The DEI Podcast with Max Gaston

by Max Gaston

The DEI Podcast at Notre Dame Law School explores the concepts of diversity, equity, inclusion, culture, belonging, unity, and creativity as they arise in the context of law, and key social and cultural issues. The podcast is hosted by Max Gaston, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Notre Dame Law School.

Podcast episodes

  • Season 2

  • Advocating for the Innocent: Exoneration Justice

    Advocating for the Innocent: Exoneration Justice

    “Innocent people should not be in prison.” (Anna McGinn, Notre Dame Law School ‘22).In the latest episode of the DEI Podcast, Max revisits his conversation on exoneration justice with two lawyers who are working to free the innocent.Exoneration justice is the tireless effort to free innocent people imprisoned after being wrongfully convicted of crimes, and to provide them with rehabilitative services. Jessa Webber and Anna McGinn, Notre Dame Law School’s Bank of America Foundation Fellows, have dedicated their legal careers to this work.This episode of the DEI Podcast was part-one of a three-part series on public interest law. We talked with Jessa and Anna to explore the systemic problems that have led to a backlog of wrongful convictions disproportionately of people of color and members of the LGBTQ community, what anti-racist efforts look like to reduce the frequency of wrongful convictions on the front end, and how exoneration justice is helping create a fair and equitable justice system for everyone. Jessa and Anna also discuss the public interest path in law school, and how the Bank of America Foundation Fellowship is making public interest work after law school possible.Click here to read about one of Anna’s clients who was recently freed from prison after spending nearly 25 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.

  • Understanding Imposter Feelings

    Understanding Imposter Feelings

    Have you ever felt like an imposter? Unqualified for the job, less intelligent than your classmates, or undeserving of your accomplishments, and that somehow you managed to convince others you were more capable than you really are?In this episode of the DEI Podcast with Max Gaston, we revisit Max's conversation with Dr. Kevin Cokley, a psychologist at the University of Michigan who studies the imposter phenomenon. Dr. Cokley researches the relationship between imposter feelings, mental health, and academic outcomes among students from underrepresented communities. Listen as he discusses his research and experience with imposter feelings, and how we can learn to use these feelings as a motivation rather than a limitation in our daily lives.

  • Recent Updates to the Law School Application

    Recent Updates to the Law School Application

    In episode 4 of the DEI Podcast, Max sits down with Marisa Simon, Director of Admissions at Notre Dame Law School, to discuss updates to the Law School’s admissions application in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. UNC.Topics covered by timestamp:2:37 - Discussing the Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action and the Law School’s values.6:50 - Updates to and advice on the Law School’s personal statement prompt.11:09 - Updates to and advice on the Law School’s “Why Notre Dame” statement.15:03 - Updates to and advice on the Law School’s “Different Kind of Lawyer” statement.19:18 - Updates to the Law School’s Character and Fitness questions.23:46 - Updates on merit scholarships and need-based aid.25:08 - Things applicants can do while awaiting a decision on their application or on their waiting list status.30:36 - When to apply given each student’s different circumstances.35:24 - Advice to transfer applicants and who should consider applying as a transfer applicant.39:45 - Helpful information for students on the Law School’s holistic review process.

  • Perspectives of Black Men in Law School: Part 2

    Perspectives of Black Men in Law School: Part 2

    This episode of the DEI Podcast is part-two of our discussion on perspectives of Black men in the legal profession with Notre Dame Law School 3Ls Joshua Mannery, Jakim Aaron, and Jamal Wilson.Topics covered with timestamps:2:43 – Culture add vs culture fit: discussing being yourself in the workplace versus trying to blend in with your peers and fit in with the law firm culture to find success.12:02 – Exploring the importance of the mentee-mentor relationship for Black men in the legal profession and what it takes to be a good mentor.17:14 – Discussing the distinction between mentorship and sponsorship and the fact that being Black does not automatically qualify you to be a mentor.28:03 – Exploring whether Black men in Gen Z are the most ideologically progressive and culturally open-minded generation of Black men in US history, and if so why.37:52 – Discussing what it has historically meant to be Black in the US and how the modern climate allows Black men more space than ever before to be vulnerable and embrace different perspectives.41:54 – The importance of representation and conversations that center different perspectives in advancing positive cultural change.

  • Perspectives of Black Men in Law SchooL: Part 1

    Perspectives of Black Men in Law SchooL: Part 1

    Black men make up less than 5% of lawyers in the United States. Though drastically underrepresented in the legal profession, Black men are overrepresented in the number of incarcerated people in the US, where one out of every three Black boys born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime. It’s rare that we get a chance to hear the perspectives of Black men in the legal profession and understand their experiences.In this interview, Max sits down with three Black men who are law students at Notre Dame to discuss their perspectives and experiences in life and law. This episode is part one of a two-part interview.Topics covered with timestamps:4:00 – The experience of being a Black man in law school, knowing you’re in the minority.11:27 – Responding to low expectations some people have for Black men and the surprise they may exhibit when they see successful Black men violating their stereotypes of Black men.19:11 – Experiences of having to always be “the first” as a Black professional to achieve certain measures of success, given opportunities that have historically been closed off to Black people.29:11 – Cultivating your brand identity as a Black man and a professional in the legal space.