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Practical Podcasting Tips for Lawyers
Many attorneys and law firms are turning toward digital content creation to better market their companies and connect with potential clients. One type of content that is increasing in popularity among legal practitioners is podcasting. In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss their nine years together creating podcasts, the benefits podcasting can provide to your legal career, and a few tips for attorneys interested in creating their own podcasts.
In the second segment of the podcast, Dennis and Tom discuss drones and how this technology might affect the practice of law. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.
Special thanks to our sponsor, ServeNow.View transcript
The Kennedy-Mighell Report
Practical Podcasting Tips for Lawyers
Intro: Web 2.0, Innovation, Trend, Collaboration, Software, Metadata… Got the world turning as fast as it can, hear how technology can help, legally speaking with two of the top legal technology experts, authors and lawyers, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Welcome to ‘The Kennedy-Mighell Report’, here on the Legal Talk Network.
Dennis Kennedy: And welcome to Episode 178 of ‘The Kennedy-Mighell Report’. I am Dennis Kennedy in St. Louis.
Tom Mighell: And I am Tom Mighell in Dallas.
Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode we discussed the Windows and Apple Operating Systems and operating systems upgrades in general. We have had a number of conversations recently about how to start a podcast and what our advice would be for podcasters. We thought it would be a good time to go on Meta and podcast about podcasting. Tom, what is on our agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well Dennis in this edition of ‘The Kennedy-Mighell Report’ will be — indeed we will be talking about podcasting. We will offer some practical tips for getting one started. In our second segment, which is quickly becoming stuff where Tom needs to learn more about technology, we’re going to speculate on how drones might affect the practice of law and as usual we’ll finish up with our parting shots that one tip website or observation that you can start to use the second that this podcast is over.
But first up we’re going to share our insights from really more than nine years of podcasting. This is our 178th episode. It’s hard to believe that we have actually been recording about 20. That makes 20 podcasts a year since we started it. Really that may not seem like yesterday but it sure doesn’t seem quite that long. Dennis has it really been more than nine years since episode number one?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah it is hard to believe. I still think it’s a funny story of how we started doing the podcast which was we were selected to speak at ABA TECHSHOW about podcasting. Now I sort of think it was because we’re the only two people familiar with podcasts and I think it was because we talked about listening to podcasts.
Although I’m sure that I had been interviewed on podcasts and I think you probably had as well so as we were trying to figure out how to put the presentations together, we said, the best way to prep for this and what to talk about would be to create our own podcast and out of that the podcast was born.
Tom Mighell: Yeah I agree. The past nine years I think we’ve learned a lot in terms of — right then we’ve kind of demonstrated that we tend to learn about how to do things by actually getting in and doing them and that was really no exception although 178 podcasts translates to 20 a year, we were kind of off and on for a while until we’ve started here with the Legal Talk Network.
It’s been a lot more recent but it’s really I think been a good learning experience and I think it’s put us in a good position to understand what are good options for people who might be interested in podcasting. I know that this past year Adam Camras and I spoke at TECHSHOW on podcasting and how to get it started and I think we’ve talked in a previous podcast about the Golden Age of podcasting and how it seems to be experiencing a resurgence and so I think it made it a good time for you and I to talk about what we’ve done and what we recommend other people to do.
Dennis Kennedy: And I guess that really long time fans will know that actually they are six sort of hidden episodes that happened before we went to Legal Talk Network, that aren’t added to 178 which were our totally roll our own podcast for. You and I really did figure everything out, how to record, what software to use, how to get it edited, I always feel like that sort of how we figured out our division of labor in doing podcasting as we went forward and I did — later editing you figured out how to get it onto iTunes and all the other stuff that we did to do the show notes and all those sorts of things.
We just figured that out on our own and then we turned it into a presentation sharing what we knew. So it really does go back and I think the pivotal thing for us i think we’ll talk about this because how important it was in us being able to maintain a podcast is getting to be part of Legal Talk Network where we became much more in a way of talent rather than producer, director, recorder, editor and that makes a huge difference.
