By Douglas Pahl, USDCHS board member
From their roots in the early 2000s, podcasts (a combination of the words iPod and broadcast) have been multiplying like smartphones. Essentially radio shows you can listen to anytime via your computer or, more commonly, on your mobile phone, lawyers who venture into the world of podcasts have found a surprising amount of practical and engaging legal material.
How to find a podcast. You have two options: You can either listen to/stream a podcast through an internet website or you can save/download a podcast on your computer or smartphone. Downloading a podcast lets you listen to it anytime, even when you are outside internet range.
To Stream: Go to a podcast website and click the play button. Try http://www.npr.org/podcasts/. It’s that simple.
To Download: For iPhones and iPads, use the Podcasts app (pictured above). It should be loaded on your phone or you may need to visit the App Store. Click on the Podcasts app and hit the magnifying glass to search for podcasts. When you find one you are interested in, hit subscribe and episodes will be loaded onto your phone. Android users use the Stitcher app, which you can find on Google Play. Search for a podcast and hit + to add it to your Favorites. In Favorites, you can download new episodes via the gear in the upper right portion of the screen.
Top Legal Podcasts
More Perfect. This exciting RadioLab podcast began in June 2016 and has released six episodes. Each episode discusses a significant U.S. Supreme Court case, delving deeply into the background, legal context, historical context, prevailing political issues, the personalities of the time who influenced the case. Did you know that the case Chief Justice Earl Warren thought was the most significant during his tenure on the Court arguably ended the tenures of two justices? Were you aware that Marbury v. Madison pitted two cousins, arguably the most powerful Americans at the time, against each other?
Lawyer2Lawyer. Likely the first legal podcast, Lawyer2Lawyer began in 2005 is a bi-monthly review of current legal rulings. Hosted by Bob Ambrogi and J. Craig Williams.
We The People. Sponsored by the National Constitutional Center and run by attorney Jeffrey Rosen, We The People brings together national experts in a friendly debate format on a broad range of current legal topics, generally those involving the Supreme Court or Congress.
This Land is Your Land. This podcast was launched to cover an Oregon case that is drawing national attention—the Portland trial of Ammon Bundy and the six others charged with taking over the Malheur Wildlife Refuge headquarters outside Burns, Oregon. The podcast provides fascinating insights into this unique case and the movement that brought it about.
I am the Law. Host Daniel Gershburg invites successful CEOs, lawyers and professors from all corners of the legal industry to address issues of importance and relevance to the legal profession. “I created the I am the Law Podcast because I didn’t think lawyers were having enough candid conversations about events that matter. No one was talking about what the legal marketplace was going to look like 5 years from now without it sounding like a sales pitch.”
Supreme Podcast. For the true SCOTUS enthusiast, Supreme Podcast is a weekly review of what is happening at the nation’s highest court, including grants and denials of certiorari, opinions and oral argument. The podcast also provides special reports on individual justices.
New Solo. Host Adriana Linares discusses issues relevant to solo practitioners or those transitioning from a law firm to a solo practice. The podcast addresses topics on all phases of a solo career.
Amicus. Dahlia Lithwick hosts this Supreme Court-focused podcast, sponsored by Slate Magazine. “A program about the law, and the nine Supreme Court justices who interpret it for the rest of America.”
Paralegal Voice. Host Vicki Voisin focuses on issues and trends in the world of paralegals, featuring veteran paralegals and other legal professionals.
In-House Legal. This podcast focuses on issues important to in-house counsel, looking into developments, trends and best practices for general counsel.