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Six TED Talks for Law Students


I am a huge fan of TED talks. The speakers are the best and most inspirational people in their field and they offer new ideas and progressive perspectives on relevant issues. So without further ado, here are my favourite law related TED talks about the law…

1. Kimberly Motley: How I defend the rule of law

Motley explores the term ‘Just-ness’, not justice. Using the law for its original purpose, to protect. She is an inspiration and an actual superhero. A person like Motley makes me proud to be joining the profession and she really does have an idea worth spreading. If you only watch one talk off this list, make it this one! Watch How I defend the rule of law here.

2. Ethan Nadelmann: Why we need to end the War on Drugs

Nadelmann is a progressive on the subject of law, and in particular criminal law and the war on drugs – obviously. You may not agree with him, but it is always interesting to consider different perspectives. Watch Why we need to end the War on Drugs here.

3. Scott Fraser: Why eyewitnesses get it wrong

Reconstructive memory, fair trials, the importance and responsibility of eye witness identification. Fraser presents a fascinating talk about the science behind a drive by shooting case. This guy isn’t a lawyer, he is a scientist but his idea really does start to throw some doubt onto traditional identification in the criminal justice system. Watch Why eyewitnesses get it wrong here.

4. Bryan Stevenson: We need to talk about an injustice

Stevenson talks about identity and its place in the world. He relates it to inequality, history, race, injustice, the death penalty, the criminal justice system, and poverty and it is so inspirational. Stevenson asks questions like: Do we deserve to kill people for their crime(s)? What is the opposite of poverty? How will our generation be remembered? Watch We need to talk about an injustice here.

5. Michael Sandel: The lost art of democratic debate

An exceptional explanation of justice and the need for democratic debate and discussion. This is a fun talk about a legal case involving the use of golf buggies. Interesting and informative because it demonstrates the importance of the purpose and the values of justice when making valued decisions. Watch The lost art of democratic debate here.

6. Phillip K. Howard: Four ways to fix a broken legal system

Should we strive to make our legal system simpler? Are our lives controlled by rules and regulations? Some of the content of this talk is quite US-centric, but Howard offers an interesting perspective on the legal system and social freedom. Watch Four ways to fix a broken legal system here.

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