The Faculty Podcast

Listen to lectures by—and discussions with—the University of Chicago Law School's eminent faculty, as well as some very special guests.

September 8, 2011

This panel was recorded May 15, 2010, as part of the conference "Gender, Law, and the British Novel," organized by Martha Nussbaum, Alison LaCroix, and Jane Dailey. Participants included:

  • Nicola Lacey, "Could He Forgive Her? Gender, Agency and Women's Criminality in Trollope"
  • Douglas Baird, "Law, Commerce, and Gender in Trollope’s Framley Parsonage
  • Bernadette Meyler, "Liminal Legalities: Traveling Women in Defoe's Fictions"
  • Geoffrey Stone, "Origins of Obscenity"
  • Chair: Randy Berlin
August 25, 2011

This panel was recorded April 6, 2011, as part of the China and International Law Symposium sponsored by the Confucius Institute and the University of Chicago Law School.

Chair: Karen Alter, Northwestern University
Panelists: Anu Bradford, University of Chicago; Julia Qin, Wayne State University; Jiangyu Wang, National University of Singapore; Peter Yu, Drake University

August 11, 2011

This Fulton Lecture in Legal History, recorded May 5, 2011, draws from Professor Hartog's forthcoming book, Someday All This Will Be Yours: A History of Inheritance and Old Age. It uses transcripts from a series of late nineteenth and early twentieth century New Jersey cases to explore the problem of who should be paid for household work and for intimate caretaking. The transcripts reveal both intimate details of family life and some of the political and ethical dilemmas that attended to the situations of adult children in a mobile and free society.

July 28, 2011

The 2011 Dewey Lecture in Law and Philosophy entitled "Democracy v. Citizens United?," was presented on April 20, 2011, by Joshua Cohen, the Marta Sutton Weeks Professor of Ethics in Society and Professor of Political Science, Philosophy, and Law at Stanford University.

July 14, 2011

This is a recording of a training seminar presented by the Federal Criminal Justice Project for federal criminal defense attorneys entitled “A Comprehensive Overview of Immigration Considerations and Consequences From Bond Through Sentencing and Beyond.” Approximately 60 federal defenders and Criminal Justice Act Panel attorneys attended the seminar, which was held on May 5, 2011, at the office of the Federal Defender Program in Chicago. Two  clinic students (Daniel Rosengard and Roger Sharpe) and Prof. Siegler presented at the seminar, along with Claudia Valenzuela, the associate director of the National Immigrant Justice Center. This seminar was part of an FCJP initiative to educate the federal criminal defense community about the immigration consequences of criminal convictions and to change the way the defense bar approaches bond considerations in cases involving non-citizen defendants.

July 1, 2011

Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit will deliver a lecture on the history of the theory of judicial self-restraint as articulated primarily by Thayer, Holmes, Brandeis, Frankfurter, and Bickel (the "Thayerians"). He will discuss and evaluate the various grounds on which the theory (or tradition) has been defended, describe its virtual abandonment by the academy and rejection by both wings of the U.S. Supreme Court, and examine the reasons for its rise and fall.

Commentators: Lee Epstein, the Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law, and Aziz Huq, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Chicago School of Law School

The Brennan Center Jorde Symposium, an annual event, was created in 1996 to sponsor top scholarly discourse and writing from a variety of perspectives on issues that were central to the legacy of William J. Brennan, Jr. The fall lecture is typically held at the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall, where Tom Jorde taught for many years. The spring lecture is at a different law school every year. Both lectures and the four commentaries are published annually in the California Law Review. For more information, visit .

This event was recorded April 14, 2011.

June 15, 2011

Remarks from the Law School's 2011 Hooding Ceremony on June 11, 2011. Speakers included Dean Michael Schill, Debra Cafaro, '82 (recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award), and Professor Douglas Baird.

June 2, 2011

One of the major functions of the FDA is to check new drugs for their safety and effectiveness. The chief tool for doing this has been the double-blind clinical trial. Over the past 20 years ago, the requirements for these trials have become ever more stringent, reducing the probability that new chemical entities will be approved, delaying their onset into the market, and increasing their costs. The FDA claims that these stark measures are needed to discharge its chief function of consumer protection. In this talk, Professor Epstein disputes that contention, to argue that many of the FDA standards are analytically unsound and socially counterproductive. The constant demand for compassionate exemptions on the one hand, and widespread off-label use of approved drugs are clear signs that the current system is out of whack and in need of serious recalibration. Richard Epstein is James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Law and Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded May 2, 2011 as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas lecture series.

May 19, 2011

What is a tiebreaker? Are some tiebreakers better than others? Does law have tiebreakers? Are ties so terrible that we need to break them? In this CBI, Professor Samaha offers answers to these questions. Using various examples from life and law, he will explain how tiebreakers can be thought of as a peculiar sort of lexically inferior decision rule. He will then indicate when tiebreaking decision structures seem appropriate, as well as the trade-offs associated with different kinds of tiebreakers. For instance, randomization is a tiebreaker that is often theoretically attractive but politically infeasible, while using a variable relevant to the merits of a decision is often politically feasible but theoretically flawed. Finally, Professor Samaha will suggest that, in important ways, law is one large and imperfect tiebreaker for the rest of social life.

Adam Samaha is Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded on April 26, 2011 as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas lecture series.

May 5, 2011

Commentators criticized the Bush administration for expanding presidential powers, but the Obama administration has not tried to curtail them, nor has Congress or the courts.  In this talk, Professor Posner will trace the evolution of the imperial presidency, and explain why the powerful executive has become entrenched in the U.S. system of government.

Eric Posner is Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded April 29, 2011, as the Law School's annual Loop Luncheon.