Entries and Episodes: UVA Law Faculty’s Digital Side Projects

UVA Law faculty

Illustration by Warren Craghead

March 25, 2022

While most professors focus on building academic community and understanding in the classroom, some faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law have extended that love for knowledge across digital airwaves and blogs. Some do it to supplement instruction, while others just do it for fun. Have a look — or listen — to deepen your own knowledge.

Mitu Gulati, ‘Clauses & Controversies’ Podcast

The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in new methods of learning across all levels of education, including in Mitu Gulati’s classroom. What was originally meant to serve as a resource for students he thought might get bored by lengthy Zoom lectures has spawned more than 60 episodes over the last two years.

“What looked onerous became lots of fun,” Gulati said of his podcast “Clauses and Controversies,” hosted with Mark Weidemaier, a law professor at the University of North Carolina. “Although the students are our primary focus still.”

Required listening: “Ep 61 ft. John Cochrane”

Gulati says that one of the wonderful things about “Clauses & Controversies” is the opportunity to expose his students to the people he has learned the most from — “those who inspired me in a way I don’t think I could ever do myself.”

One such scholar is Gulati’s favorite professor, legendary economist John Cochrane.

“I had not reached out to him in the decades since I had been a student,” Gulati said. “It was a special treat for me, something I never imagined I’d be doing. I think my students loved it too.”

Kimberly Krawiec, ‘Taboo Trades’ Podcast

“Taboo Trades” is all about connecting transactions that appear unconnected on the surface, Kimberly Krawiec said, so she created an accessible platform to learn from the scholars who study them.

Common episode topics involve “exchanges of items or activities that are permitted — even applauded — when done for free, but considered tainted or taboo when done for money,” including organs, blood and plasma, and surrogacy work.

Krawiec says that students almost always find such controversial topics interesting, and that guests often enjoy meeting and speaking with students when they are involved in the episodes themselves, a new format she is trying in the podcast’s second season.

Required listening: “Repugnance with Al Roth,” co-hosted with UVA Law third-year students Madison White and Alex Leseny.

Krawiec said the episode featuring Nobel Prize-winning Stanford economics professor Al Roth showcases what “Taboo Trades” is all about.

“He is one of the few people to think broadly about how exchange can be facilitated even when monetary exchange is disallowed, considered repugnant or taboo,” Krawiec said. “He and I have worked together on the Global Kidney Exchange program, and overcoming repugnance to the transaction is one of the things our work focuses on.”

Michael Livermore, ‘Free Range’ Podcast

What was originally meant to be a networking tool for Michael Livermore at a conference on human and artificial intelligence has since expanded into “Free Range,” a biweekly podcast interviewing guests from a variety of different backgrounds on environmental and social topics. The podcast is sponsored by the Law School’s Program on Law, Communities, and the Environment (PLACE), which Livermore directs. Episodes are released every other Wednesday.

Required listening: “Madison Condon on Climate and Corporate Governance”

The most popular episode to date features Boston University law professor Madison Condon. She and Livermore discuss her work on the growth of environmental, social and corporate governance, or ESG, investing and what it means for the future of environmental law and policy.

Richard Re, ‘Re’s Judicata’ Blog

Richard Re’s blog name is a play on the term res judicata — meaning “a matter decided” in Latin and referring to the concept of claim preclusion. He started blogging shortly before becoming a law professor in 2014.

“The idea was to share some ideas about law and the Supreme Court that wouldn’t otherwise find a ready outlet,” Re said. “Being able to quickly try out my ideas online has gotten me in touch with folks who have similar interests, leading to some helpful conversations.”

Required reading: Start with his most recent post: “Does Textualism Defeat the Major Questions Doctrine?

Lawrence Solum, ‘Legal Theory’ Blog

Sometimes the best way to understand something is to try it for yourself — that’s what Lawrence B. Solum did back in 2003 when he started the “Legal Theory Blog.” Almost two decades later, the site has readers around the world.

“When I realized that dozens, then hundreds, and now tens of thousands of law students, lawyers, judges and law professors were reading the blog,” Solum said, “I realized that I was reaching an important audience.”

Required reading: Solum posts links to other legal scholars’ abstracts regularly on weekdays, but the weekly “Download of the Week,” “Legal Theory Bookworm” (both posted on Saturdays), and “Legal Theory Lexicon” essay (Sundays) are long-form reads straight from Solum himself.

Risa Goluboff and Other Professors, ‘Common Law’ Podcast

In “Common Law,” a podcast sponsored and produced by the school, Dean Risa Goluboff and various UVA Law professors explore how law shapes society, how people shape law and why we should all care.

This season, Goluboff is working with four new rotating co-hosts to bring their diverse experiences to the table as “Co-Counsel.” Professors and co-hosts Danielle K. Citron, John C. Harrison, Cathy Hwang and Gregory Mitchell are helping to choose guests and topics for the show, with new episodes released every other Thursday. Previous seasons feature professor Leslie Kendrick ’06 as a full-time co-host.

Required listening: From season two’s discussion on teaching the law of sexual assault with Professor Anne Coughlin to season one’s Innocence Project episode with John Grisham and Deirdre Enright ’92, don’t make us choose!

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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