And my best tip if you’re doing your own podcast is to get a producer who takes care of all the hard stuff but that’s I don’t think we’re going to discuss Tom. I think we’re gonna go back to the heart of it and say okay. So you’re somebody who wants to have a podcast or maybe have one that you started but you don’t know what to do with or you’d like to take it to the next level, I think that’s what we want to talk to in this episode. So I think the basic question Tom is like why would somebody want to do a podcast?
Tom Mighell: Well but I want to — maybe address just a little bit further kind of what I think is the elephant in the room that you alluded to which is what I would think — I’m going to start, before I start with the pros, the advantages of having a podcast, I want to talk about the disadvantages because I think Dennis is right.
I think if you want to — I mean having a producer produce your podcast is really a great situation because you can be the talent, you can just sit there and record it but the reality is, is that there aren’t a whole lot of people out there producing legal podcasts.
Now there are a lot of and we can talk about this more later, there are a lot of freelancers out there who will help you edit your audio and help you on the production side so that you don’t have to do it all yourself but to me the biggest drawback is making sure that you’re willing to make the time, commitment necessary to getting things done or finding the right process to where that time commitment is not a big deal.
Now that said, that’s to me the biggest drawback to being a podcaster. In my opinion the advantages or the benefits of being a podcaster far outweigh that disadvantage. So I mean clearly we’re talking you’re becoming up a broadcaster, you are creating your own radio station, a time shifted radio station, you’re getting exposure for that assuming that you can market yourself and/or that others market you.
You have the ability to provide thought leadership and expertise in areas that you have expertise in and you can get out there and in much the way that we used to talk about blogs providing that, podcast can do it in a same, more immediate way that they’re listening to you. The fact that a lot of the podcast people do if you do things that tend to be on evergreen type topics then you can have a long shelf life for your podcast.
People can go back four or five years later if the topics are such and they can still get value out of what you’ve recorded. It’s also I think one of the other advantages and one reason to do it is that it helps to engage with your clients. It’s another way to provide them with useful information the same way that you might send a newsletter out to your firm clients or the way that you might have a blog or do some other electronic media way.
I think that having a podcast is just another tool in the arsenal to produce things and since people are becoming more used to listening to their content and or viewing it but I think listening definitely the podcast really make sense.
Dennis Kennedy: And you can’t underestimate how cool it is to be in showbiz. So — but I think there is a part where you feel like you’re part of this global Internet entertainment community, education community. So you do have a voice that’s kind of interesting and can build your own audience.
So I think that’s an aspect — I mean we generally feel that the people who like to do podcasts think that their strongest way of communicating is by talking to people. So some people may say, I’m not a great writer, I’m not this but they can be really good talking to people or talking with people and so I guess Tom what I — it’s about what are the basic decisions that you want to make with the podcast.
To me one that’s super basic and really determines a lot is whether you feel that you want to go solo and solo typically means these days that you’re going to do an interview show or that you want to have a group podcast so Tom and I have always — there’s always been two of us, sometimes we’ll add a third person, you sometimes get podcast that have three, four, five people on them as regulars but I think that determination of solo versus group is very important and you may say God I don’t know how to do a podcast on my own but maybe I can do it with somebody that I’m friends with and that could turn into a really interesting option.
Tom Mighell: I think having a podcast with other people definitely addresses that issue although from a technical standpoint it creates new issues I think and so that we have to address those in just a second.
I would say that the other purpose for a solo podcast would be more of the, I don’t want to call a lecture type, maybe talk about the type where you’re actually talking on a specific issue and I want to sit down and talk to you about community property in your state. Let’s talk about the basics of community property.
I’ll be honest I’ve been sitting here and I think I’ve talked to Dennis with you a couple of times I’ve been wanting to as part of restarting my blog, I wanted to do a five minute tech podcast for lawyers that come at the end of the week. All the technology stories that you need to know so you don’t have to pay attention to it, let me tell you what it is. It would be more like me reading the news and commenting on it and I see that as being okay in the solo environment but that said I think that if you’re brand new to it, if you really want to get started with people then it makes a whole lot of sense to work with other people.
