We may be biased but podcasts are a great tool for lawyers whether you’re looking for tips or need a little encouragement. In this episode of the State Bar of Texas Podcast from the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting, host Rocky Dhir talks to John Strohmeyer and Teresa Waldrop about the benefits of podcasts and how you can effectively use them to improve your practice. They discuss some of the tips and tricks they’ve learned in their own listening and how they’ve found time to listen as busy lawyers.
John Strohmeyer is an international tax and estate planning attorney who focuses on foreign tax compliance and high-net-worth estate planning for individuals.
Teresa Waldrop has extensive experience in representing non-participant spouses in negotiating, settling and litigating divorce disputes at the Law Office of Teresa J. Waldrop.
State Bar of Texas Podcast
State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting 2018: Why Lawyers Should be Listening to Podcasts
Intro: Welcome to the State Bar of Texas Podcast, your monthly source for conversations and curated content to improve your law practice, with your host Rocky Dhir.
Rocky Dhir: Hello and welcome back to the State Bar of Texas Podcast, brought to you in partnership with the Legal Talk Network.
You know, we are here at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in 2018 in Houston and there’s a lot of stuff you can learn at one of these conventions and one of the things that I am learning about, ironically, is about podcasting.
So it’s not just — the podcast is not just providing you information about other areas of law, sometimes we talk about podcasting and where podcasting can get you.
I have got two very special guests with me. I have got Teresa Waldrop and I have got John Strohmeyer, both from Houston. We have got two Houston kids here with us.
So welcome both of you.
Teresa Waldrop: Thanks.
John Strohmeyer: Thank you.
Rocky Dhir: So now, you guys are pretty familiar with podcasting from what I am told.
Teresa Waldrop: Yes.
John Strohmeyer: Yes, very. I think we were competing earlier before we got started on who is actually the bigger podcast fanatic.
Teresa Waldrop: I think it’s John.
John Strohmeyer: I will accept that.
Rocky Dhir: Are you guys, podcast super fans? Is this like a super fan thing?
Teresa Waldrop: Yes, I am a fanatic.
John Strohmeyer: Probably obsession might be the better way to put it at this point.
Rocky Dhir: Really, obsession?
John Strohmeyer: Obsession. Right now, just before we got started, I checked, I am currently subscribed to 95 different podcasts.
Rocky Dhir: Wow. Teresa, how about you, have you counted?
Teresa Waldrop: Not 95, but it’s —
Rocky Dhir: 94?
Teresa Waldrop: Close.
Rocky Dhir: Wow, okay. So tell us a little bit about the types of content you guys are looking for on these podcasts? What kind of podcasts are you guys listening to?
Teresa Waldrop: Well, I am interested in technology and how that impacts the law in my practice, practice management.
Rocky Dhir: And what do you — you are a family lawyer?
Teresa Waldrop: Yes, divorce lawyer.
Rocky Dhir: Oh divorce, not all of family, divorces.
Teresa Waldrop: Well, I do more than just divorce, but divorce makes it pretty clear. Family law encompasses lots of different things, so primarily divorce.
Rocky Dhir: And you are like, this is divorce, this is it.
Teresa Waldrop: Yes.
Rocky Dhir: Okay, okay. And so how have these podcasts helped you in your practice?
Teresa Waldrop: Well, in terms of practice management and books, I listen a lot to The Kennedy-Mighell Podcast.
Rocky Dhir: Sure, yeah, absolutely.
Teresa Waldrop: Yes. And so that’s actually my favorite. And then I also listen to Sharon Nelson and her podcast with Jim Calloway and also with Mr. Simek, I think is his last name. And so they give me ideas on electronic evidence, and some of the interviews that they do with people like Craig Ball, who is also speaking here.
Rocky Dhir: Yes indeed, we know Craig.
Teresa Waldrop: Yeah. So capturing electronic evidence, cyber insurance, things like that, practice management types of tips, tools, apps that I might be able to use in my practice.
Rocky Dhir: Have you actually used anything you have learned from a podcast?
Teresa Waldrop: I am sure I have.
Rocky Dhir: You lose track after a while.
