Open Minds: The Student Events Podcast

Want to get a feel for what Law School students are really interested in? Our numerous student organizations sponsor frequent lectures and panel discussions by both our own faculty and distinguished visitors. (Please note that as of March 1, 2014, we'll be retiring the Open Minds podcast. However, these archives will remain and you can still find new recordings of student events on this site's audio page or our Soundcloud page.)


October 13, 2011

Nicholas Wolterstorff is Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology Emeritus at Yale University and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. This event was recorded on October 12, 2011 and sponsored by the Christian Legal Society.

September 22, 2011

This panel, sponsored by Law, Inc. and held on April 28, 2011, discussed hot topics in techology policy, law, and innovation.

Participants included:

  • DC's leading antitrust attorney (outside counsel for Microsoft), Rick Rule
  • Managing editor of a major technology blog (and former copyright attorney), Nilay Patel
  • The Theo Leffmann Professor of Commercial Law and Technology Policy, Randal Picker, and
  • Moderator Rick Karr, technology journalist for PBS, NPR and Columbia University
August 18, 2011

The University of Chicago Student Animal Legal Defense Fund proudly presents the 3rd Annual Animal Law Week, generously supported by The McCormick Companions' Fund.  On Thursday, April 14th, 2011, Sandy DeLisle presented "A Primer on Humane Education and Dogfighting."  Ms. Delisle is the Manager of Urban Outreach and Humane Education of The Humane Society of the United States.  She is also the coordinator of the "End Dogfighting in Chicago" campaign.  In this capacity, she provides training and education to law enforcement officers and school children.

August 5, 2011

This panel of Chicago attorneys from the Black Women Lawyer's Association was recorded on April 14, 2011, and sponsored bt the Black Law Students Association. Participants included:

  • Mary Melchor
  • Ngozi C. Okorafor
  • Josie Gough
  • Jamila Covington 
July 25, 2011

The University of Chicago Student Animal Legal Defense Fund proudly presents the 3rd Annual Animal Law Week, generously supported by The McCormick Companions' Fund.  On Tuesday, April 12th, Daniel Hauff discussed: "Undercover Investigations: Animal Agribusiness and the Law."  Mr. Hauff is the Director of Investigations at Mercy For Animals.  In this capacity, Mr. Hauff works closely with attorneys, veterinarians, and animal welfare experts to compile farmed animal cruelty cases, which have strengthened animal protection laws.  His undercover investigations department has gained national recognition for its extensive work to document and publicize the institutionalized mistreatment of factory-farmed animals.  These investigations have led to rescue of abused and neglected animals, passage of landmark legislation, and corporate policy changes.  Mr. Hauff earned his Bachelor's Degree in International Studies with a concentration in Human Rights and Social Justice from DePaul University.

July 7, 2011

This panel, recorded on May 10th, 2011, and sponsored by the American Constitution Society and the International Human Rights Law Society featured three prominent trial lawyers from Illinois, Florida, and New York involved in the defense of Guantanamo detainees and in numerous other complex criminal cases. 

Thomas Anthony Durkin has been admitted by the U.S. Department of Defense to The Pool of Qualified Civilian Defense Counsel to Practice Before the Military Commissions, and presently serves on the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Select Committee on Military Tribunals and Terrorism. He also serves as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Center for Civil and Human Rights of the University of Notre Dame Law School.  Mr. Durkin’s efforts to defend several Guantanamo Bay detainees have attracted national attention and praise. He served as counsel, along with the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City, for two detainees at Guantanamo Bay who have since been returned to their home countries, for which he and his firm, along with all other Guantanamo counsel, received the 2007 Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award from the Southern Center for Human Rights.  Mr. Durkin was selected in 2008 to be a participant in the John Adams Project, a joint effort of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to provide civilian defense counsel to assist the military lawyers in the trial of the five High Value Detainees charged in U.S. v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, et al., in the Military Commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba with conspiring to orchestrate the September 11th attacks of the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Linda Moreno has successfully defended clients in a number of high profile cases including Dr. Sami al-Arian, a Palestinian professor, in a case that the government described as the seminal test of the Patriot Act in United States vs. Sami Amin al-Arian, et al. After a 6-month trial, which garnered international attention, the jury refused, in a 53-count indictment, to return a single guilty verdict against Dr. al-Arian and acquitted him of several of the most serious charges.   Ms. Moreno also represented the chairman of the board of the pre-eminent Muslim charity in America in the federal prosecution of United States vs. Holy Land Foundation, et al, in Dallas, Texas.  Ms. Moreno has lectured on civil liberties and terrorism prosecutions at various universities and institutions, including Columbia University Law School and  Yale Law School. She has appeared on numerous panels, both in the United States and abroad, on subjects involving civil liberties in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001.

