If you’ve ever spent time listening to a podcast, you may have thought to yourself, “Hey, I can do that.”
And you’re probably right!
Podcasting is more popular now than ever, with hundreds of subjects and specialties and niches on dozens of different platforms.
There’s a whole world of legal podcasts within the world of podcasting, with branches covering topics from Supreme Court rulings to law school advice to guidance on how to run a successful small firm. And then there’s the world of niche–lawyers discussing cases and legal developments in their specific corner of the legal world, whether it be immigration law, personal injury law, or appellate law.
Of course, it all may seem a little intimidating.
That’s why we’re breaking it down for you.
Read on to find out what a legal podcast can be, whether it’s right for you, and how to start one.
What can a legal podcast look like?
Legal podcasts, like podcasts of all types, can vary in topic, style, and even format. So there’s a lot to consider when you’re thinking of starting your own.
Let’s take a look at a couple of different podcasts and see what a legal podcast can look like:
- Texas Appellate Law Podcast: This podcast, hosted by Texas appellate lawyers Todd Smith and Jody Sanders, covers topics of interest to lawyers handling appellate matters in Texas courts and beyond. The podcast attempts to pull back the curtain on the appellate system through conversations with judges, court staff, and top trial and appellate practitioners.
- Immigration Law for Tech Startups: Hosted by Sophie Alcorn of Alcorn Law, features immigration law strategies to empower global leaders to influence change in an effort to overcome borders, expand opportunity, and connect the world. The conversations in this podcast seek to help tech companies and professionals hire the world’s best and brightest.
- Trial Lawyer Talk Podcast: This podcast, hosted by award-winning California personal injury lawyer Scott Glovsky, consists of conversations with attorneys throughout the U.S. about being a trial lawyer. The episodes discuss specific cases and provide insights on how to strategize, how to connect with clients, and how to turn a case into a winning trial story.
Is legal podcasting right for me?
Here’s a quick guide to help you decide:
1. Why do you want to make this podcast?
If you’re just doing this because you think everyone else is doing it, or because your marketing team told you to, it’s probably not going to go very well. That’s because you won’t care about the project, and a creative project of this nature needs some serious TLC.
2. Do I have enough information to make the podcast valuable?
Listeners need to actually learn something while listening to your podcast so that they’re more likely to come back and listen again. If you’ve been practicing your area of the law for decades or are considered an expert in your field, you probably have plenty to say. If your niche area of the law is constantly changing and dealing with new legislation, you’ll definitely have enough to talk about. (Note: If you’re worried about not having enough content but really want to start a podcast, think about your community. Are there other attorneys in the same niche that you know who you could interview?)
3. Do I really have enough time to actually produce the podcast?
This goes back to the first question. If you don’t care about this project, you’re not going to want to put in the effort to make it worth it. You need at least an hour or two every week (or every two weeks) to prep the episode, record it, and get it ready for publication. You’ll also want to set aside some time for planning (such as inviting guests and preparing questions) and promoting (like posting your new episodes to social media).
How to get started on a legal podcast
Let’s say you’ve decided to devote the time each week to making your podcast, and you’re ready to go.
Here’s a few things you’ll need to build into your overarching strategy or game plan:
- Subject: What’s going to be the main subject of your podcast? Is your niche specific enough to attract a certain branch of listeners? Should you narrow it down more?
- Name/ Branding: This part can actually be pretty fun. You need to come up with some kind of name–it doesn’t have to be clever, but make sure it’s not too boring or forgettable. You also need to work with your design and/or marketing team to come up with branding for the podcast, including the thumbnail picture that will be used on all the podcasting platforms you choose to work with.
- Format and length: Will you be the sole host of the podcast? How often are you going to release episodes? How often (if ever) are you going to have guests? How long is each episode going to be?
- 3-5 episodes: Outline 3-5 episode ideas so that you’re not starting with a totally blank slate. If you’re doing interviews, choose who you’d like to invite. If you’re discussing cases, list bullet points of the things you’d like to discuss. Write an intro that you’ll use for each podcast, and an outro section after each episode that can thank the listeners, thank your producers, or even give a teaser at what to expect in the next episode.
- Disclaimers: Somewhere in your podcast–either in the audio itself or on your page once it’s set up–you’ll want to include a disclaimer explaining that your podcast cannot be used as legal advice, and that it does not create an attorney-client relationship. (Use something similar to what you have on your website.)
Podcast Technical Setup
Once you’ve got the game plan for your podcast, it’s time to choose a platform to host it.
Here are the 3 top platforms we recommend:
- Anchor.fm: Our team uses this free Spotify-based platform for our podcast, and we love it! Anchor’s got all the basics that you can just fill in–upload your audio, upload your thumbnail, and write your episode description all in the app. Then Anchor automatically connects your app to Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify. You can also put the RSS directly on your website and even submit your podcast to other sites.
- Blubrry: For WordPress users who want to monetize their podcast, this could be your best choice. For $12/month, WordPress users can use the podcasting plugin PowerPress to manage a podcast directly from your WordPress website. You can also submit your podcast to Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.
- Buzzsprout: This platform is also $12/month with unlimited storage, with the ability to submit your podcast to all the directories you want to use. You can also use the platform to create a website and blog posts for your podcast!
Pro Tip: If you need more audio editing help, we’ve got another recommendation for you: Descript.
Descript provides collaborative editing tools for audio and video, including transcription services and editing out all the times you use filler worlds like “um” and “uh.”
Be sure to check out our podcast Small but Mighty: The Niche Lawyer Podcast, where we interview our clients about their niche firms. (And once your podcast is up and running, contact us to get interviewed!)