Newsletter: What’s the Law Got To Do With Science?

April 8, 2015

NSF Funds Life of the Law!


Life of the Law is thrilled to announce we have received a two year grant from the National Science Foundation to produce stories that inform and engage Americans in a conversation about the law. It’s all about building a bridge connecting journalists with the fascinating, critically important world of legal scholarship and discovery.


New Episode: Bad Gig

Episode 54 Bad Gig Banner Photo

Look familiar? Home office workers, exotic dancers, on-call drivers and writers might have a different name for what they do — freelancing, part-time work, independent contracting — but it all means the same thing. Work that doesn’t start at 9 and end at 5. And sure, it has its perks but do 1099 workers have the same labor protections as full-timers?

Reporter Casey Miner explores the world of freelancing and the law.

Listen here!


Update from One of Our Scholars

ec902907-b7c8-4bc0-8964-fd5e797d813eHadar Aviram is a Professor of Law at UC Hastings College of the Law and she just published her new book, Cheap on Crime. We’ll let her take it from here.

Hadar: After forty years of mass incarceration, punitive legislation, and aggressive prison construction, winds of change are blowing through the American criminal justice system. The Great Recession created a discourse focused on austerity and financial prudence, which has succeeded in generating bipartisan political coalitions to reform the criminal justice system from a cost and savings perspective, breaking through the political impasse between advocates of public safety and of human rights.

Cheap on Crime tells the story of the recession’s contribution to the transformation of American correctional landscape. Indeed, the overall number of U.S. inmates started declining in 2009; several states have abolished the death penalty, legalized recreational marijuana, and closed down prisons; state and local governments have adopted less punitive strategies; private prison companies have sought new markets; and we have increasingly come to think of inmates as consumers of services, targeting expensive inmates, such as the old and the infirm, as candidates for release, and rolling the costs of incarceration onto the inmates themselves.

In Cheap on Crime, I provide a framework for understanding these changes, as well as thoughts about the value of cost-centered discourse, its promise and price, and predictions about its durability after the economy improves.

Brilliant. Want to challenge yourself? Order your copy here.


You’re Next Iowa…

909cf1b2-eec8-4358-b1a0-d46812dbaa2fDes Moines, it’s you! Life of the Law’s team of producers is partnering with Drake University’s Law, Politics, and Society program, and the Slay Fund for Social Justice, to co-produce our first ever LIVE LAW show in Des Moines on April 29th.

The event is free and open to the public — more information is on our website.


Stay tuned for our next episode on 4/20: Marijuana Rules!


“Will I, succeed, paranoid from the weed/And hocus pocus try to focus but I can’t see.”

– Tupac Shakur, in “Only God Can Judge Me”