Podcasts are having their heyday.
Last year, more than half the people in the United States listened to one, and nearly one out of three people listen to at least one podcast every month, according to the latest edition of The Infinite Dial, an annual survey put together by Edison Research and Triton Digital, an audio technology and advertising company.
In the legal sphere, there is also a growing number of podcast series covering topics ranging from criminal cases––like the 2014 NPR podcast “Serial,” which seemed to spark this podcast wave––to industry news and lawyer wellbeing.
There’s also quite a few shows produced by Virginia’s very own.
“Podcasts are a wonderful way, if you’re sitting on a train or in your car, to one, keep yourself entertained, and perhaps learn something new about your practice while doing so,” said Sharon Nelson, president of Sensei Enterprises in Fairfax and co-host of the podcasts “Digital Detectives” and “The Digital Edge.”
Nelson launched her podcast career with “The Digital Edge” in 2007 with co-host Jim Calloway, director of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Management Assistance Program, as a way to market their services and expand their knowledge of the legal field.
The show has proven to work as a powerful networking tool, as well––especially once it was picked up by the Legal Talk Network in 2010.
“Because Legal Talk Network is so big, many of [its] podcasters are our friends now. They’ve become part of our network,” Nelson said.
Michaela Lieberman had a similar experience when she launched the “Office Hours” podcast with her professor, Jeffrey Bellin, at the William & Mary law school in 2018.
“Law school is a really serious, intense place. To have opportunities for levity, for me, was a really meaningful component of my experience there,” Lieberman, who now works at the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, said. “It was a fun medium to explore that made the relatively small community at William & Mary feel even more closely knit.”
Though the subject matters of their shows differ, Nelson and Lieberman can agree on one thing: Producing a podcast is hard. It takes time to research topics for each episode, coordinate schedules with co-hosts and guests, assemble a technical team and advertise the show on websites and social media platforms.
Podcasting also can be expensive. The necessary equipment––headphones, mics, editing software, etc. ––isn’t cheap.
That’s why this week, Virginia Lawyers Weekly is shining a spotlight on those who take on such a feat.
Enjoy, readers. And happy listening.
In this monthly podcast, hosts Nelson and Calloway offer tips and tools for career success while educating listeners on technology news. The podcasting pair invite noted authors, speakers and legal technologists to discuss topics at the intersection of law and technology, including cybersecurity basics and how to succeed in the ever-changing legal marketplace.
In February’s episode, Nelson and Calloway interview Stewart Levine, founder of ResolutionWorks, on maintaining lawyer well-being.
“Digital Detectives,” a second podcast by Nelson and her co-host John Simek, vice president of Sensei Enterprises, is for listeners who are interested in digital forensics, e-discovery and information security issues, according to the Legal Talk Network.
In each episode, Nelson and Simek invite digital forensic and computer security experts to enlighten listeners on the latest technology, cyber threats and necessary security measures to keep online data secure.