SiriusXM listeners looking for legal takes on current events—perhaps with a strong cup of coffee—can check out the debut of “Stanford Legal” this Saturday at 7 a.m. PST.
“Stanford Legal” is an hourlong show co-hosted by Stanford Law School professors Pamela Karlan and Joseph Bankman. Their mission, Karlan said, is to bring “really interesting people” into the studio, including a lot of Stanford colleagues, “and ask them the kinds of questions I’d like to have answered.”
“It’ll be so interesting,” Karlan told The Recorder in an interview Wednesday. “And it won’t be the typical two-second talking-head slogans. We’re really trying to avoid slogans.”
The professors already have several shows in the can featuring conversations about gun ownership, marijuana legalization and President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Expect future broadcasts to focus on sexual harassment and the tax overhaul legislation pending in Congress.
The show, scheduled for once every two weeks, isn’t aimed at lawyers, Bankman said, but at listeners who want a deeper drive into sometimes-complex topics.
“While we’re law professors, we can kind of reflect the concerns we have and that we think our listeners have,” he said.
Satellite radio is already home to numerous broadcasts on politics, current affairs and government. “Stanford Legal” will try to distinguish itself as a forum without a particular political perspective or high-volume cross-talk, Karlan said.
“This isn’t ‘Saturday Night Live’ with [Weekend Update's] Jane Curtin and Dan Akroyd and ‘Jane, you ignorant slut,’” she said. “We try to keep it light when it’s possible.”
The program marks Karlan’s first foray into radio broadcasting, although the constitutional scholar is frequently quoted in media outlets. Karlan, who’s argued seven cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, founded Stanford’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic in 2004.
Bankman is an attorney and a clinical psychologist who is an expert in tax law. He co-hosts a monthly podcast called “The WellnessCast” that examines wellness and mental health issues in the legal world.
Guests from Stanford so far have included lawyer and economist John Donohue; Jayashri Srikantiah, director of the school’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic; and drug policy expert Robert MacCoun. Non-Stanford faculty will be future guests as well, the co-hosts said.
Stanford University already has three programs airing on SiriusXM, including “The Future of Everything,” a look at issues in science, technology and engineering; the education-focused “School’s In” and “Stanford Pathfinders,” a show about the school’s alumni.
“Demonstrating how law touches every aspect of our lives and sharing that understanding with a broader audience is exciting,” Stanford Law School Dean M. Elizabeth Magill said in a statement. “We are thrilled to participate in this endeavor.”
“Stanford Legal” will air on SiriusXM Insight channel 121. After airing, episodes will be available on the Stanford Radio website, iTunes and SoundCloud.