Dennis Kennedy: And it also can keep you on track, because if you are dealing with somebody else and you have a schedule and you feel that you are going to let them down if you don’t do your part, that can be a benefit.
Second thing that I really focus on is, and I think this is super important is to treat your podcast as a show. And so you say, okay, so there are podcasts, there are TV shows, there’s other things that you like, and so there’s a point to them, there’s pacing to them, there is segments to them.
So when Tom and I put together this podcast sort of our motivation was that we always presented, did presentations on technology, but the two of us never really got the chance to talk about technology together and we thought the podcast would be a way for us to do that.
But we thought of it and said, okay, how is it going to be a show, and so we looked at podcasts we like, so Pardon the Interruption, the ESPN podcast, the Political Gabfest, and we kind of came up with our own approach.
And so what we do is we have the long segment, we call the A segment, that’s focused on a specific topic that we go into depth. We have the B topic, which we make all kinds of changes to over time. Originally we thought we were going to do this as a Q&A sort of segment, but it’s designed to be shorter. And then we end it with the Parting Shots, because we want to give people that one tip, website or other idea that they could use right away.
And so that becomes the format, and then within that format you have your intro music, the segment approach also if you have advertising, it gives you slots to put the advertising into. And so I think of it as a show.
So you would say, okay, if I am doing interviews, it’s going to be set up that same way; if it’s a discussion, it’s going to have segments so it feels like a show and it has pacing and all those sorts of things.
And so I think if you say, if my competition is stuff that’s interesting, it’s conceived of as a show, how do I fit into that, and I think once you do that I think that helps you find your voice, your topics, all those sorts of things.
Tom Mighell: I totally agree, and I think that figuring out who your audience is, figuring out what that format is going to be is a good start, but like you mentioned, we started with our — we have kind of stayed constant that our A topic has been a long segment, but that our B topic, we have felt free to experiment with it. When we get tired of something, we had a period of time where I think it was me who went on a rant every week and —
Dennis Kennedy: Those were the days.
Tom Mighell: Once I got my anger out, we moved on to another format for the B segment, but I think that being flexible and changing things up, at least for us, I don’t know how the listeners feel, but at least for us, I think keeps it fresh, keeps it more interesting, and it feels like we are not just diving in all the time.
Dennis, what do you think is the right length of an episode?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, so we have always felt and we have always made the target, the mythical 20 minute podcast, okay. So the idea of the 20 minute podcast is, it should fit within most anyone’s commute or their workout comfortably.
So looking at the recording here I see that we are already approaching the 20-minute mark on the recording, which isn’t totally accurate, because there’s some time that we are going to take out of this one. So I think that you have that — you see a couple of models these days, so there’s a bit of a movement where people are trying really short podcasts, 5-10 minute range.
And then there’s just been an explosion this year, to me, of shows that feel free to go an hour, two hours, sometimes longer, and they conceive of themselves as a show, and also, I think they see themselves as the only podcast that some people listen to. And if you are in that environment I think you can do the longer things, but if you are fighting for space, wherein somebody is listening to podcasts, I think the shorter thing is right. I still feel the 20-minute is about right, but Tom, we are consistently I think in the 35-40 minute range.
Tom Mighell: Yeah, I still think, and if I am being honest, I would like for ours to be a little bit shorter, but I am starting to gravitate more to the 30 minutes as the sweet spot. I agree there are some networks now where their podcasts have grown to an hour-and-a-half to two hours each, and if I listen just to those podcasts and I still don’t have enough time to listen to all of them during the week, I think that’s just too much time, too much content.
I think that the nice thing about doing a podcast is you can make it whatever length you want to. There’s no set rules. There’s no expectations that if you just have something important to say and you can get that out in five minutes, like Dennis said, then do it. I mean, it’s something that you have a lot of freedom about.
I mean, likewise, in terms of the schedule, in terms of how often you want to record, I mean that’s really down to you, that depends on how much time. I think I would recommend that you don’t go away for too long. I have subscribed to podcasts where I haven’t had episode show up for six months or so, and I will say I have been pleasantly surprised when they have shown back up and decided to start recording again. But there’s an argument to losing your audience after a certain period of time
And so it’s something that you have got to commit to whether it’s once a week or once every two weeks or once a month or once every two or three months, set that schedule and try to stick to it, because if you do gain an audience, then people are really going to have expectations of when you are going to be around.