Joshua L. Dratel has stood up for individual rights in some of the past three decades' most complicated and important cases both factually and legally, including the investigations and prosecutions of major construction companies, a telecommunications giant, the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and representation of political and business leaders. He has appeared for defendants in nine different federal districts, and has written or argued appeals in the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Ninth Circuits.  Mr. Dratel's honors include the Frederick Douglas Human Rights Award from the Southern Center for Human Rights in 2007, the Robert C. Heeney Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in 2006, and the Clarence Darrow Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho in 2005.  Mr. Dratel was named one of New York's Super Lawyers for both 2008 and 2009.  Mr. Dratel is co editor of The Torture Papers: The Legal Road to Abu Ghraib (Cambridge University Press: 2005), which won the American Association of Publishers 2005 Award for Excellence in Professional and Scholarly Publishing (Law and Legal Studies).

June 23, 2011

The University of Chicago Student Animal Legal Defense Fund proudly presents the 3rd Annual Animal Law Week, generously supported by The McCormick Companions' Fund.  This talk, recorded April 15th, 2011, featured Dara Lovitz discussing the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) in: "Muzzling a Movement: The Effects of Anti-Terrorism Law on Animal Activism."  In her book by the same title, Ms. Lovitz explores the history of the AETA and discusses how the law compromises the constitutional freedom of speech and protest.  Ms. Lovitz is an adjunct professor of animal law at Temple University Beasley School of Law and at Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law.  She was designated a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers magazine.  Ms. Lovitz holds a J.D. from Temple University, where she received the Law Faculty Scholarship and the Barrister Award, and a B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania.  She is a board member of Four Feet Forward and Peace Advocacy Network.

May 25, 2011

The University of Chicago Student Animal Legal Defense Fund proudly presents the 3rd Annual Animal Law Week, generously supported by The McCormick Companions' Fund.  On Wednesday, April 13th, 2011, Paul Waldau discussed how the phrase "animal rights" is used and understood around the world in the presentation: "Animal Rights: What Everyone Needs to Know."  Mr. Waldau discusses this topic in his lastest book published in 2011, which is part of the Oxford University Press series "What Everyone Needs to Know."

Mr. Waldau is a scholar working at the intersection of animal studies, ethics, religion, law and cultural studies.  He is currently President of the Religion and Animals Institute. From 2004 through 2008, he was the Director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. In addition, Mr. Waldau directed the Center’s Master of Science innovative graduate program in human-animal studies.  Mr. Waldau is the author or editor of four books with two more about to be published.  He taught ethics courses at the veterinary school for ten years, and in 2012 will again serve as the Barker Lecturer in Animal Law at Harvard Law School.  He is also the co-founder of the Animals and Religion Consultation at the American Academy of Religion and a consultant for many institutes and groups interested in animal protection issues.  He has a Doctor of Philosophy degree from University of Oxford, a Juris Doctor degree from UCLA Law School, and a Master of Arts degree from Stanford University in Religious Studies.

May 12, 2011

Former United States Senator and Attorney General John Ashcroft (class of 1967) received the Federalist Society's 2011 Lee Liberman Otis Award for distinguished public service by an alumnus of The Law School. The award was presented by Allyson Ho (class of 2000), a partner at Morgan Lewis and former Counsel to the Attorney General. This event was recorded on April 13, 2011 and sponsored by The Federalist Society.

April 28, 2011

This panel, recorded on April 7, 2011, was sponsored by the Black Law Students Association and featured four Paul Hastings attorneys. Prof. Randolph Stone was the moderator.