Life of the Law’s scholars, journalists, producers, editors, writers and attorneys work in partnership to explore the role of the law in American culture and society. What is the language? How does it work? Who makes decisions and when can they be challenged? Is anyone above the law, or is it truly the great equalizer? What happens when the law doesn’t work?

Through sound-rich narrative storytelling, investigative reporting and thoughtful analysis and research presented over multiple platforms including bi-weekly podcasts, public radio programs, blog posts and live events, we want to engage you in this exploration so that together we can create an opportunity for awareness, discussion, and debate about the law and the role it plays in all our lives.


Team Members

Photo of Shannon Heffernan Shannon Heffernan, Co-Founder and Contributing Producer

In addition to her work on Life of the Law, Heffernan is a producer for Chicago Public Media/WBEZ’s in-depth reporting project Front and Center, where she has reported on everything from tribal fishing rights to the validity of GED testing. Prior to working at Chicago Public Media/WBEZ, Heffernan was awarded an Open Society Foundation Media Fellowship.

Photo of Nancy Mullane Nancy Mullane, Co-Founder and Executive Producer

Nancy Mullane develops, reports, and produces feature stories for Public Radio International’s This American Life, National Public Radio and the NPR affiliate KALW News-Crosscurrents in San Francisco. In 2012 her non-fiction book, Life After Murder: Five Men In Search of Redemption was published by PublicAffairs. In 2013 Life After Murder was awarded  the National Council on Crime and Delinquency’s, Media for a Just Society Annual Book Award. She is a member of the Society for Professional Journalists and the Association of Independents in Radio. In 2011, Nancy was the recipient of the National Edward R. Murrow Award for her report on This American Life, “Long Shot.”

photo (44)Mary Adkins, LIVE LAW Producer and Blog Director

Mary Adkins is a writer and lawyer. She graduated from Duke University and Yale Law School, where she co-directed the Domestic Violence Clinic for two years. Prior to joining the LOTL team, she was an associate at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, where she also served as Pro Bono Coordinator. Her plays have been produced in New York and regionally, and her essays have been published in Slate, the New York Daily News, and the Yale Journal of Law & Feminism, among others. Read highlights of her work at

Kaitlin Prest Kaitlin Prest, Producer

Kaitlin Prest is an all around documentary audio artist. She is the executive producer of Audio Smut, a sex positive radio show and art collective. Every few months she directs the “Radio Cabaret” at Union Docs in Brooklyn, a public radio performance event. Her work has been featured on NPR’s Snap Judgment, at In the Dark as part of the International Features Conference in London, on Radiophonic Creation Day in France and was the winner of the 2010 NCRA award for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary.


Julia Barton, Editor

Julia Barton has been telling stories for radio, print and Web for more than two decades. She’s a correspondent for PRI’s “The World” and contributing producer for PRI’s “Studio 360,” among other programs. She’s been an editor for national programming at American Public Media, an International Reporting Project Fellow, and a staff reporter at WHYY/Philadelphia and WSUI/Iowa City. She’s also done extensive media training in the former Soviet Union. For recent work, go to Like all radio producing moms, Julia shares her work and scripts with her children.

Alisa_Roth headshot

Alisa Roth, Editor

Alisa Roth is a radio and print reporter, currently based in New York City. She has reported extensively from abroad, most recently in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Her work has been broadcast on Marketplace, where she spent several years as a staff reporter, NPR, and The World; her print work has appeared in The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, and Gastronomica. She was a Fulbright scholar, and has received grants from the International Reporting Project and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting.

grahamGraham Gremore, LIVE LAW Producer

Graham Gremore is a writer and cartoonist born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing, and he is the co-founder and co-director of StoryFarm, a literary arts non-profit in San Francisco. His cartoons have garnered over 125,000 views on Youtube, and have been featured on websites including The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed.


katie b photo_bioKatie Barnett, Philanthropy Coordinator

Katie Barnett comes to Life of the Law most recently from the Open Society Foundations in New York City where she supported US Programs’ grant making related to criminal justice, arts and culture. Now based in Philadelphia, Katie brings her knowledge and experience of nonprofit organizations and the funding landscape to her role as Life of the Law’s Philanthropy Coordinator. Katie holds degrees from Hunter College School of Social Work in New York City and Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA.

IMG_3352-sPhillip Wilt, Developer

Phillip Wilt is a software developer based in Seattle, WA. He currently is a freelance developer for a number of international software development projects. Phillip attended the University of Washington where he studied mathematics, computer science, and digital arts. He is also an amateur photographer.


seiverSimone Seiver, Social Media Intern

Simone Seiver is an undergraduate at Yale University. She is intrigued by radio, writing, and the law and is excited to blend all three in her work for Life of the Law. In school, she competes with Yale’s Mock Trial Team and co-hosts a storytelling radio show for WYBC. On the weekends, she tutors inmates at a Connecticut prison as they pursue their GEDs. She is a native of the Bay Area.


cclarke Christine Clarke

Christine Clarke is an employment lawyer at Beranbaum Menken LLP in New York City. She has published in Slate and writes an employment law blog at Wage Against the Machine.