Dennis Kennedy: And then I think the scheduling thing can be tricky. So you need to understand your audience. So sometimes I am — I am actually always surprised when somebody says that they go to our website, the website for the podcast and listen, because that’s just not how I do things. And then I know that certain podcasts come out on certain days, but because I get everything through my podcast app I don’t really pay attention to what days come out, because I could be listening to them at any time.
But if you want to have the Monday morning show and that’s how you set up the show, then you need to do it every Monday morning. So I like having some flexibility there.
All right Tom, I want to — let’s hit some details, so I jokingly say the best advice you can get — my best advice is to get a producer who handles this stuff for you, but let’s focus on the do-it-yourself podcasts. The thing I notice is that podcasts — although I think people should focus on what their show will be and what they want to accomplish in their audience, people seem to really focus on, almost obsessively, on the tech, like what microphone, how do you record, that sort of thing, and so we will give some opinions on that.
And the other thing that I think is really important these days with podcasts is that because of NPR and the other professional podcasts, I think the standard for sound quality and production is actually pretty high with a podcast. And so I think you do need to pay attention to what you use to record and how you record.
So Tom, let’s try to answer the classic microphone question.
Tom Mighell: Yeah. No, I totally agree. There are still some podcasts that I listen to; there is at least one law firm podcast I listen to where it appears that they are all talking this far away and they are talking on a speakerphone when they are doing it and it’s really a bad experience listening to that. And on the other hand, I hear a lot more podcasts where they are done on professional or at least professional-grade type microphones, so let’s talk about those.
I think that in terms of what we use, a USB microphone is just fine, that’s the mic that I have. I have a microphone right now that’s a Shure mic, which when I last checked retails for about $200 on Amazon. I just plug it into my computer and we will talk about the software in a minute. But $200 is kind of the sweet spot. You can go a lot more expensive to get a much more professional, I won’t necessarily say nicer, but much more professional mic, or you can go down to $50. There are good high quality microphones for $50 on Amazon that are just as good and provide a high quality sound as what we are using to record right now.
Dennis, what do you think?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. I mean, I think we use the — I mean, I use the Shure, I think it’s an SM58, I just call it the 58 microphone. It’s very standard, used by entertainers, used professionally all over the place. I run it through the Shure device called the X2u, which runs into the USB port. So it’s an XLR microphone, it goes into this adapter, then goes into the USB port.
I think that gives you a familiar sound for most people. It gives you high quality and is just a really nice, basic approach. You are talking a couple of hundred dollars. I mean, I think you can try some different things, but I think most people who have been podcasting a long time say, if they start cheap on the microphones, they gradually go up the chain. So I think that’s sort of basic, go with a professional approach.
Like I have the two-step approach, this is probably what I would recommend to people, because it’s I think professional and easy to use. Sometimes you have got to be a little bit careful about getting the connections right, but that’s the approach I would take.
And there are some accessories to microphones I think that are absolutely essential and so the two of them which can sometimes be combined are the pop filter, first of all, which keeps you from the plosive Ps and Ts, which can be really apparent and really visible when you start to edit a podcast. So there’s pop filters. And what they call windscreens, which are sort of the foam things you see often over microphones. Both of them are really beneficial and will make your podcast sound a lot better.
Tom Mighell: Yeah, I agree, having one of those I think is an absolute must-have, and they are pretty cheap, they are pretty inexpensive to get, again, from Amazon. So we have got our hardware, let’s talk about the software.
If you are going to do it yourself, the choices, again, allow you to go from free to reasonably expensive recording tools, but having a recording tool that can capture your voice and that also gives you the ability, if you want, to lay down a music track or to have multiple tracks for multiple speakers. So you want to have software that’s not too advanced, because you don’t want to have to sit there and learn how to use something and something that’s incredibly complicated and is only for sound engineers, but you also want it to be pretty powerful.
