Notice & Comment

A Year in Review: ALR’s Podcast, “A Hard Look,” by Host Sarah Knarzer

A Hard Look, a podcast by the Administrative Law Review (ALR), covers recent events in administrative law, regulatory policy, and the critiques and praise of various regulations and their efficacy. When coronavirus forced most universities to adapt to a virtual setting, A Hard Look quickly prepared to plan, record, and edit the second season of its podcast entirely from the comfort and safety of a computer. One silver lining of this pandemic for A Hard Look has been the ability to host phenomenal guests from all parts of the United States and even London. Thanks to Zoom, and the incredible patience of fifteen diverse guests, A Hard Look has published seven episodes this season so far, with many more in the works.

A Hard Look started in October 2019 as an attempt to expand the accessibility of ALR in conjunction with the Accord, ALR’s online publication. Since then, the podcast has reached hundreds of listeners and covered many topics from Supreme Court decisions to the regulation of niche industries. The podcast is currently available on the ALR website, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and wherever you get your podcasts. Now, in its second season, episodes of A Hard Look have covered:

  • Coronavirus: From the University of Pennsylvania, Professor Cary Coglianese and Neysun Mahboubi reflect on the different regulatory responses from around the world, as discussed in an essay series on Comparing Nations’ Responses to COVID-19 in The Regulatory Review, that our guests helped to curate. The Administrative Law Review will publish a special themed issue, featuring expanded versions of a selection of these essays, in March 2021.
  • Alcohol Regulation: Richard Blau, from Gray Robinson, talks state alcohol regulation and walks listeners through the history, policies, case law, fun facts, and emerging trends in state alcohol regulation, and finishes the episode off by discussing the impact COVID-19 may forever leave on the alcohol industry.
  • Book Review: Authors and Professors Robert Glicksman and Alex Camacho have a conversation about their book Reorganizing Government: A Functional and Dimensional Framework and how past approaches have failed to take advantage of diverse alternative approaches to organizing governmental authority and proposes an analytical framework of governmental authority through several unique case studies.
  • ALR Symposium: This episode pieces together several segments from the Administrative Law Review’s Fall Symposium on Special Topics in Election Oversight. The symposium took place on Friday, October 23rd and Saturday, October 24th, over Zoom and featured five panels on Mail-In Ballots and Foreign Interference.
  • TikTok: Fatema Merchant and Reid Whitten, from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, explain the TikTok and WeChat controversy and hypothesize about where it goes from here.
  • Tribal Recognition: Junior Staffer Olivia Miller and Professor Matthew Fletcher discuss the tribal recognition process and the barriers it poses to tribes across the United States, and in particular the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. Olivia wrote a comment on this topic that will be featured in ALR’s publication this summer. 
  • Exotic Pets: Judge Scott Maravilla and educator, YouTuber, and exotic animal conservationist Marita De La Pena talk about their own experiences with keeping exotic pets, how they have navigated the rules, and what they wish to see from future regulations.

A Hard Look will also be publishing an episode on the 30th Anniversary of the ADA on Monday, December 14th, and a four-part series on Racism in Administrative Law featuring administrative law scholars and pieces featured this summer in the Yale Journal of Regulation’s Symposium on Racism in Administrative Law.

If you are interested in supporting A Hard Look, the podcast is now seeking topic suggestions and volunteer guests. If you are comfortable being recorded and have expertise on a particularly new or interesting aspect of Administrative Law, please email the podcast at

Sarah Knarzer is the Senior Technology Editor for the Administrative Law Review at the American University Washington College of Law.

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