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The University of Chicago Law School Faculty Podcast

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Listen to lectures by—and discussions with—the University of Chicago Law School's eminent faculty, as well as some very special guests.

Listen to lectures by—and discussions with—the University of Chicago Law School's eminent faculty, as well as some very special guests.
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Listen to lectures by—and discussions with—the University of Chicago Law School's eminent faculty, as well as some very special guests.




Law in the Era of #MeToo: A Conversation with Valerie Jarrett

This keynote for the 2018 Legal Forum Symposium was recorded on November 2, 2018. Valerie B. Jarrett is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Law School and former senior advisor to President Barack Obama. Emily Buss is the Mark and Barbara Fried Professor of Law at the Law School.


Saul Levmore, "If the Common Law was Efficient, Why Did It Decline?"

One of the University of Chicago Law School’s best known ideas or outputs over the last fifty years is that the common law (made by judges and often passed down and adapted over many years) is efficient. It was an idea advanced by Richard Posner, with respect to tort law, in his time as a professor here, but it is also reflected in his and other judicial opinions which students across the country meet in almost every non-constitutional course. What does this idea really mean, and is it...


Justin Driver, "The Future of the Supreme Court: The Constitution of Public Schools"

Supreme Court decisions affecting the constitutional rights of students in the nation's public schools have consistently generated bitter controversy. From racial segregation to unauthorized immigration, from antiwar protests to compulsory flag salutes, from economic inequality to teacher-led prayer: these are among the defining cultural issues that the Court has addressed in elementary and secondary schools. Drawing from his provocative new book, The Schoolhouse Gate, Justin Driver...


M. Todd Henderson, "Lawyer CEOs"

Does legal education matter? In this lecture, Professor Todd Henderson presents some data on this question, using the behavior of corporate executives as an instrument. Looking at the 10% of large, public company CEOs who are lawyers, the talk tries to determine whether CEOs trained as lawyers act differently than CEOs trained in other ways. Do lawyer CEO firms get sued more or less or the same as other firms? Do they manage litigation differently? And, if they do, what is the impact on...


David Bowman, "Alternative Reference Rates: SOFR, LIBOR, and Issues for Transitions"

The choice of new benchmark interest rate should be of special importance to practitioners as well as academics that study law and economics. As new alternative rates are being considered in the United States, this half day conference, co-sponsored by the University of Chicago Law School, brought together leading academics, as well as representatives from banks, law firms, swap dealers, regulators and others to share their views on design and implementation of new indexes in loan documents,...


John G. Malcolm, "Current Topics in Criminal Justice Reform"

With commentary by Professor Jonathan Masur John G. Malcolm oversees The Heritage Foundation’s work to increase understanding of the Constitution and the rule of law as director of the think tank’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. In addition to his duties at Heritage, Malcolm is chairman of the Criminal Law Practice Group of the Federalist Society. Malcolm has previously served in both the public and private sectors. Among other positions, he has worked as general...


Mary Anne Case, "Cultivating an Incest Taboo in the Workplace"

The idea that workplaces could benefit from an incest taboo is not one of Chicago’s best, but one of Margaret Mead’s. Professor Mary Anne Case has been promoting it and explaining its relevance to Title VII enforcement long before Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement gave it new relevance and visibility. Mary Anne Case is the Arnold I. Shure Professor of Law. This Chicago's Best Ideas lecture was presented on February 21, 2018.


Jonathan S. Masur, "The Behavioral Law & Economics of Happiness"

A central question in law and economics is how people will behave in the presence of legal rules. An essential part of that inquiry is what makes people happy or unhappy – what increases or decreases their “subjective well-being.” There is ample evidence that individuals make decisions based in part on what they believe will improve their well-being. In order to understand how legal rules will influence behavior, it is thus vital to understand how those rules will affect happiness. More...


Lior Jacob Strahilevitz, “Interpreting Contracts via Surveys and Experiments”

Interpreting the language of contracts is the most common and least satisfactory task courts perform in contract disputes. In this Chicago’s Best Ideas lecture Professor Strahilevitz proposes to take much of this task out of the hands of lawyers and judges, entrusting it instead to the public. Strahilevitz’s research (written jointly with Professor Ben-Shahar) develops and tests a novel regime — the “survey interpretation method” — in which interpretation disputes are resolved though large...