The tool that we use for recording this podcast is Audacity. It’s a free open source software tool. It is I think fairly easy to use. For us, it’s really just a matter of getting the right configuration, turning it on, recording it, and then taking that file and sending it on to the people who produce the podcast. But you can record a podcast within Audacity and wind up actually editing it and producing the whole thing from within there with some pretty nicely advanced tools.
Now, if you want more, there’s tools like Adobe Audition, which is a more full-featured program. It’s going to cost you more. It’s going to actually be subscription price with Adobe’s Creative Cloud product. You can go as inexpensive as GarageBand for Apple. It makes a perfectly acceptable recording tool as well. And then there are a number of tools that you want to spend a couple of hundred, all the way up to a $1,000, you can go for that software as well.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I really like Audacity. It’s free, you can’t beat that. Good number of people use GarageBand, if you are in Mac world. What I like about Audacity is that it’s pretty straightforward, very visual, you can kind of see the track as it’s going in. You can see your sound levels, and it has the basic filtering and effects that you would want to do, which are sort of to normalize, I am going to use the word wrongly probably, but sort of normalize, so you if you have two people you get their volumes about the same and then a basic visual editing.
So once you get used to seeing the waveforms, you can take out the ums and the ahs and the stutters and the pauses and tighten things up so you sound really good, without spending a ton of time on editing and you get a much better sound.
The other option frankly is to find somebody who is like an audio engineering student or new in that business who wouldn’t mind having you come to their studio or come record you or take your recording and edit it and do it cheaply just for experience. So that’s another option.
Tom Mighell: Or using — I mean, there are freelance services on the Internet like Elance and Upwork and there are other sites out there that I think you can hire somebody online and say, look, I have recorded this file, can you produce it for me and make sure you take all that stuff out and you outsource that work to them. It’s not terribly expensive, but it’s probably a lot cheaper than the time you would spend otherwise billing your clients for things.
So let’s I guess maybe real quick and I want to be mindful of the time, where do you want to head next? I mean, when we talk about how to communicate if you have got multi-host or guest, is that the next place to talk, Dennis?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, I am going to talk a little bit about the double-ender, so people are familiar with that and then we can maybe talk about coordinating the people on, and then the thing I want to learn from you, because I never got involved in this how you actually get it up so people can listen to you.
So we use what they call the double-ender. So Tom is in Dallas, I am in St. Louis, we are having our call over Skype, but each of us is recording on Audacity our end and just our end of the call only, and then we take those two files in Audacity and we send them off to our producers, or we would send them to whichever one of us were editing, if we were doing it do-it-yourself, and that way it gives, instead of trying to record a Skype call and wondering what the quality is going to be, we get the best quality we can on each side. So if we have done it right it sounds like we are actually in the same room and that gives a much more professional feel to your podcast.
If you have a guest, sometimes you have to have them on Skype and you get the best quality you can, because they are not going to have the same setup, but the double-ender is the sort of classic approach to get you the best sound quality when people aren’t in the same place.
So that’s easy to coordinate when you have two people with the setups, but the other thing that we found really tricky and that’s why we decided to go with two people on the podcast and we usually don’t have guests is that trying to coordinate the cues as you move between speakers, where you don’t have video connection, you can’t see each other is really difficult.
So I don’t know, Tom, do you want to talk a little bit about that as well?
Tom Mighell: Well, I think that recording with multiple people can be a challenge for the same way that you just described it, which is that you have got to worry about, will they be joining on Skype. They may lack the tools to record the same way that you do. So, most guests are not going to have Audacity the same way that we would.
I will say that I have recorded a podcast before using Skype with a tool called Voice Recorder. It’s an add-in for Skype that actually does a pretty nice job. Again, it does, like Dennis said, it does depend on how good your connection is, but assuming you have a strong connection you can actually record somebody talking to you on Skype and get a fairly decent recording that you can then load into Audacity or some other program and edit.
