Last week in my column at Above the Law, I rounded up a passel of new legal podcasts. Having just launched the new LawNext podcast myself, it seemed I was suddenly seeing all sorts of new legal podcasts.

As might be expected, no sooner did I publish that column than I started hearing from other new legal podcasts that I missed. So herewith is a supplement to that column — passel, part two.

Behind the Trial. The law firm McKool Smith and Benchmark Litigation jointly produce this podcast, which features conversations with “the nation’s most iconic trial lawyers.” You might be concerned that a firm-produced podcast would center on its lawyers, but this podcast lives up to its promise. Episodes so far have interviewed Evan R. Chesler, chairman of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP; Evan Chesler, chairman of Cravath, Swaine & Moore; and David Boies, chairman of Boies Schiller Flexner.

Legal Marketing 2.0. Not sure how I missed this one, since I’ve actually been a guest on it, but this weekly podcast from the legal marketing firm Good2bSocial offers insights on the latest legal marketing trends and strategies. Launched a year ago, it is hosted by firm founder Guy Alvarez. Among recent topics: the importance of storytelling in marketing, using technology to differentiate your legal services, and enhancing relationships through client interviews.

Legal Speak. From ALM and Law.com, Legal Speak is a weekly podcast about law and the legal industry. Law.com editors Leigh Jones and Vanessa Blum host the show, each week tackling a topic they consider worthy of a deep dive. Law.com reporters and editors contribute interviews with lawyers and others in the news. ALM started Legal Speak a year ago to test the format, but officially launched it in March, a spokesperson tells me.

Getting Off. Two criminal defense lawyers in Madison, Wis., Jessa Nicholson Goetz and Nicholas Gansner, discuss high-profile trials, defense strategies, popular culture’s fixation on crime, and all other things related to criminal law. Recent episodes have looked at such topics as the stand-your-ground defense, the murder of Emmett Till, prosecutorial discretion, and civil commitments for sexual offenders. A reader who wrote me about the show said, “Not only entertaining, but reminds me of a lot of what I had forgotten since my law school days.”

Stereo Decisis. Law in Canada is the focus of this podcast, which is hosted by University of New Brunswick law professor Hilary Young, Vancouver lawyer Oliver Pulleyblank and Canada Department of Justice lawyer Robert Danay. With four episodes under their belts as of this writing, topics so far have been the Trans Mountain pipeline, clashes between equality rights and freedom of religion, pardons, and immigration.

Filevine Fireside. The case management software company Filevine hosts this occasional podcast featuring interviews with personal injury lawyers on topics ranging from digital marketing to practicing law with your spouse to using technology.

5 Cases in 5 Minutes. This new podcast from FindLaw is described as a “lightning quick five minutes recapping the most important, amusing, or outrageous recent legal decisions.” Hosted by Jeremy Winston Conrad, an attorney and business lead for cases and codes at FindLaw, the show is a quick and informative listen.

Uncivil Procedure. File this one under “Watch for It”. The e-discovery company Relativity says it is putting the final touches on this podcast and that it will go live by Aug. 13. The monthly, 30-minute show will feature informal discussion of recent e-discovery case law, rotating game segments, and discussion of trending legaltech topics. The first episode will focus on innovation in legaltech and recent case law related to the use of new technology. The show will be hosted by my former ALM colleague and north-of-Boston neighbor David Horrigan, discovery counsel and legal education director at Relativity, and Anna Siroonian, program manager at Relativity.

 

A new podcast from the State Bar of Michigan, On Balance, covers a wide range of practice-management and wellness issues, all with a focus on how lawyers can effectively balance their personal and professional lives.

Produced in conjunction with the Legal Talk Network, the series is designed to help lawyers find greater balance in their professional and personal lives.

The show is hosted by JoAnn Hathaway, practice management advisor for the State Bar of Michigan, and Tish Vincent, program administrator of the Lawyers & Judges Assistance Program at the State Bar.

The first set of episodes feature interviews with speakers and attendees at the State Bar’s annual meeting, including with ABC’s Dan Abrams, the family and legal team behind Dennis Tomasik’s exoneration, and Michigan Supreme Court Justices Kurtis Wilder and Bridget Mary McCormack.

radio-microphone-mic-mike-podcast-podcasting-620x414Nothing like a second chance. I’d wanted to use the headline of this post for my column this week at Above the Law. But after realizing how overused was “golden age” in reference to podcasting, I went with: This Week In Legal Tech: Lawyers Learn To Love The Podcast.