Teresa Waldrop: Yes, yes.
Rocky Dhir: Yeah, yeah. And John, how about you, what kind of work do you do; I think it’s taxation, estate planning?
John Strohmeyer: Right, so I do tax and estate planning. Essentially, I help individuals with their kind of personal planning issues. I stay out of the courtroom; I leave that to people who enjoy being there. But I look at podcasts as a way to get much more information from more sources.
There is no way I can go out and find all this information and it’s great to find practice resources for someone like me, who just went out on my own. I can get from Jared Correia, from Lawyerist Podcast, from New Solo, just all these new ideas, some of which will stick, others won’t, but even if they don’t stick, I can at least know what’s out there and get some more ideas about what I can do to make my practice better.
Rocky Dhir: Can you think of something practical you have taken away from a podcast?
John Strohmeyer: Where do I even start?
Rocky Dhir: Oh wow.
John Strohmeyer: The thought of how can I focus more of my time on the real value that I bill, it’s come across in a number of the podcasts, in a number of episodes. My highest and best use as a lawyer does not include me doing bookkeeping, does not include me answering the initial phone call, how can I get that kind of lower level work outsourced so that I can focus on the higher level work where I am delivering better value to my clients.
Rocky Dhir: How about you Teresa, would you agree with that assessment?
Teresa Waldrop: Yes. I learned so much. One of the areas that I am particularly interested in is artificial intelligence and blockchain and how that might impact family law. So whenever I go through my podcast directory and I see specific episodes about those two areas, I make sure that I put those to the top of the list and listen to those first.
Rocky Dhir: Wow. Okay. So now, here at the State Bar of Texas, as of this taping, we launched our podcast just a couple of days before and so we are — it’s interesting to hear you guys say this. We do have a lot of content on artificial intelligence and different practice management solutions.
When do you guys actually get time to listen to podcasts, because as lawyers we tend to bill by the hour or even if it’s flat fee, we are trying to get as much work out as we possibly can. When are you making time for this?
John Strohmeyer: So for me, because I have got it on my phone, I can listen to it in the car. I can sync it up to Bluetooth. It’s coming through the speakers while I am driving. I have got headphones that are Bluetooth, so when I go for runs or I am working out, I can be listening there, just a few minutes here or there, you can still kind of peel off episodes and just kind of whittle down what you have got.
And I look at it as something where I am not trying to pay attention to every last thing that’s coming out of the podcast, I am looking for kind of having it as background, I will focus in when something grabs my attention or if it’s a particular episode, I can listen to it right then and pay more attention.
But it’s also great to just have these things kind of drip into your head. I have a lot of legal practice podcasts, but they are just kind of art and design podcasts that I listen to or some of the stories where I am just getting other things and it just — it can serve as kind of music and background noise for when you are doing other things.
Rocky Dhir: How about you Teresa?
Teresa Waldrop: Yeah, pretty much the same. But I also listen to them on long drives and in fact, if you look at my Twitter stream, I talk about that. I am getting in the car for a five hour drive and I am loaded up with podcasts.
Rocky Dhir: But do you have selfies, you have got to have the selfies if you are going to talk about what you are doing.
Teresa Waldrop: Well, no, I don’t have the selfies but —
Rocky Dhir: We are going to have to add the selfies. So see sitting and being part of the podcast, you HAve learned about the selfie part about tweeting about your podcasts.
Teresa Waldrop: Well, yeah. Well, I do tweet about the podcast.
Rocky Dhir: We are coming full circle. We are coming full sphere actually.
Teresa Waldrop: I love to get in the car for a long drive and be loaded up with podcasts, but other than that, knocking a bunch of them out at one time, with the long drive, I listen to them in the morning when I am getting ready for work, when I take the Light Rail; I will listen to them on the Light Rail, or the short drive I have to the office or if I am driving out for an appointment or a deposition. So I fit them in when it’s not a long drive.
And the only problem with the long drive is I find myself having to sometimes hit the repeat like if —
Rocky Dhir: Oh sure. Go back 10 seconds.
Teresa Waldrop: I missed something, yeah.