So I think if you don’t have the luxury of having that studio that can patch everybody in and record from there, then you do have to get a little bit creative. Again, I would say that there are also some podcasts where having that guest dial in on a regular phone line to where it sound like you can tell they are on a phone, that’s still acceptable, we still get that a lot on podcast these days, it’s still something — it gives the notion of the special guest dialing in from far away, and so there’s not, I don’t think, the same type of issues with that as you might have with the hosts wanting to have a good high quality recording.
Dennis Kennedy: The other way I think to be professional about your podcast is to actually do some scripting. Now, we know people who script the whole podcast, and to be generous in describing that approach we take, we are a hybrid approach. So I sometimes say the reason that we don’t have guest hosts on is because I am embarrassed if they would see what our actual scripts look like, but typically you want to script the intro and what we call the outro and some of the in-between places.
Some people do a lot of scripting; we tend to do what I would call more of an outline, which as in this episode we then proceed to ignore as we go through the episode, but I think that scripting piece of it, and especially the intro, is really important to get to the scripting and get some practice on that, and I think that gets your shows off to a really smooth start.
So Tom, do you want to talk a little bit about, so once you have put it altogether, edited it, got it ready to go, what the heck do you do with the podcast so people can actually listen to it?
Tom Mighell: So you have got to get that podcast out where it’s hosted somewhere where it can be of use to you. You can’t just store it on the same site that has your website, because your web provider doesn’t have the capability to, one, provide unlimited storage, because you would want something with the ability to hold large files, but also, it probably has some restrictions on the bandwidth. And that means the amount of people who would go in and download your podcast would likely exceed whatever your usual website restrictions would be.
So there are actual hosts who will host your podcast for you, and when you look for them, the ones that I like the most are, there is a site called Libsyn. Libsyn has been around for a long time; it’s kind of the granddaddy of podcasting hosts.
One that I like a lot more recently is called SoundCloud, which actually may be bought by Spotify by the time this thing gets produced. And I like both of those, but no matter what host you go with, you want to make sure that they have a couple of features.
You want to make sure that they can’t modify or alter your files, that once you upload it it’s there and they can’t do anything to it. Again, you want to make sure that it has unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth. You want to make sure that it has that RSS feed. You want to make sure that it’s findable. So, the RSS feed makes it easy nowadays if you have a podcast app on your iPhone or on your Android phone, there’s a directory in there that has all the different podcasts from, usually iTunes is where it pulls from, but it needs an RSS feed to pull that, that’s where your host can help you.
You want support, because obviously you are not an expert on hosting podcasts, so hopefully they will do it. You want them to charge you a reasonable fee because you want them to stay in business. A free service is not something you want to go for.
And then on the nice to have side would be stats and analytics, seeing how many people are downloading, which episodes are more popular, those types of things, so you can gauge your marketing efforts if you plan to track something like that about your podcasts.
But if you are not sure about podcasting, there are a couple of tools out there that I think are really interesting because they allow you to just record on the fly. Anchor is one of them. Anchor is an app. And then ZCast is another app. And they actually just allow you to open up your app and say, hey to your Facebook world or your Twitter world or whoever, I am getting ready to record something on the latest court decision by the Texas Supreme Court. I am going to talk about it for ten minutes. You can do that. It will live on that website. It’s a good way I think to get started just recording things and posting them online. It takes a minimum of effort. You don’t have to edit those and it’s instant gratification, it goes online instantly. Those are kind of a nifty freeway to get started.
Dennis, I am going to turn it over to you to finish out with whatever you want to finish the segment with.
Dennis Kennedy: Okay. So I want to go back to Libsyn, which is L-I-B-S-Y-N, so people know how to find that.
Tom Mighell: We are going to give links in all the show notes.
Dennis Kennedy: And Tom mentioned the RSS feed, I think with Libsyn and the other hosting places that’s going to come sort of pretty much automatically, so I don’t know how concerned you need to be about that. You just need to know it’s there.
And then the other thing I think is that you know you have done things right when you see your podcast in iTunes, and it’s a cool feeling when you show people you know, a family or whatever that in iTunes that your podcast is sitting there. So can’t underrate that feeling. I want to leave with some of my favorite tips based on some conversations I had recently. So I think sometimes the lawyers say, what the heck can I talk about that’s legal that would be interesting to people that I can do on a sustained basis. So I have two examples of lawyers, one, somebody who has been quite successful and somebody who I think would be really successful if they just did this podcast and I keep talking to them about it.