Yet it is a golden age for legal podcasting, I believe. If you’re interested in why I think that (and for pointers to some podcasts worth a listen), check out my column.

The good folks at the Legal Talk Network — who host my two podcasts — have launched two new podcasts worth your listening time.

legaltalkThe newest, launched earlier this month, is Down the Hall with Practical Law. Presented by Thomson Reuters Practical Law, and hosted by Renee Karibi-Whyte, a director with the legal know-how group at Thomson Reuters, this podcast gets into the weeds of addressing need-to-know questions about common legal issues. I just listened to the first episode, which deals with the need-to-know legal issues in representing a startup, and I will confess to having learned a lot.

Over the summer, the Legal Talk Network also launched Planet Lex, a podcast presented by Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. This podcast features conversations about the law, law and society, law and technology, and the future of legal education and practice,  not to mention Making A Murderer.

Meanwhile, allow me to note that my own podcast, Lawyer 2 Lawyer, recently passed 11 years of production. Having started on Aug. 31, 2005, we are the longest-running legal podcast, by a long shot.

To put this in perspective, we launched the same month that Facebook launched. I’m not sure what became of that, but I’m glad to say we’re still going strong.

In August 2012, I estimated that we’d done more than 350 shows. Through the end of 2012, our show was weekly, after which it went to biweekly. Some quick math tells me that we’ve done a total of close to 500 shows.

The “we” in that equation is my co-host, J. Craig Williams, with whom I’ve done the show since the start, and the many talented people we’ve worked with over the years at the Legal Talk Network. We were the network’s first regular podcast and it has now grown to a network of 36 shows on an array of legal topics.

I also cohost Law Technology Now along with Monica Bay.

Here is a milestone that no other legal podcast has reached, that I know of: 10 years of Lawyer2Lawyer, our legal news and legal-affairs program.

Our first show was posted on Aug. 31, 2005. Our guests way back then were Mike Greco, who had just taken office as president of the American Bar Association, and Erwin Chemerinsky, then a professor at Duke Law School and now dean of the University of California, Irvine, School of Law.

Thanks to my cohost J. Craig Williams for putting up with me all these years and to the Legal Talk Network for making it all happen.

The biggest thanks, of course, goes to our listeners for taking the time to tune in and listen.

If you’d like to listen, you can find our entire catalog of shows at the Legal Talk Network, or you can subscribe via the iTunes library or our RSS feed.

And check out this week’s episode, in which we talk to Robert Blagojevich, brother of convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, about his new book, Fundraiser A: My Fight for Freedom and Justice. He describes what it is like to suddenly become a defendant in a federal prosecution and how he eventually beat the charges.

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Keep a necktie long enough and it will eventually come back into style. And so it is with podcasts — including legal podcasts. They were the next big thing. Then they weren’t. And now they are again. Or at least so it seems.

Trust me on this. I’ve been there for the roller-coaster ride. My podcasting partner J. Craig Williams and I posted our first episode of Lawyer2Lawyer show way back in 2005. That was the very year in which David Carr, the recently deceased New York Times media critic, described podcasting as “the platform du jour, the latest form of jailbreak media that has plain old citizens pulling up the microphone and mainstream media running scared.”

It certainly seemed that way for a while. Other lawyers started podcasts back then too. There was Denise Howell’s Bag and Baggage, Evan Schaeffer’s Legal Underground, Evan Brown’s InternetCases, and rethink(ip). Between 2005 and 2008 or so, new legal podcasts seemed to spring up regularly.

Until they didn’t anymore. Podcasting never went away, of course. But it seemed to hit a spell of inertia starting around 2007. That was the year that all of the legal podcasts I mentioned above, for whatever reason, stopped producing new episodes. (Denise Howell, fortunately, moved on to This Week in Law, where Evan Brown is a regular guest.) Many other legal podcasts also fell by the wayside in that period.

In 2008, Information Week asked, Is Podcasting Dead?

[I]t’s 2008 and time to admit that the actual uptake of podcasts by users hasn’t, and never will, come close to the hype. … [T]he question should really be whether podcasting isn’t on artificial life support. Because, as best as I can see, there’s a lot more money and effort being spent on creating ‘casts than there is interest and dollars headed back to content creators from consumers.

But now, the headlines are declaring that we are in the midst of a Great Podcast Renaissance. “Today, a very different problem exists,” says New York magazine. “There are too many great podcasts to keep up with.” Exhibit A for this renaissance is Serial, the most successful and popular podcast ever, which had an average of 2.2 million listeners per episode.

