Life of the Law

Series produced by Life of the Law

Series image

A podcast offering documentary stories and investigations of people's relationship to the law.

Life of the Law publishes a new, unique episode every other Tuesday morning on our website - www.lifeofthelaw.org, Panoply, iTunes and on most podcast apps.

Investigative reports
Audio diaries
Live storytelling events (recorded)
In-Studio discussions


127 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: Early Supreme Court justices, including the Chief  Justice, spent much of the year traveling as circuit judges in the federal court system., Credit: Public Domain
In the early days of the United States, Supreme Court justices did double duty, spending much of their time riding circuit as judges on lower court...

Bought by KISU, WEZU, and New Hampshire Public Radio


  • Added: Dec 13, 2013
  • Length: 12:24
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Author John Steinbeck in 1962, the year he won the Nobel Prize in Literature., Credit: Creative Commons
In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to execute people with mental disabilities. But the Court left it up to individual sta...

Bought by KPIK-LP and PRX Remix


  • Added: Dec 13, 2013
  • Length: 14:32
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Stills from a video made of the Lime Street Fire experiment. In four minutes, it went from a couch on fire to a room on fire, Credit: Video courtesy of John Lentini
Over the past 20 years, there’s been a revolution in the science of arson investigations. Many of the clues that had been used for decades to deter...

Bought by KMUZ, WJCT, and KALW


  • Added: Jul 23, 2013
  • Length: 16:26
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
(This episode contains explicit language) Most of us have an idea of what the crime of rape is. But the legal meaning of the word rape varies wide...

  • Added: Jul 11, 2013
  • Length: 15:58
Piece image
When things go bad, all you need to do is pick up the phone and CALL. Or so the late-night ads on basic cable tell us. Since the US Supreme Court a...

Bought by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, KPIK-LP, WJCT, Georgia Public Broadcasting, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jun 26, 2013
  • Length: 21:45
  • Purchases: 5
Piece image
Today, fewer than 50 percent of American families are married. Half of the Unites States is in a non-traditional, non-nuclear family. What do these...

Bought by KVNF and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jun 26, 2013
  • Length: 15:18
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
In its code of ethics, the American Institute of Architects requires members to “uphold human rights.” But what does that mean when it comes to pri...

  • Added: Jul 31, 2013
  • Length: 17:04
Piece image
What does it take to become a judge? No one starts their legal career as a jurist. First they work as a lawyer advocating for one side of a case ov...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: May 11, 2013
  • Length: 13:25
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Online, multi-player games create addictive, all-encompassing competitive worlds for players. But sometimes, players disturb the fantasy with abusi...

Bought by XRAY.fm, KALW, and PRX Remix


  • Added: May 11, 2013
  • Length: 12:55
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
More than 30,000 people died by guns in 2011 in the US. Of those, close to 20,000 died by suicide. Many still do not make a connection between gun ...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: May 11, 2013
  • Length: 10:30
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
After a big snowstorm, the streets of many northern cities start to get cluttered with furniture. Why? Because of “dibs,” the practice of claiming ...

Bought by KPIK-LP and PRX Remix


  • Added: May 11, 2013
  • Length: 12:34
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Carmen Ward has been an inmate in San Quentin’s Adjustment Center for seven years, Credit: Nancy Mullane
What do we really know about death row in California? When we don’t know we create, we imagine.

Bought by Georgia Public Broadcasting and PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 21, 2013
  • Length: 27:37
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
Red Hook is an isolated neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, once known as the “crack capital of America.” In 2000, residents banded together to create a ...

Bought by WDBM, KALW, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 21, 2013
  • Length: 11:48
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
You’ve just been arrested, charged with a felony and can’t afford to pay your bail, let alone hire a lawyer. You know you have the right to a trial...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 21, 2013
  • Length: 13:00
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
On every city block, there are rules. Some are unspoken, some require friendly reminders, some are enforced by the law. Is it ever OK to break the ...

  • Added: Jul 31, 2013
  • Length: 12:16
Piece image
Is the law ever a laughing matter? We present to you a brief history of attempted comedy in the toughest room in the country—the Supreme Courtroom.

Bought by KALW


  • Added: Mar 21, 2013
  • Length: 12:16
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
The United States incarcerates six times as many women as it did thirty years ago. Many of these women are already mothers, and four percent of inc...

Bought by KRZA, XRAY.fm, and New Hampshire Public Radio


  • Added: Dec 30, 2013
  • Length: 04:40
  • Purchases: 3
Piece image
Vietnamese fishing communities are still finding themselves grounded by the BP oil spill, one of the largest environmental disasters of the century...

Bought by KALW and PRX Remix


  • Added: Mar 22, 2013
  • Length: 10:20
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
The riverbank is a public space open for everyone. But people do not always agree on how to best spend a hot summer day.

Bought by KMUZ and PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 13, 2012
  • Length: 16:17
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
In California, there are hundreds if not thousands of people practicing criminal law though they’ve never passed a bar exam. They don’t wear suits....

Bought by KALW and PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 12, 2012
  • Length: 14:10
  • Purchases: 2