Whether they’re behind podiums or in front of cameras, it turns out professors at the University of Virginia School of Law know a thing or two about how to captivate an audience. Academia meets cinema when your favorite professors show up in documentaries, so get the popcorn going, cozy up on the couch and learn something new from some familiar faces.

Danielle Citron

Citron writes and teaches about privacy, free expression and civil rights. She directs the LawTech Center and is author of “The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity and Love in the Digital Age.”

Citron appears in Episode 2 and 3 of Hulu’s “The Ashley Madison Affair” (2023), a docuseries focused on the rise and fall of Ashley Madison, the adultery-dating website. In 2015, the website inadvertently released the secrets of millions of its members in a data breach.

You can also catch Citron on the big screen in “Netizens” (2018), which follows three women as they deal with digital stalking and harassment, as well as the following:

  • Scientific American’s “To Make a Deepfake” (2020), exploring the implications of “deepfakes,” realistic images or video generated by artificial intelligence. Her appearance begins at the 6:03 mark.
  • Season 1, Episode 21 of The New York Times’ Hulu series The Weekly, entitled “Fake Believe” (2019), mining the reality of deepfakes.
  • Nancy Jo Sales’ HBO series “Swiped: Hooking Up in the Digital Age” (2018), which explores the influence of dating apps.
  • Season 2, Episode 7 of The Wall Street Journal’s series “Moving Upstream.” Citron appears in an episode titled “Online Harassment: How Victims Are Fighting Back,” starting at the 5:54 mark.
  • The New York Times’ short video essay “The Outrage Machine” (2016), surveying digital mob mentality, at the 9:45 mark.

George M. Cohen

Cohen writes about law, economics and ethics. He is a Brokaw Professor of Corporate Law and author of “Foundations of the Law and Ethics of Lawyering.”

Cohen offers commentary in “Starving the Beast” (2016), which documents an alleged political effort to reframe higher education as a value proposition rather than a societal pubic good.

Risa Goluboff

Goluboff, the current dean of the Law School, is a renowned legal historian whose scholarship and teaching focuses on American constitutional and civil rights law.

You can see Goluboff in the PBS film “Slavery by Another Name” (2012), which examines how criminal statutes and convict leasing were used to perpetuate slave labor in America, as well as “John Marshall: The Man Who Made the Supreme Court” (2020), exploring the life of the judge whose groundbreaking decisions established the power and legitimacy of the U.S. Supreme Court. (Former professor and current federal appellate Judge Toby Heytens ’00 also appears in the film.)

Cale Jaffe ’01

Jaffe directs the Environmental Law and Community Engagement Clinic and serves on the Virginia Coal and Energy Commission.

You will find him in the forthcoming film “Pine Grove: More Than a School” (2024), which features the clinic’s role in helping to preserve a historic Black schoolhouse in Cumberland County, Virginia, as well as in “The Electricity Fairy” (2010), examining America’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Rip Verkerke

Verkerke focuses his scholarship on employment discrimination law and contract theory. He is a T. Munford Boyd Professor of Law, Earle K. Shawe Professor of Employment Law and directs the Program for Employment and Labor Law Studies.

Footage from Verkerke’s Contracts course lecture on Leonard v. PepsiCo appears in the Netflix docuseries “Pepsi, Where’s My Jet?” (2022), which delves into the story behind one college student’s effort to cash in his Pepsi points for a fighter jet promised by the company’s television ad.

G. Edward White

White teaches legal history and constitutional law. His 20 published books have won numerous honors and awards, and he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history.

Along with Dean Goluboff, White is interviewed in “John Marshall: The Man Who Made the Supreme Court” (2020).

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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