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.

February 13, 2009

In this talk, subtitled "A Dialogue about Political Philosophy and the Judge's Role," Professor Nussbaum discussed her "capabilities approach," a normative approach to basic political principles that has implications for how constitutions should be both written and interpreted. Judge Wood approached the topic pragmatically, asking to what extent a judge could really use such a normative approach of this sort, and what the consequences might be. Martha Nussbaum is Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago Law School. Diane P. Wood is a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School. Chicago’s Best Ideas, a lecture series begun in honor of the University of Chicago Law School’s Centennial, highlights the intellectual innovations of the School’s distinguished faculty. This talk was recorded on February 2, 2009.

February 12, 2009

Labor relations consists of two broad areas—unions and employment discrimination. Both areas have been stable for some time. The last major labor law reform was in 1959. The employment discrimination law dates back to 1991. The new Obama administration is, however, ramping up tough legislation in both these areas. Professor Epstein will examine three prominent proposals—the Employee Free Choice Act, The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and the Paycheck Fairness Act. His somber conclusion is that, their noble titles notwithstanding, these legislative reforms make little sense in either good or bad economic times. The new legal uncertainties, and the high administrative costs, and the misaligned legal incentives associated with these proposals will reduce the gains from trade in labor markets, and resulting higher unemployment will only deepen the current downturn. Richard Epstein is James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded on January 27, 2009 as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas lecture series.

February 6, 2009

This debate between Richard Posner (Senior Lecturer in Law and Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit) and Martha Nussbaum (Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics) and Mary Anne Case (Arnold I. Shure Professor of Law) was moderated by Geoffrey Stone (Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor). It was recorded January 26, 2009 and was co-sponsored by Outlaw, the American Constitution Society, the Federalist Society, and Law Women's Caucus

January 15, 2009

Richard Posner is Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School and Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. This talk, in which he argues that concepts of fault or blame are not useful addenda to the doctrines of contract law, was recorded September 27, 2008 as part of a conference at the University of Chicago Law School entitled, "Fault in Contract Law." The conference was organized by Frank and Bernice Greenberg Professor of Law Omri Ben-Shahar and Fischel-Neil Visiting Professor of Law Ariel Porat.

January 2, 2009

Richard McAdams is Bernard D. Meltzer Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded October 6, 2008 as part of the Law School's annual First Monday series of lectures.

December 4, 2008

Law often allocates risk, as through tort doctrines. Should people be able to undo or "reverse" such risk allocations by, for example, selling their rights to any claims that may later develop? Scholars have interestingly examined this question, as well as many other innovative ideas for rearranging risk outside of traditional insurance markets. This talk focuses attention on some related but underexplored questions surrounding risk reversibility itself—such as the optimal amount of stickiness in society's default risk allocations, the effects of heterogeneity in risk arrangements, and the implications (cognitive and otherwise) of starting from one risk baseline rather than another. Lee Fennell is Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded October 22, 2008, as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas series. Chicago’s Best Ideas, a lecture series begun in honor of the University of Chicago Law School’s Centennial, highlights the intellectual innovations of the School’s distinguished faculty.

November 13, 2008

There is the well known problem, or reality, of juvenile and destructive communication on the Internet, normally engaged in behind the protective cover of anonymity. Is this somehow a different problem on the Internet than it is elsewhere and, if so, are there solutions that are effective and justifiable? This CBI affords an opportunity to think about the subject, if it is that, of “Internet Law.” It introduces the idea of a hypothetical bargain among citizens or communicants, as a means of thinking about likely, or perhaps desirable, regulation and practice. It then grapples with the question of whether the interest in, or legal rule protecting, free speech trumps this bargain, or democratic solution. Saul Levmore is William B. Graham Professor of Law and Dean of the University of Chicago Law School. This lecture was recorded November 11, 2008 as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas series. Chicago’s Best Ideas, a lecture series begun in honor of the University of Chicago Law School’s Centennial, highlights the intellectual innovations of the School’s distinguished faculty.

November 6, 2008

Martha Nussbaum is Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded October 30, 2008 as part of the Law School's Diversity Week, and sponsored by Outlaw.

October 20, 2008

This faculty panel was recorded on October 9, 2008 and was sponsored by the Federalist Society.

October 20, 2008

This panel was recorded on October 15, 2008, and sponsored by the Law School Democrats and the Law School Republicans.