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ABA Law Student Podcast
27 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
Career Preparedness: Navigating Career Choices in Law School and Beyond
Thankfully, career opportunities for law students and new lawyers seem to be increasing as COVID concerns abate. But, how can you best prepare yourself for actually getting the job you want? Meg Steenburgh welcomes Howard University School of Law’s Lauren Jackson to discuss tips and tactics for pursuing a fulfilling legal career. She emphasizes the importance of networking from day one of law school and advises students to keep an open mind about the opportunities that come their way. Lauren R. Jackson is assistant director of career services at Howard University School of Law and a legacy-focused attorney with a passion for helping entrepreneurs, small businesses and everyday dreamers through her consulting agency, The L. Renee Group.
27 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
Critical Issues in National Security Law
In the daily onslaught of news from all corners of the globe, it is sometimes difficult to decipher the implications of current events within our own country. From the pandemic, to cybersecurity, to international relationships, linking current events and national security interests to law helps us understand our country’s responses to the things we see in the media. ABA Law Student Podcast host Meg Steenburgh talks with Professor William Banks of Syracuse University about the most critical national security issues facing our nation both at home and abroad, including China tensions, nuclear weapons concerns worldwide, the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, and more. William C. Banks is a Syracuse University College of Law Board of Advisors Distinguished Professor and Emeritus Professor at the College of Law and the Maxwell School as Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs. Thank you to our sponsor NBI.
36 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
The Pursuit of a Civil Right to Counsel
In the United States, the right to counsel in civil cases is currently a very complex issue. Some states provide counsel in certain types of civil cases, but not others; while other states may have little or no access to civil counsel in any matters. With this complicated picture in mind, what should be done to attain more equality throughout our nation’s civil courts? ABA Law Student Podcast host Meg Steenburgh talks with John Pollock about the many implications of a lack of legal counsel across a variety of civil matters (with a particular focus on guardianship) and his ongoing efforts to establish the right to counsel for low-income individuals. John Pollock is a staff attorney for the Public Justice Center and has served as the coordinator of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel since 2009. Thank you to our sponsor NBI.
26 minutes | Feb 26, 2021
Housing and Eviction Law: Helping Tenants in the Midst of COVID-19
At the start of the pandemic, Colorado lawyer Zach Neumann posted on social media that he would gladly assist those facing evictions, but quickly saw that the need was far too great for him to handle alone. To address this pressing problem, he founded the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project in Colorado. ABA Law Student Podcast host Meg Steenburgh talks with Zach about how the Project does its work and how law students anywhere in the country can get involved and help with housing and eviction crises in their own communities. Zach Neumann is a lawyer whose practice focuses on landlord-tenant, debt collection, and wage dispute cases and is the founder of the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project in Colorado. Thank you to our sponsor NBI.
23 minutes | Jan 29, 2021
Helping Litigants Help Themselves: The Ins and Outs of a Legal Help Program
Not everyone can afford a lawyer, and not everyone needs one. But, when a regular person has a pressing legal question, where can they find answers? Promoting access to justice should include helping those with legal problems obtain the information they need to successfully navigate their matter, even if they don’t need representation. ABA Law Student Podcast host Meg Steenburgh talks with Angela Tripp, the director of the Michigan Legal Help Program, about how legal help works, the types of information they can provide for self-represented litigants, and how this type of service is helping to close the justice gap. Angela Tripp is the director of the Michigan Legal Help Program, which is responsible for the statewide website for self-represented litigants and twenty-one affiliated Self-Help Centers around the state. Thank you to our sponsor NBI.
52 minutes | Dec 14, 2020
Against All Odds: Jim St. Germain’s Journey From Juvenile Delinquency to Community Leader
After immigrating to the United States with his family at the age of ten, Jim St. Germain was met with the harsh reality that his hoped-for better life seemed nowhere to be found. But, after ending up in the juvenile justice system at fifteen, his life took a positive turn, defying the statistics of many children in similar circumstances. ABA Law Student Podcast host Meg Steenburgh talks with Jim about his book, A Stone of Hope: A Memoir, learning how mentors played a critical role in helping him forge a new path and eventually co-found Preparing Leaders of Tomorrow, a nonprofit organization that provides mentoring to at-risk youth in Brooklyn, NY. Jim St. Germain is an author, speaker, and cofounder of Preparing Leaders of Tomorrow (PLOT). Recently, Jim was a co-author of The Good Immigrant: 26 Writers Reflect on America. Thank you to our sponsor NBI.
