Law Matters Launches


As we learned, taught, and worked from a distance, St. John’s Law continued to host programs for our community, only virtually.

In April, we launched Law Matters, a webcast series hosted by Dean Michael A. Simons, who welcomes guests for wide-ranging conversations about legal issues with real-world impact and work and life in the law. The audience also has a chance to contribute to the conversation during a Q & A segment.

His very first guest was St. John’s own Professor Kate Klonick, who researches issues at the intersection of law, technology, and privacy. She recently spent more than 100 hours embedded at Facebook, observing the creation of its new oversight board. Professor Kloncik and Dean Simons discussed data, surveillance, and privacy concerns raised by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, Dean Simons welcomed Doug Vetter ’91, who has been a senior member of Apple’s legal team for the past 13 years. They talked about Vetter’s time at St. John’s Law, his 15 years at IBM, and his leadership role at Apple.

For the next episode of Law Matters, we changed things up a bit as Dean Simons shared the virtual stage with three St. John’s Law alumni for a timely conversation about workplace safety and dignity. His guests were:

  • Tanya Blocker ’09, Senior In-House Labor and Employment Counsel, National Grid
  • James Darby ’84, Chairman, Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board
  • Amanda Jaret ’13, Assistant General Counsel, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

With businesses re-opening across the country after the pause for COVID-19, and in the wake of the senseless killing of George Floyd, the guests put a spotlight on the legal, ethical, and moral dimensions of creating and sustaining a safe, hospitable, and productive workplace.

Returning to the group format, in September Dean Simons sat down with three St. John’s Law faculty colleagues to review the recent U.S. Supreme Court Term.

With him were:

  • John Q. Barrett, Professor of Law; Elizabeth S. Lenna Fellow, Robert H. Jackson Center; Justice Jackson biographer; and Creator, the Jackson List email list and web archive
  • Marc O. DeGirolami, Cary Fields Professor of Law; Co-Director, Center for Law and Religion; Co-Creator, Law and Religion Forum blog; and Co-Host, Legal Spirits podcast
  • Anita S. Krishnakumar, Mary C. Daly Professor of Law

They shared their wide-ranging expertise as educators and Court scholars as they discussed the:

  • DACA Case (Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of University of California)
  • Title VII Case (Bostock v. Clayton County)
  • Religious Liberty Cases (Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue and Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru)
  • Trump Subpoena Cases (Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP and Trump v. Vance)

Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to learn about upcoming episodes of Law Matters.