Podcasts, it seems, are having they heyday – and podcasts for lawyers are no exception. I just did a quick tally of new legal podcasts that launched since the start of 2015. No doubt I missed many, but ones I found – several of which debuted just within the last couple weeks – include:

  • Thinking Like A Lawyer, with Above the Law editors Elie Mystal and Joe Patrice talking about legal news and pop culture.
  • Resilient Lawyer, in which Jeena Cho and Keith Lee focus on mindfulness in law practice.
  • Wait, What?, a Thomson Reuters podcast that “takes an irreverent look at technology and its impact on our lives.”
  • Ill Repute, another from Thomson Reuters, this one about “reputation and the forces in the 24 hour news cycle and social media that impact it.”
  • The Lawyerist Podcast, a weekly show about lawyering and law practice hosted by Sam Glover and Aaron Street.
  • I Am The Law, aimed at showing current and prospective law students what life in the legal profession is really like.
  • Case in Point, a University of Pennsylvania Law School show that “provides smart, informative conversations about the law, society, and culture.”
  • The Florida Bar Podcast, an official state bar podcast hosted by Adriana Linares that discusses bar benefits, provides information and news to members, and focuses on educational curriculum and events.

Even the New York court system is getting in on the act. Just this week, it launched Amici, a podcast series created to share information and insight from New York’s judges and court administrators.

So why this renaissance? That New York magazine piece I quoted above attributes it all to cars – specifically, connected cars.

Connected cars are a boon for the entire streaming audio industry, but they’re especially exciting for podcast makers, whose shows are perfectly suited to in-car listening. Just as TV watchers can now choose Netflix or Amazon streams over surfing channels, radio listeners will soon have a bevy of on-demand options at their disposal.

A recent Columbia Journalism Review piece also gives credit for the boon to technology and cars:

There’s a growing audience thanks to in-car technology that makes on-demand listening as easy as tuning in to traditional radio. There’s a podcast app that comes standard on all iPhones, meaning more people are inclined to subscribe to shows and give them a listen when they see a little notification pop up that there’s a new episode.

But the piece says that an even bigger reason is the economics of podcasting – economics that have caused established media companies to pay attention.

Podcast consumers … listen to an average of six episodes per week. Once they find a podcast they like, they tend to be devoted. The medium feels intimate. Unlike the audience online, which tends to click through and then bounce away quickly, podcasts draw people in for the duration of the episode. They feel a deep, personal connection with the hosts. In an era when other ad rates are plummeting and publications are trying to position themselves as membership organizations, this level of fervent fandom is something that most media outlets would kill for.

The “cars” explanation is interesting. Over the nearly 10 years that I’ve been doing Lawyer2Lawyer, I’ve learned that some of our most fervent listeners are the lawyers who listen while in their cars. I’ve had complete strangers come up to me at conferences and tell me that they listen to Lawyer2Lawyer during their commutes or when they go on long trips.

But there is certainly something to be said for the economic explanation. Consider the Legal Talk Network, which has produced and hosted Lawyer2Lawyer from the get-go. In fact, we were the LTN’s first podcast. But in 2012, the LTN announced it was closing down and we announced that it would be the end of the line for Lawyer2Lawyer.  Then, at the eleventh hour, new owners came in, Denver-based LAWgical, and saved the Legal Talk Network and our podcast.

Now, the LTN seems to be expanding every day. It hosts two of the new podcasts I mentioned above — Thinking Like a Lawyer and The Florida Bar Podcast — and a full line-up of other great shows, not to mention special reports such as its recent broadcasts from Above the Law’s Converge conference. They are a good group to work with because they are professionals with an actual production facility and top-notch producers and engineers.

Of course, part of the popularity of podcasting is that anyone can do it and you don’t need a professional production company. Sam Glover recently had a post at Lawyerist in which he provided a shopping list for wannabe podcasters. You can do it yourself and be proud of the result, as Sam’s podcast demonstrates.

All of which may leave you wondering, “Should I start a podcast?” As far as I can figure, there are two reasons for a lawyer to podcast:

  1. It can be good marketing. A key aspect of a podcast is that they people who listen to it want to listen to it. They choose to click the play button or to subscribe to it on iTunes. You get to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in a different way than you can through a blog. And by speaking, rather than writing, you have an opportunity to connect with your listeners in a more direct and personal way.
  2. It can be fun. After nearly 10 years of podcast, it is still one of the most fun things I do. And I hear that all the time from others who podcast. Maybe it is the opportunity to play radio host. Maybe it is simply the opportunity to have interesting conversations with complete strangers. I’m not exactly sure why it is fun, but it is.

