Life of the Law began with a conversation in 2010 at an ice-cream stand 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 legalease 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.  There were sketches of a website, ideas for themes and stories, names of reporters and editors. More than two years passed and then, in the fall of 2012 Life of the Law launched the podcast with its first four episodes!

Now we work as a team, investigative journalists, audio producers, editors, scholars, and supporters working in cities throughout the US, producing bi-weekly investigative reports on law in America that everyone can understand. After all, doesn’t law belong to everyone? Take a listen, subscribe, write a review, sign up for our newsletter, volunteer or intern, make a donation, sponsor an episode. We thank you! Here’s some information about our show…

Feature Episodes

Every other Tuesday morning at around 2am, we release a new episode. Most of our episodes are investigative reports, but every couple of months, we present a little surprise episode, the stories told live at a Live Law event (see below.)

So take a minute. Sign up for our newsletter and get first listening dibs on our releases, behind-the-scenes reports by our team, extra-credit reading, and a preview of upcoming stories.

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, where people get up in front of a live audience and tell their unusually moving, often personal stories about the law and love, family, truths, traditions, breaks. 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, and most recently, inside San Quentin State Prison. This year we’re co-producing Live Law events in New Orleans, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Brooklyn and San Francisco/Oakland. 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. It’s amazing, but even

with our very lean budget, it’s not enough to cover the costs of our productions. So we ask you to join in. Make a tax-deductible donation to help cover the direct costs of producing our investigative feature reports and LIVE LAW events.

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