So we have a friend, who is like a Scotch expert and he will tell you like all these amazing things about Scotch. So even if you don’t drink Scotch which I don’t, it’s just fascinating to talk to him and I just keep telling, he should do a podcast that’s just about Scotch. He could interview people, he can just tell his stories, it would be a great podcast and it wouldn’t be a lawyer podcast, but it could be very successful for him.
The other one is as I ran into someone who started doing a podcast and they were interested in what I’ll call the startup culture, startup work with startup companies in their locality. And so they went out, they started podcasting; they started interviewing people in that community. And then it became like the thing to be interviewed by him and on his podcasting. He got the Mayor of the town, people with all these startup companies, and then he became known as a lawyer who worked with startups and people try to get on his podcast. And so as a result of the podcast, he talked to people who were super interesting to him, provided information to his community that was really great and got business on the side and had a great time doing it. And I think both those things are two great examples of what you can do with a podcast instead of sort of beating yourself up saying, I’m in this boring area of law, what is it that I can do? So it’s sort of like, what audience do I want to reach and how can I do that in a fun way with a podcast?
Tom Mighell: Yeah, they are great tips and as you can tell we love talking about this subject. So if you’ve got questions, we are going to give you information at the end of the podcast and how to get in touch with us. So if you want to talk more about it, maybe there is more fodder to talk about it in another podcast, but we got to move on. Before we do that, let’s take a quick break for a message from our sponsor.
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Tom Mighell: And now, let’s get back to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I am Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy. 2016 also seems to be the year of the drone. Now there’s been a ton of discussion about legal issues involving Drones, but not much, if any, discussion of how Drones might actually change the practice of law for lawyers on a day-to-day basis, that of course means that I have challenged Tom to take a look at depth the Drones from that perspective. Tom, what you think lawyers will need to know about Drones and how they are used and how lawyers might actually use them in the practice?
Tom Mighell: You know, when you proposed this topic it reminded me sort of the memes that we find on the Internet whenever some new technology comes up. No matter what the technology is, there will inevitably be an article about it, how lawyers will use (blank), even if it — you know, how lawyers will use the Apple Watch, how lawyers will use the Amazon Echo, I think Drones are no different, but I will say that although I accepted your challenge, I am really struggling and so I am looking forward to seeing what you have got to say. But in terms of practical uses of Drones for lawyers, I would say I think that the jury is still a little bit out.
I think there’s lot of things lawyers need to know about Drones to advice their clients. Obviously, privacy issues, if clients have Drones, there are a lot of legal issues that come from operating Drones. There is probably some type of liability claim for a damage caused by Drones. And so there are a number of things lawyers need to be able to talk to their clients about, or at least be aware about them, so they can give — refer their clients to the right people.
But as far as lawyers using Drones as part of their practice, so for me, if I am thinking as I have been a litigator, the most obvious use of the Drone would be aerial photography and video. When I was a litigator there were a number of cases, primarily eminent domain cases where I wanted to show aerial photos of the place and we would have to go to a company that flew planes out and did aerial photography.
And find the exact right spot and getting it cropped and getting it printed the right way was just such a pain and being able to take a Drone out and take a video and sweep over that property or be able to look at things to be able to record from that angle. And now that they’re coming out with Drones that can do 3D modeling of what you’re doing, I see a lot of application there that lawyers can use that to tell a story, to be persuasive, to close a deal on something and show things from the air. I see those as being one of the best uses of Drones.
Obviously Drones can be used for surveillance purposes which might be useful for lawyers, I would watch out in that area though that comes along with a lot of potential negatives. I saw one article on the Internet where lawyers or others could use Drones to do advertising. You could hang banners or other things from Drones. I would imagine that, that would probably be a lesser use of the Drone. I really think that the ability to see things from up top and record it might be one of the best ways that lawyers can use Drones, but I imagine Dennis, you have been thinking about some other things as well?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, man, you had some really good ones there. I’m like intrigued. I was thinking of the one where you are using Drones to like fly around advertising banners for lawyers. I mean, if there’s anything guaranteed to give the bar regulators a coronary it would be that.