24 minutes | Nov 10, 2020
Examining Racial Inequality in Juvenile Justice
The disproportionate number of minority children navigating juvenile justice systems continues to be a point of great concern in our country. Where does this problem start? Is it in schools, in over-policed minority neighborhoods, or even in homes? What other factors are at play? Putting an end to the injustices suffered by children of color means understanding how present circumstances have put them at risk. ABA Law Student Podcast host Meg Steenburgh talks through these issues with Natasha Fortune, assistant attorney in charge at the Legal Aid Society of New York in the Juvenile Rights Practice. Ms. Fortune discusses her work and clientele in the Juvenile Rights Practice and offers insights on the steps, both large and small, that can be taken to disrupt unjust cycles and create lasting positive change. Natasha M. Fortune is assistant attorney in charge at the Legal Aid Society of New York in the Juvenile Rights Practice. Thank you to our sponsor NBI.
30 minutes | Sep 28, 2020
Representing Power: A Conversation with Attorney Robert Barnett
Not every law student has a clear vision of where they want to end up in their career, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it’s more about seizing the opportunities that present themselves than strictly sticking to a plan. In this ABA Law Student Podcast, host Meghan Steenburgh sits down with attorney Robert Barnett to discuss his incredibly storied career. Together they review his career, focusing particularly on his work as practice debate opponent for numerous Democratic Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates, his representation of some of the most notable names on both sides of the aisle for book deals (even convincing James Patterson and President Bill Clinton to write a book together), and his experiences working with Hollywood. While we can’t all achieve such an exceptional career, find out what it takes to blaze your own path from one of the most unique individuals in the legal profession. Robert Barnett is a partner at Williams & Connolly LLP. Thank you to our sponsor NBI.
26 minutes | Jun 11, 2020
A Career in Legal Aid — Perspectives from Sally Fisher Curran
Legal aid is crucial to those unable to afford legal services, and a career serving the underserved can be hugely rewarding. ABA Law Student Podcast host Meghan Steenburgh talks with Sally Fisher Curran about her passion for increasing access to justice and her career experiences working in legal aid. Sally Fisher Curran is the executive director of The Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc.
39 minutes | May 7, 2020
Richard Freer: Insights on Bar Review and Civil Procedure
In this edition of the ABA Law Student Podcast, host Jake Villarreal interviews Professor Rich Freer about his long career in legal education, his expertise in civil procedure, and his passion for helping law students realize their potential. They discuss his early and decisive path to becoming an educator, and Professor Freer offers tips for law students on building confidence, bar review, and much more. Richard D. Freer is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, Georgia.
27 minutes | Apr 9, 2020
Law School Innovators: Taking Legal Ed Online
Even before the pandemic forced law schools to close their doors, forward-thinking educators were working hard to increase the accessibility of legal education through online learning. In this ABA Law Student Podcast, host Meghan Steenburgh talks with Dean Craig Boise and faculty director of online education Nina Kohn about Syracuse University College of Law’s JDinteractive (JDi). They discuss their drive to reach a greater diversity of students and outline the JDi program’s ability to offer learners a fully interactive experience. In an additional segment, Meghan is joined by Mandy Mobley Li, Ernie Sawyer, and Katy Morris, all 2Ls in the JDi program. They offer fellow law students tips and tricks for adjusting to online learning. Craig Boise is dean and professor of law at Syracuse University College of Law Nina Kohn is the David M. Levy Professor of Law and faculty director of online education at Syracuse University College of Law. Mandy Mobley Li is a 2L in Syracuse University College of Law’s JDinteractive program. Ernie Sawyer is a 2L in Syracuse University College of Law’s JDinteractive program. Katy Morris is a 2L in Syracuse University College of Law’s JDinteractive program.
32 minutes | Mar 12, 2020
Dean Rodney Smolla: How Experiential Learning Makes Better Future Lawyers
In this edition of the ABA Law Student Podcast, host Jake Villarreal welcomes Rodney Smolla, dean of the Delaware Law School of Widener University, to hear insights from his prolific career as a legal educator and litigator. Dean Smolla discusses his longtime efforts to provide enriching experiential learning opportunities for law students and shares thoughtful advice on how students should approach practical education. Rodney Smolla is dean of the Delaware Law School of Widener University.