If you’ve given any thought to starting a podcast, there may be no better time to do it than now. And regardless of whether you want a podcast of your own, there has never been a better time for listening to podcasts. Podcasts are back in style in a big way — and this time I don’t think the fashion will be changing anytime soon.

 

At the March 18 Converge conference sponsored by Above the Law, the Legal Talk Network recorded a series of podcasts featuring interviews with the speakers and with the ATL editors. I hosted several of the interviews and four of the ones I hosted are now posted. They are (follow the links to listen):

  • Online Reputation, Privacy, and the Law, featuring Staci Zaretsky, ATL editor; Michael Gottlieb, attorney at Boies, Schiller & Flexner; Leeza Garber, corporate counsel and director of business development for Capsicum Group; Kashmir Hill, senior editor at Fusion’s Real Future; and Mary-Rose Papandrea, professor at Boston College Law School.
  • Pitching the Mainstream Media, featuring John Hellerman, cofounder of Hellerman Baretz Communications, and Casey Sullivan, editorial director of Bloomberg BNA’s Big Law Business.
  • Emerging Technical Trends and Best Practices, featuring Dan Lear, director of industry relations at Avvo; Tasha Cooper, president of UpWardAction; Mike Schmidt, vice chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Labor and Employment Department (and blogger); Ryan Lytle, social projects manager at Mashable; and Joe Patrice, ATL editor.
  • The Future of Law, featuring Silvia Hodges Silverstein, executive director of Buying Legal Council; Rakesh Madhava, CEO of Nextpoint; Jess Hunt, managing director at Axiom; and Elie Mystal, ATL managing editor.

In addition, LTN producer Laurence Colletti conducted these interviews:

 

FOSS+beerlogo

Colorado does a number of things very well. Mountains are one. Beer is another. Colorado has some 230 breweries and is home to more than 10 percent of the nation’s craft breweries.

It makes a certain degree of sense, therefore, that when two Colorado lawyers decided to launch a podcast, they agreed to include craft beer on the menu of topics they would discuss. The result is FOSS+beer, a podcast about the intersection of the law with technology and open source software. And, of course, beer.

In each episode, they feature — and consume — a Colorado craft beer. Why? “Because there is a lot of good beer here and, well, geeky law topics are much more interesting when alcohol is involved,” their website explains.

The hosts of the podcast are Mark Donald, counsel and legal technologist at Chainring Software, and Jilayne Lovejoy, open source attorney at ARM. A third host, who is not a lawyer, is identified only as Boups the Beerman.

The idea for the podcast was actually conceived by Mark and Jilayne in the tap room of the Upslope Brewing Company in Boulder, and Upslope was the featured brewery in their first episode.

In that episode, Mark talked more about the reason for weaving talk of beer into their discussions of legal topics.

Part of the thought process behind that was that so many legal podcasts are just really dry and boring and formulaic and they’re sort of like recorded CLE sessions with a long recitation of resumes at the beginning.

In other words, they wanted to be creative in the presentation of their podcast in order to keep it from being dull. And to that I will gladly raise a mug.

 

A long time ago, I was the founding editor of Lawyers USA (when it was called Lawyers Weekly USA). I’ve had nothing to do with it for years, but I was interested to note that it launched a new podcast for lawyers yesterday. Called Lawyers in Practice, the podcast is described as discussing “the hot issues facing practicing attorneys and law firms.” It is hosted by Reni Gertner, managing editor of Lawyers USA.

The first episode discusses how better communication with clients can prevent legal malpractice claims. The 20-minute episode has two guests who know this topic inside-out: Jim Calloway, director of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Management Assistance Program, and Dan Pinnington, vice-president of claims prevention and stakeholder relations at LawPRO, a professional liability carrier based in Toronto, Canada.

The podcast was launched in conjunction with the debut of Legal Malpractice Monitor, a paid site that will cover attorney discipline matters and offer tips on avoiding legal malpractice. Access to the site’s full articles requires a subscription to Lawyers USA, which is $149 a year for web only or $249 a year for web access plus the monthly print newspaper.

If anyone at LawyersUSA is reading this, they should enable the RSS feed for the podcast. I know that SoundCloud, where it’s hosted, allows this, but no feed is set up for this show.