autistic attorney Haley Moss provides guidance for firms looking to add neurodiverse employees; develop better working relationships with neurodiverse clients; and create more supportive workplaces to help their neurodiverse employees perform at their peak. But she also approaches the issue from the point of view of neurodiverse people looking to enter the profession and thrive within it, whether by advocating for accommodations or leaning in to the way their brain functions best. In this episode of the Modern Law Library, the ABA Journal's Lee Rawles and Moss discuss Moss's journey as a child who was non-verbal to an adult with a law degree, law firm job and numerous public-speaking engagements. They also talk about how COVID-19 has shown law firms that flexible work arrangements are possible and desirable, and what that could mean for neurodiverse attorneys seeking accommodations. Moss shares tips for students entering law school this fall, or who are attempting to pass the bar exam. And Moss also shares an anecdote about how her very literal way of thinking during research helped her firm successfully advocate for a recusal. If you are someone who never received a diagnosis as a child but have wondered whether you may have a condition like ADHD or autism, she also offers suggestions for how you could explore it further.
Can the raucous history of Chicago's lakefront teach us how to preserve land for public use?
38:56Joseph D. Kearney and Thomas W. Merrill discuss the shenanigans that ultimately gave the city and the state of Illinois one of its most priceless parcels of land and preserves it for public use.
Do we need to rethink how we handle classified leaks?
36:26In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the Pentagon Papers, First Amendment scholars Lee Bollinger and Geoffrey Stone discuss their book "National Security, Leaks and Freedom of the Press: The Pentagon Papers Fifty Years On"
Summer reading and a book coming to the silver screen
25:10Host Lee Rawles shares some of her favorite books she's read since this year, and we revisit our 2017 interview with David Grann in anticipation of the upcoming Scorsese film based on his book.
'Vice Patrol' examines how police and courts enforced anti-gay laws before Stonewall
46:21In Vice Patrol: Cops, Courts, and the Struggle Over Urban Gay Life Before Stonewall, author Anna Lvovsky examines the way that queer communities were policed in the 1930s through the 1960s.
Little-known labor history is illuminated in union attorney's new book
32:07An attorney's research for a novel turned into an in-depth look at Long Island labor camps where workers lost their lives.