Rocky Dhir: Right. Now, I guess it sounds like you Are finding these to be stress relievers, are you getting enjoyment out of them, is it purely a work type relationship you have with the podcasts?
Teresa Waldrop: For me, it’s work. Like there was one I am thinking about in particular about Excel spreadsheets and I am thinking that might have been one that Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway did; I could be wrong about that, but it was kind of stressful. I was listening in the car and I wanted to take notes, so when you said stress relief or release, for me I do — I use them for tips and practice management, so not so much for pleasure.
John Strohmeyer: See, I do both. I mean I have the podcasts I listen to where it has nothing to do with practice; it is all about what else can I kind of learn about arts and culture.
This morning when I was getting ready I was listening to a podcast from the guys at Wisecrack and they do movie and culture analysis. So they were talking about what they liked about the new Avengers movie.
Before that, one of my deep dive podcasts on Westworld, because we are almost done with Season 2; people who have watched each episode two or three times, they are picking out like oh, this relates back to Episode 3 in Season 1. Did you notice this? Oh, no, I had no idea.
And I don’t necessarily go and take that anywhere else, but it does help enhance the fun stuff I am watching on TV. So it’s a mix of both the fun of that as well as work stuff, where I am learning how to run my practice that much better.
Rocky Dhir: What role do like TV and music play in all this? I mean when you are driving, do you kind of switch back and forth between, here is a song, I will listen to the radio for a while, I will put on some music and then I will go back to the podcast? Do you prefer podcasts over those other entertainment forms? I mean what’s —
Teresa Waldrop: Well, for me, at the gym it’s a struggle. So when I do go to the gym, so I get a better workout I think when I am sometimes listening to music, but it’s a internal struggle I have with I really want to listen to a podcast, but maybe the music will help me get —
Rocky Dhir: Help you get that rhythm.
Teresa Waldrop: Yeah. So sometimes I start with music and then I switch over once I have got my heart rate up, then I —
Rocky Dhir: For the State Bar Podcast, would it help if I sang more, would that kind of get people to tune in when they are working out?
Teresa Waldrop: Yeah, yeah, it depends what you are singing.
Rocky Dhir: And how I was singing.
Teresa Waldrop: Right.
Rocky Dhir: Maybe my singing would be such that it will get them to run faster, because they are hoping that they might be able to escape my voice.
Teresa Waldrop: Could be.
Rocky Dhir: We are on to something. See, we are learning new stuff everyday. This is innovative.
And John, how about you?
John Strohmeyer: For the drive to and from work, I am generally just throwing on podcast. I find it’s calming when I have to deal with Houston traffic, so I don’t want to get upbeat from music.
Rocky Dhir: That’s an interesting point, okay.
John Strohmeyer: It’s more calming and for the drive to the office, I just don’t need —
Rocky Dhir: I don’t want to be too energetic in traffic is what you are saying?
John Strohmeyer: Right, right.
Rocky Dhir: Okay, that makes sense. And so then you listen to something that maybe kind of takes you away from all that.
John Strohmeyer: Right. It’s just something to think about other than dealing in traffic.
When I work out, when I am going for long runs, I will be listening to podcasts, because it’s a good time to just kind of sit and look around at what’s going by as well as what these people are talking about.
Rocky Dhir: To what extent has engaging with podcasts made you better lawyers?
John Strohmeyer: I would be hard-pressed to find oh, this is it, here is one concrete thing; it’s just the little ideas you get about how you can do things better.
Teresa Waldrop: That’s it I think. It energizes me, so when I hear a podcast, it makes me want to go further, take action, do something better, look at the app I have learned about or read the book that someone has mentioned or check out someone’s website further.
Recently there were some podcasts that we are talking about sandboxes for experimenting with blockchain and artificial intelligence, and that’s something that — I have jotted it down and I want to do it. So, actually sometimes podcasts just add to my to-do list.
John Strohmeyer: Right. I mean I was just kind of thinking while you were talking, one of the things podcasts do is allow you to plug into another network or a tribe of something, people who are already thinking like you are, especially for some of the legal podcasts. The people who are thinking about how their practice works and how they are making it better, like Teresa and I are, it’s helpful to know that there are other people out there who are doing the same thing, who are thinking about how do I make this better or not, how do I practice law like it’s still 1984.