Gilad Edelman PhotoGilad Edelman

Gilad Edelman is a student at Yale Law School. He has also been known to play a bit of jazz saxophone.


Juan Haines. Photo credit: Nancy Mullane Juan Haines

Juan Haines is an inmate at San Quentin State Prison. He is Managing Editor of the San Quentin News and works as a jailhouse attorney.

Anne HamiltonAnne Hamilton

Anne Hamilton is an attorney and a filmmaker. She holds a J.D. from Yale and a Masters degree from Stanford. She got her start in film as an intern on Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life and has worked on several projects since then. She lives in California.

rajpictureRaj Jayadev

Raj Jayadev is the Coordinator of the Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project, an organizing model for families and communities to impact their criminal court systems. ACJP is a part of Silicon Valley De-Bug, an organizing and advocacy organization based in San Jose, CA. Contact him at [email protected]

Lucas Profile Pic 2Lucas Mills (Juror #4)

Lucas Mills is a television writer at Nickelodeon. He graduated from Yale Law School, where he was the Head Writer and Co-Director of the Yale Law Revue. He loves all sorts of storytelling, particularly when it’s animated.

Kim head shot Kimberly Richman

Kimberly Richman is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of San Francisco, where she teaches courses on criminology, sociology of law, deviance, and prisoner reentry. She has authored two books and several articles on gay/lesbian family rights and same sex marriage, and is the co-founder and president of the board of directors of the non-profit Alliance for CHANGE, which works with incarcerated men in San Quentin State Prison and assists them in successful reentry upon parole.

031913 Sopen Headshot - TLOTLSopen Shah

Sopen Shah is a student at Yale Law School. She was previously an accomplished financial expert at Bloomberg and a management consultant at McKinsey & Company after graduating from Harvard. In addition to making frequent TV and radio appearances, she has been published in Businessweek magazine, Politico, The Hill, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, and Talking Points Memo. She was Miss District of Columbia International in 2011 and Junior Miss Wisconsin in 2004.

Kate Tellers author photo Kate Tellers 

Kate Tellers’ stories have appeared in the New York Press, on the Gorgeous Ladies of Comedy (columnist), and on stages. She is a host of The Moth StorySLAMs in New York City. @katadudle

IMG_2278Katherine Thompson

Katherine Thompson is a writer, teacher, and modern-day explorer living in Sydney, Australia. She has taught English, creative writing, and other subjects to students in Los Angeles, New York, and North Carolina, and was a winner in the UCLA Live Poetry Contest (judged by Billy Collins and Kay Ryan) in 2011. She loves traveling and being home, sleeping and being awake, and writing and receiving handwritten letters. She holds a B.A. in English from Duke University and an M.A. Ed. in English Education from Wake Forest University.

DCFC0002.JPGRebecca Worthington

Rebecca Worthington received her law degree from Duke University, and her undergraduate degree from Vassar. She currently practices law in Washington, D.C.

Julia Barton Kyle Kaplan, Composer

Kyle Kaplan is an internationally based new media artist and performer. He has contributed to installations for NYC’s Harvestworks and Taipei’s National Palace Museum. He has had audiovisual performances in New York, Boston, Montreal, Los Angeles, and Taipei, including at Boston’s ‘Elecsonic’, Taiwan’s ‘Organik’ and ‘Lacking Sound Festival’, and Los Angeles’ ‘Breaking Open LA’. His work blends disparate emotional and textural elements, weaving soft ambiences with thick distortion, complex layers of percussion with delicate synths, nostalgic samples with abstract sound design. More sounds can be found at:


Advisory Panel

Amy Bach, Executive Director of Measures for Justice and author; Scott Barclay, Professor, Department of History & Political Science, Drexel University and Williams Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute where he focuses on LGBT public opinion-related research; Renee Ann Cramer, Director & Professor, Program in Law, Politics, and Society, Drake University; Ben Fleury-Steiner, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice, University of Delaware; Jon Gould, Director, Washington Institute for Public & International Affairs Research, American University; Elizabeth Joh, Professor, UC-Davis School of Law; Anna-Maria Marshall, Associate Professor, Law & Sociology, University of Illinois; Ajay K. Mehrotra, Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Law and Louise F. Niezer Faculty Fellow Indiana University Maurer School of Law and adjunct Professor of History at Indiana University; Laura Beth Nielsen, Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation, Associate Professor of Sociology & Director of the Center for Legal Studies, Northwestern University; Imani Perry, Professor, Center for African American Studies, Princeton University; David Onek, Executive Director of the Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara University Law School; Austin Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence & Political Science, Amherst College; Heather Thompson, Associate Professor of History, Department of African American Studies and Department of History, Temple University



Life of the Law is supported by a grant from the Foundation to Promote Open Society (Open Society Foundations). Web Development & Ongoing Web Design provided by Phillip Wilt. Graphic design and website design provided by Imaginista (Esteban Mugica, Senior Designer). Intellectual property advice provided by Shapiro Law. Fiscal oversight provided by the International Media Project.


All content produced (podcast, blog, website) by Life of the Law is the property of the executive producers. Content licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. is not the same as That site (now dormant) is/was a project of lawyer Andis Kaulins, now blogging at