Tom Mighell: That’s awesome, isn’t?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. I think for the trial illustrative of evidence, aerial photography all that sort of thing is to me the clear one, it’s tempting to say that in certain firms, when a partner can’t find an associate to fetch his cup of coffee, he could like send — have a Drone deliver it. So there are a number of things out there. So I think it’s probably in the litigation area as you said. I also think it’s another example of where lawyers need to be aware of what’s going on there. How the technology works, what data is being recorded, is it just video? What do you do with that location data, and if I need to advise a client, is one of things where I think the more you understand what’s going on, the better job you can do. So it could be in discovery and that sorts of things where the effect that you know, the types of information that can be gathered can make your request for productions much more exacting and get you information you need. And so I think there are a number of things, it’s kind of fun to speculate and kind of get away from like, oh, what happens if the Drone gets loose and runs into somebody, sort of like, well, if I’m a lawyer how can I use it? And so I think it’s a great thought exercise with new technology, which is why I suggested it today Tom.
So now it’s time for our Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: So when I noticed that in the script that we put together that Dennis is going to do a television show for his Parting Shot, I thought, well, not only will I also join him in recommending a television show. I’m actually going to talk about one that deals with technology, and that is, I just finished the third season of Halt and Catch Fire which is on AMC, but you can download it from the streaming service of your choice I believe. Halt and Catch Fire, for those of you who aren’t aware of it is a drama that focuses on tech startups in the 80s, and so it starts out with a small group in Dallas, my own hometown, where they are starting to work on computers and online communities and you hear about Prodigy and America Online, and they’re playing the latest game which is this Nintendo game with this guy named Mario. And the third season ends with them discussing the World Wide Web. It is I think a fascinating view on how these things sort of came to be. It makes for good drama as well, their acting I think is very good, I think it’s very well worth watching Halt and Catch Fire.
Dennis Kennedy: It is an interesting one Tom, and as you know, I keep threatening to bring more TV into the podcast, but I think that what I was — so I haven’t watched that one, but what I’ve heard about it is that especially, once you got passed the first season it started to really — if I can say this catch fire and become good.
Tom Mighell: Right. Yes, definitely gotten better.
Dennis Kennedy: So my show is a new one, and I haven’t watched the whole season yet, but this is a binge watch, a choice for me. So, a series called Longmire, it’s now in Season 5. It’s on Netflix, it used to be on ANE as I recall. It’s based on a series of the Walt Longmire Mysteries by an author named Craig Johnson who if you ever get the chance to see a reading of his, totally worth your time, he is really fun and he really takes the time to visit with people if you are in the line when he is signing books.
But this has a nice surprise for people who are Battlestar Galactica fans in one of the actresses who are on the show and it’s a great show about Sheriff in the west and it has all this great spirituality, crime, big emotions, great characters. And what I like them about in the Netflix is that the shows go 59 minutes, which means it go as long as they need to be, and so they felt constrained with the show because in commercial TV it would be 43 minutes with commercials. And so by adding that extra 10 or 15 minutes they are able to tell stories in a lot better way. So that’s made the show even better to me, but if you wanted kind of a different perspective on things and something that set in the current American West, this is a very cool show.
Tom Mighell: Wow! So that wraps it up for this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Thanks for joining us on the podcast. You can find show notes for this episode at HYPERLINK “http://www.tkmreport.com” tkmreport.com.
If you would like to get in touch with us, or want to talk more about podcasting for example, please email us at HYPERLINK “http://email@example.com” http://firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a tweet. I am @TomMighell and Dennis is @denniskennedy. So until the next podcast, I am Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy, and you have been listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report, a Podcast on Legal Technology with an Internet focus. Help us out by telling a couple of your friends and colleagues about the podcast.
Outro: Thanks for listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Check out Dennis and Tom’s book, ‘The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together’ from ABA Books or Amazon, and join us every other week for another edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, only on the Legal Talk Network.