Top 10 TEDtalks on Law Everyone Should Watch

TEDTalks are just phenomenal and it covers a wide range of topics from health, technology, arts, entertainment amongst others. Interestingly, TED talks also feature a few interesting talks about law and justice. Here is my take on the top 10 Ted talks that everyone interested in law or the justice system should watch.

10. How I defend the rule of law. 

As the only Western lawyer practicing in the courts of Afghanistan, Kimberley Motley speaks about her practice and how she is upholding the rule of law in a country that ranks amongst the lowest in the rule of law index. A lawyer who practices law in the U.S., Afghanistan, Dubai, and the International Criminal Courts she thinks deeply about how to engage the legal community to build the capacity of rule of law globally. In this talk she shows how a country’s own laws can bring both justice and “justness” using the law for its intended purpose, to protect. 

9. How Judges Can Show Respect.

In this talk, Victoria Pratt who is a pioneering judge in the courts of New Jersey talks about the principles of procedural justice. She makes the case for courts to treat everyone with respect. She shows how delivering justice differs when people are treated with respect.

8. The worlds first AI legal Assistant

Slightly different from the usual TEDtalk is this talk by Andrew Arruda who is the CEO and founder of Ross intelligence. Although different this is nevertheless a very relevant insight on the changing dynamics of law and legal system. It is even more important if you are a law student or if you are not aware of the changes that are happening in the legal industry. This talk shows how one company has applied Artificial Intelligence to the legal industry and how technology can change the practice of law as we know it.

7. How I help Free Innocent people from Prison

Over the course of his career, Professor Ronald Sullivan From Harvard Law school has helped free more than 6000 innocent people from prison. In this absolutely-must-not-miss talk, he shares heartbreaking stories of how (and why) people end up being put in jail for something they didn’t do, and the consequences in their lives and the lives of others. Lawyers and Law students has a duty to the society to make it a bit more just. Watch this talk to get inspired.

6. Let’s simplify legal Jargon

Even though it has been 10 years since this talk on how to make legal language more simplified for everyone to understand (and I can safely say that a lot of effort has been done by many stakeholders of the legal industry to simplify law for everyone), this talk still remain a very important one even today. In this Talk, Alan Siegel makes the keys for simple and sensible use of legal language in plain English to make legal documents and legal people work intelligible to everyone.

5. Four ways to fix a broken legal system

Personally I have been a fan of the robust American legal system – for their ability to resolve most disputes effectively through courts and judges. However, it is also a society that is highly litigious making it difficult for many people to carry on their jobs for the fear of lawsuits. Even essential services like doctors, nurses and teachers find it hard to do their jobs for the fear of being sued. In this talk by Philip Howard who is a lawyer, he puts forth for the proposition for fixing a broken legal system.

4. A jurors Reflection on Death Penalty. 

If you are a lawyer or a law student or even a member of the society, you would, at some point in your life thought about Capital punishment. While it is abolished in many countries, there are many places where capital punishment still exists as a form of punishment. In a capital murder trial in 1994 in the United States, Lindy Lou Isonhood served as Juror No. 2 and voted for the death penalty for the accused in the case – an experience she says, has changed her life. She is not a law professor or a lawyer, but her take on capital punishment is worth listening to by everyone no matter what side of the aisle you are in.

3. A prosecutor’s vision for a better justice system.

In this talk, Adam Foss who is a prosecutor with the Suffolk County district attorney’s office in Boston speaks about the need for a justice system that is drastically different from what it is currently. In this talk, he explores the different choices that a judge is presented with when someone is bought before him for prosecution. He analyses if the best course of action is to prosecute to the full extent permitted by law or if there are better options.

2. From Death-row to law graduate

This is a personal favorite of mine. I was fortunate enough to have listened to talk live in 2017 at Arusha, Tanzania for the TEDGlobal. The day before his talk, I had the opportunity to chat for a bit with Peter Ouko, a remarkable gentleman who had a very interesting mission of educating prisoners about the law. He was falsely imprisoned for 18 years for a crime he did not commit. During his time in prison, he had learned the law and he is on a mission to teach law to people in prison. In this talk Peter talks about life in prison and how he was freed and about his current mission.

1. Laws that choke creativity. 

American academic, attorney, and political activist and one of Net’s most celebrated lawyer Larry Lessig, speaks about how stringent IP laws can interfere with creativity. Lessig has been a very vocal and long time proponent of reduced legal restrictions of IP laws, particularly in technology applications. He is also the founder of Creative Commons. Millions of content creator around the world should owe a great deal of gratitude towards this man. A talk that is essential for everyone to watch.