The Campus Echo was able to sit down with Legal Eagle Review’s co-hosts, Drs. Irving Joyner and April Dawson. Outside of co-hosting the weekly program every Sunday from 7–8 p.m on WNCU 90.7 FM, both of them are professors at the N.C. Central University School of Law.
Campus Echo: When did the Legal Eagle Review begin? Whose idea was it to start (and restart) the program?
Dr. Irving Joyner: It actually has two stories: (the review) started initially in 1995 and ran for about ten years. There was a break (of 11 years) and we started back in 2016.
It was the station’s decision initially because they wanted to do something differently than what they had been doing before with public affairs programming. Since (NCCU) has a law school, they wanted to incorporate some legal information and news into the program.
Dr. April Dawson: Professor Joyner was an original host of the Legal Eagle Review with NCCU Law alum Tracy Barley as his co-host. I suggested the revival of the show in 2016 and the first new episode aired that August.
CE: How do you pick topics to cover each episode?
IJ: We choose them based on what’s happening in the community, issues that people bring up and want us to discuss or issues that we ourselves might have an interest in discussing. Then we can find people who will join as our guest to discuss it.
CE: Are most of the subjects discussed on the show fact- or opinion-based?
IJ: Basically factual — we look at specific conduct or issues or activities that’s occurring then apply the law and how (the law) deals with this particular situation. We also look at what can people do to avoid negative sanctions or have their conduct be incompatible with the law.
AD: A combination of both. We try to set forth the facts — which is why we have expert guests on the show — and then we (guest and hosts) will often share our thoughts about how the issues affect the community.
CE: What is the purpose of your reviews?
IJ: To educate people about the law, how the law impacts them, what it is that they need to do to ensure that their conduct is in conformity with the law… it’s a view towards enhancing understanding about the law and issues or policies that have some legal significance.
AD: The purpose of the show is to discuss legal, political, social and cultural issues that may be of interest to the community.
CE: Is it hard to organize your reviews?
IJ: No. We do it all the time here, talking to students every day about legal issues and facts. It’s kind of a ongoing cycle.
AD: It’s not hard putting a show together, but it does take a fair amount of time when securing guests and studying up on the show’s topics.
CE: Why should Eagles learn about legal rights/matters?
IJ: So they can protect themselves from being abused.
AD: If we do not understand the law, we are not in a position to ensure our rights are being protected. On the show, we also talk about history. Without understanding our history, it can be difficult to see a path forward.