Life of the Law began with a conversation in 2010 on a hot summer night in Austin, Texas. Shannon Heffernan, Tom Hilbink and Nancy Mullane were talking about law and how it’s one of those impenetrable topics. How do you even begin to talk about law if you don’t know the language of the law or the court processes (i.e, didn’t attend law school and aren’t a legal scholar.) We continued the conversation in once-a-month calls over the next two years.  There were sketches of a website, ideas for themes and stories, names of reporters and editors around the country. Then, in the fall of 2012, Life of the Law launched the podcast with its first four episodes!

Now Life of the Law is a team of investigative journalists, audio producers, editors, scholars, and supporters working in cities throughout the US, producing bi-weekly feature episodes that are investigative reports, stories and hot-topic conversations about law in America. Take a listen, subscribe, write a review, sign up for our newsletter, volunteer or intern, make a donation, and/or sponsor an episode. Here’s some information about our show…

Take a minute. Sign up for our newsletter and early announcements about our upcoming stories, behind-the-scenes reports by our team, and extra-credit reading.

Live Law

Some stories about the law and how it plays out in our lives are simply best told before a live audience. So our producers work with students, scholars, lawyers, and folks in cities and small towns around the country to co-produce Live Law storytelling events. It’s a chance for people to get up in front of a live audience and tell their unusually moving, often personal stories about the law. We announce our upcoming shows in our newsletter, on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and on our Events page. To date, we’ve held Live Law events in New York, San Francisco, Albuquerque, Nashville, Baltimore, New Orleans, Seattle, Des Moines, Minneapolis, Brooklyn, and  vWashington DC. and most recently, inside San Quentin State Prison. Stay tuned for an announcement of our upcoming Live Law storytelling events. Hope you’ll join us!

Want to co-produce a Live Law evening of storytelling at your university, community center, annual meeting, local coffee shop, conference?


You can listen to listen to one or binge-listen to all Life of the Law episodes on Panoply, iTunes, Stitcher, and on some public radio stations throughout the country. If you want your local public radio station to air your favorite episode (or all episodes) of Life of the Law give the station manager a call or send an email. Stations can purchase the rights to air all episodes of Life of the Law on PRX (Public Radio Exchange).


Life of the Law is a non-profit project of the Tides Center. We are supported by grants from the Law and Society Association, the Open Society Foundations, the Proteus Fund, the Ford Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. We ask you to join in. Make a tax-deductible donation to help cover the direct costs of producing our investigative feature reports, our In-Studio Conversations about law and our LIVE LAW storytelling events.

Make a donation today and accept one of our gifts of thanks!