Season 2: When Law Changed the World

The second season of “Common Law” explores pivotal moments when law — and lawyers — changed the world. Hosts Risa Goluboff and Leslie Kendrick look back at turning points that shed light on the world today and how we got here.


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Richard Lazarus
Harvard Law School professor Richard Lazarus discusses how environmentalists made history with the U.S. Supreme Court case Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency .
Saikrishna Prakash
University of Virginia School of Law professor Saikrishna Prakash discusses his new book on how the presidency’s authority has grown and how Congress might check the executive.
 University of Virginia history professor Christian McMillen
As the world battles the novel coronavirus, University of Virginia history professor Christian McMillen discusses what lessons we can learn — and improve upon — from past pandemics.
Professor Farah Peterson
Why did colonists wear Native American costumes at the Boston Tea Party? Professor Farah Peterson investigates the history of mob protests for economic rights on the path to America’s unwritten constitution.
Anne Coughlin
As women began to enter law school, educators worried about whether the curriculum was fit for female ears, UVA Law professor Anne Coughlin explains. These same issues manifest today in debates over whether professors can teach the law of sexual assault in an era of trigger warnings.
Joyce White Vance
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance ’85 discusses a revolution in how prosecutors are thinking about and pursuing justice.
Frederick Schauer
The Supreme Court took on New York Times Co. v. Sullivan in 1964, in part, to protect the civil rights movement. But did justices go too far in making libel hard to prove? UVA Law professor Frederick Schauer explains new concerns.
Kimberley Robinson
The Supreme Court said the Constitution didn’t guarantee a right to education in the 1973 case San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez , but litigation aiming for equity continues, as UVA Law professor Kimberly Robinson explains. More
Cynthia Nicoletti
A Union effort to redistribute land to former slaves unraveled because of the efforts of Southern lawyers, UVA Law professor Cynthia Nicoletti explains. More
Ted White
As World War II made clear, the United States needed to step up on civil liberties and civil rights to take on the Soviet Union, UVA Law professor G. Edward White explains. More
Sarah Milov
After the U.S. surgeon general released a landmark report on the dangers of smoking, lawyers and activists helped curb a public health epidemic, UVA historian Sarah Milov explains. More