Dean, Vice Dean Team Up To Host ‘Common Law’ Podcast

First Guests Are John Grisham, Deirdre Enright
John Grisham and Deirdre Enright

Best-selling author John Grisham and UVA Law Professor Deirdre Enright, who co-directs the Innocence Project at UVA Law, talk about wrongful convictions in Episode 1 of the “Common Law” podcast. Photo by Sanjay Suchak/University Communications

February 28, 2019

Common Law,” a podcast sponsored by the University of Virginia School of Law and hosted by Dean Risa Goluboff and Vice Dean Leslie Kendrick ’06, launches today with help from two stars in the law world.

Best-selling author John Grisham and Professor Deirdre Enright ’92 of the Innocence Project at UVA Law are the first guests of the season, which is focused on “The Future of Law.”

“It’s fairly easy to send an innocent person to prison,” Grisham says in Episode 1. “And it’s virtually impossible to get them out once they’re there.”

Grisham is the author of numerous blockbuster novels, including “The Firm,” eight of which have been adapted into films. He also wrote the nonfiction book “The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town,” published in 2006, which was recently made into a documentary series for Netflix. He is a board member of the original Innocence Project.

Enright, who founded the Innocence Project at UVA Law, in association with the national Innocence Network, rose to national prominence as a no-nonsense commentator on wrongful convictions during the first season of the hit podcast “Serial.”

Risa Goluboff and Leslie Kendrick
Risa Goluboff and Leslie Kendrick

Grisham and Enright discuss the many reasons for wrongful convictions, talk about the future of criminal law and delve into specifics of some the cases they’ve shined a light on.

“I think transparency could change a lot of things,” Enright says. “So much of what happens to people in the criminal justice system is hidden.”

Goluboff and Kendrick, in addition to their hosting duties, introduce themselves and their goals for the podcast in what they call “Episode 0.” “Common Law” is unique for its pairing of a law school dean and vice dean as hosts.

“We’re here to talk about all the ways law affects people’s everyday lives,” Goluboff says. “Law — it really lurks behind everything.”

Other episodes this season, which will be released on a biweekly schedule, feature:

  • Blockchain technology and its potential effect on vast areas of law and business, with Professor George Geis and attorney Mayme Donohue of Hunton Andrews Kurth.
  • The challenge of combating discrimination in health care, with Professor Dayna Bowen Matthew ’87.
  • The law and ethics of the “Game of Thrones” HBO series and books, with Professors Toby Heytens ’00 (also the Virginia solicitor general) and Mila Versteeg.
  • The liability and ethical issues involving the adoption of self-driving cars, with Professor Kenneth Abraham and guest Michael Raschid ’86 of Perrone Robotics.
  • International efforts to tax corporate giants like Apple, and the future of tax under recent changes to U.S. tax code, with Professor Ruth Mason.
  • Technology’s impact on lawyering, the courts and legal scholarship, with Professor Michael Livermore.
  • Legal challenges at the intersection of technology and national security, with Professor Ashley Deeks.
  • Science, the courts and judging, with U.S. Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Southern District of New York.

The podcast is produced with help from Tony Field, founding producer of the popular American history podcast “BackStory” and a longtime public radio producer.

“Common Law” is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, YouTube, Spotify and other popular places you can listen to podcasts. You can play it on Amazon Alexa by saying, “Alexa, play ‘Common Law’ podcast.”

You can follow the show on the website or Twitter at @CommonLawUVA.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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