Henry Shue, "Gambling with Their Climate: Future Generations, Negative Emissions, & Risk Transfers"

This lecture defends three main theses: (I) that all decisions about the degree of ambition for emissions mitigation are unavoidably also decisions about how to distribute risk across generations and, more specifically, (II) that the less ambitious the mitigation is, the more inherently objectionable the resulting inter-generational risk distribution is, and (III) that mitigation that is so lacking in ambition that it bequeaths risks that remain unlimited, when the risks could have been...


Supreme Court Preview 2017: Highlights and Perspectives

On the first Monday in October, the Supreme Court session opens. Professors Adam Chilton, Aziz Huq, and Daniel Hemel offer insight into some of the issues the Court will hear in the upcoming year. Recorded on September 18, 2017, in Washington, DC.


Aaron Nielson, "The Past and Future of Deference: From Justice Scalia to Justice Gorsuch"

With commentary by Professor Daniel Hemel Professor Nielson is a law professor at Brigham Young University and teaches/writes in the areas of administrative law, civil procedure, federal courts, and antitrust. Before joining the faculty, Professor Nielson was a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He also has served as a law clerk to Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. of the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C....


To POE or Not to POE: The Proper Evidentiary Standard for Campus Sexual Misconduct (A Debate)

Featuring Professors Nancy Chi Cantalupo, Katharine Baker, Daniel Hemel, and Richard Epstein. Moderated by Professor Emily Buss. Presented by the Domestic and Sexual Violence Project, Defenders, Law Women's Caucus, Education and Child Advocacy Society, and UChicago Assault Awareness and Prevention Committee, and funded in part by Student Government.


Gillian Thomas, "Title VII and Women in the Workplace"

Gillian Thomas, staff attorney at the ACLU Women's Rights Project, will discuss issues in her recently-published book, Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years about Title VII and its effects for women in the workplace. The book details ten important Supreme Court cases for women's equality, and spends as much time on the personal details as the legal ones for an extremely compelling read. As Title VII is one of the most important safeguards for women and helps ensure gender...


Anthony J. Casey, "The Short Happy Life of Rules and Standards"

The choice between rules and standards in lawmaking is a central question. But the line between the two forms is not as clear as most scholars presume. This talk argues that the lack of a coherent unifying principle in the rules-and-standards distinction is becoming more evident as technologies behind lawmaking evolve. It will explore the leading accounts of rules and standards, the insights they have provided into the process and meaning of law, and why the distinction may be reaching the...


Kurt Lash & Alan Gura, "Does the Fourteenth Amendment Protect Unenumerated Rights?"

Professor Lash graduated from Yale Law School and served as law clerk to the Honorable Robert R. Beezer of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Afterward, he joined the University of Illinois from Loyola Law School Los Angeles, where he served as the James P. Bradley Chair of Constitutional Law. His recent book, The Lost History of the Ninth Amendment, was published in 2009 by Oxford University Press. Cambridge University Press will publish his second book, American...


William H. J. Hubbard, "Empirical Study of the Supreme Court of India"

"A Different Kind of Supreme Court? Empirical Study of the Supreme Court of India" Part of Chicago's intellectual tradition is a willingness to take nothing for granted. Comparative study of legal institutions often reveals to us exactly how much we take for granted in the design of our legal institutions. Take the US Supreme Court: Why nine justices? Why does the president, and not the current justices, appoint new justices? Why do they sit en banc in every case, rather than sitting in...


Saul Levmore, "Carrots and Sticks in Law (and Life)"

One of the great Chicago Ideas is the equivalence of positive and negative incentives. The government can motivate you by rewarding some behavior or by penalizing your failure to behave in the preferred manner. Private parties rarely have the authority to hit you with sticks, so they must usually begin with carrots, or positive inducements, unless law offers torts or other negative inducements in the background. But things quickly get more complicated. Rewards might draw people to an...


Jim Zirin & William Baude, "The Post-Election Future of the Supreme Court after Scalia"

Jim Zirin graduated from Princeton University with honors and received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School where he was an editor of the Michigan Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. For three years, he was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York and served in the criminal division under Robert M. Morgenthau. William Baude is Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School, where he...


Michael McConnell, "Religion and Law: Is There a Connection?"

With commentary by Professor William Hubbard. Michael W. McConnell is the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, as well as Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is a leading authority on freedom of speech and religion, the relation of individual rights to government structure, originalism, and various other aspects of constitutional history and constitutional law. He is author of numerous articles and co-author of...