30 minutes | Feb 6, 2020
Erwin Chemerinsky: Litigator, Educator, Scholar
New ABA Law Student Podcast host Jake Villarreal sits down with Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California Berkeley School of Law, constitutional law scholar, and prolific appellate litigator, to discuss his career and passion for training future generations of lawyers. They discuss how he came to write a large number of widely used treatises and casebooks and how various opportunities impacted his path in the legal profession. Dean Chemerinsky also offers invaluable career guidance for students as they enter the profession. Erwin Chemerinsky is dean at the University of California Berkeley School of Law.
38 minutes | Jan 9, 2020
Lawyer, Marine, & Senator: Career Highlights with US Senator Dan Sullivan
In this edition of the ABA Law Student Podcast, new co-host Meg Steenburgh welcomes US Senator Dan Sullivan for an in-depth discussion of his career. He shares highlights from his time in law school, his legal practice, and his service as a US Marine, and discusses the impacts his legal and military backgrounds have had on his experience in the Senate. Senator Sullivan also offers law students valuable insights on the many ways they can use their degrees after law school. Dan Sullivan is the United States Senator for the state of Alaska.
20 minutes | Nov 14, 2019
Career in Focus: Colorado’s U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn
Learning from seasoned lawyers truly helps law students gain perspective on where they want to take their legal career in the future. In this edition of the Law Student Podcast, New ABA Law Student Division Chair Johnnie Nguyen talks with Colorado’s U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn about his career experiences and how he came into his current role. He offers valuable insights on how to pursue what you love, the importance of finding good mentors, and how to handle inevitable professional missteps with integrity.
43 minutes | Oct 31, 2019
The Law Student Roundtable: Examining Stress–Offering Hope
Why do law students experience such high levels of stress compared to students in other areas of graduate study? Following on from a recent episode where host Ashley Baker and new Law Student Division chair Johnnie Nguyen discussed the division’s upcoming mental health initiatives, Ashley now convenes a roundtable discussion to highlight the factors driving student mental health issues. This diverse group of guests offers perspectives geared toward helping fellow students manage stress and finding assistance when needed. Rachel Gentry is a 3L at Southern University Law Center. Kennedy LeJeune is a 3L at Southern University Law Center. KyMara Guidry is a 3L at the University of Mississippi School of Law.
15 minutes | Oct 10, 2019
Dealing With the Pressures of Law School
The pressures of law school are intense, leading to inordinate amounts of stress and mental health issues for law students. So how can students remain productive without losing themselves in the heavy workload? Podcast host Ashley Baker welcomes licensed professional counselor Dionne Smith to discuss strategies for law students to manage their mental health and well-being through the rigors of law school Dionne Smith is a licensed professional counselor and the owner of Made Whole Counseling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
24 minutes | Sep 12, 2019
The 2019-2020 Goals of the ABA's Law Student Division Council
Ashley Baker is joined by the ABA Law Student Division’s newly elected national chair Johnnie Nguyen and delegate of communications Julie Merow to discuss the council’s goals for the coming year. They talk about the issues the council hopes to address including student debt, mental health awareness, and sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. They also highlight the council’s plans to connect more law students to the Law Student Division through social media campaigns and the rollout of new opportunities to get students more personally involved. Johnnie Nguyen is national chair of the ABA’s Law Student Division and a 2L at the University of Colorado Law School. Julie Merow is delegate of communications for the ABA’s Law Student Division and a 3L at West Virginia University College of Law.
10 minutes | Aug 13, 2019
What Can You Do with Your Law Degree?
Many law students are motivated by the desire to make a difference, but how can they hone in on opportunities that align with their personal and professional goals? Host Ashley Baker talks to Gaylynn Burroughs about her work at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and ways law students can get involved in similar areas of the law. Gaylynn encourages students to seek out experiences early and often through student organizations, advocacy groups, political groups, and internships. Gaylynn Burroughs is senior policy counsel at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
21 minutes | Jul 12, 2019
Pro Bono Scholars and Increased Representation: Dissecting Law Student Division Resolutions
This year, the law student division is bringing three resolutions for consideration before the ABA House of Delegates at the Annual Meeting. In this episode, Ashley Baker is joined by Matthew Wallace for a deeper look at two of these resolutions and what law students hope to achieve through them. First, they discuss the resolution calling for the ABA to encourage widespread adoption of pro bono scholars programs. Matthew explains the benefits of programs of this kind and offers insight into what this type of opportunity would look like for a typical law student. Later, they discuss how the resolution for increasing the number of law student division delegates from three to six would give law students the voice they deserve in the ABA House of Delegates. Matthew Wallace is a 3L at Syracuse University College of Law.
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