Teresa Waldrop: Yeah. Actually, they have already done the work for me, sometimes, that’s the nice thing, so rather than having to go and learn about it on my own to do a deep dive, they have done the heavy lifting for me.
Rocky Dhir: Have you ever reached out to a podcast guest and said hey, I want to follow up on what you talked about, can you answer some questions, have you guys ever done that?
John Strohmeyer: I have done that several times.
Teresa Waldrop: I think I have followed people, like on Twitter.
Rocky Dhir: Like in their cars, like a stalking kind of thing, that would be —
Teresa Waldrop: It might come to that, but right now it’s just through Twitter.
Rocky Dhir: How is the produce section? Enjoyed your podcast.
Teresa Waldrop: Yeah.
Rocky Dhir: No, no, no, don’t get those apples, get the ones on the next aisle over.
Teresa Waldrop: Right.
Rocky Dhir: Right, okay.
John Strohmeyer: Avocados are not in season right now, put those down.
Rocky Dhir: And those are helpful tips for the podcaster, sometimes you have got to give back.
John Strohmeyer: I am there for them.
Rocky Dhir: Yes, you have got to give back, very important.
All right, so you have contacted and you Teresa have maybe not quite yet.
Teresa Waldrop: Right, yeah, just reach out on Twitter. And I listened to a podcast, one of The Kennedy-Mighell Podcast that they did about LinkedIn and running some contests about trying to get contacts through LinkedIn, and I don’t think — I want to — they said if you friend us on LinkedIn or send us an invite, we will accept you.
So I am going to — I took them at their word and I have got to extend an invitation and I hope that they will accept me into their network.
Rocky Dhir: Maybe we could do like a little drawing. We could be like win a date with Kennedy-Mighell.
Teresa Waldrop: Well, I think they are married.
Rocky Dhir: Well, it could be a lunch date.
Teresa Waldrop: Oh, okay.
Rocky Dhir: Get your mind out of the gutter. Look at this, this is a family podcast.
Now guys, if anybody has a question or they want to find out more about how to effectively use podcasts in their practice and how to get the most out of it, how do they get a hold of you? Is there a good way for them to contact you?
John Strohmeyer: Well, I can be found at my website, strohmeyerlaw.com. And I am also on Twitter @johnthelawyer.
Rocky Dhir: @johnthelawyer, I like that.
Teresa Waldrop: Yeah.
John Strohmeyer: Got in early.
Rocky Dhir: You are an early adopter I am getting the sense of just about everything, this is good.
Teresa Waldrop: Yes, yes. Well, my email is [email protected] My website is waldroplaw.com. I also run a Facebook group called Houston Family Law on Facebook.
Rocky Dhir: Not divorce law, Houston Family Law.
Teresa Waldrop: Yeah, not divorce law. And I also run an online No Obligation Book Club, a Houston Family Law Online No Obligation Book Club. It’s a book club you can read ahead, fall behind, it fits your lifestyle.
Rocky Dhir: Are these legal books or are these any kinds of books?
Teresa Waldrop: Well, actually, one of the books I learned about through one of Sharon Nelson’s podcast. Yeah, so the book club right now is reading ‘Locked Down’ and that’s a book that I heard about through the podcast.
Rocky Dhir: But they are not necessarily legal books, you can have other —
Teresa Waldrop: No, no, no, they are all legal.
Rocky Dhir: Oh, they are all legal? So this is like a legal book club.
Teresa Waldrop: Yeah, it’s six books a year, one every two months. We don’t want to be too ambitious. And the first one we read was, oh gosh, by Dr. Warshak, ‘Divorce Poison’, so that was directly related to my practice, but ‘Locked Down’ is for all lawyers.
Rocky Dhir: Very interesting. Well, maybe we will have to have you back Teresa to talk about some of the books and what you guys have discovered about the legal book. So maybe we are going to have to have a follow-up date with the State Bar of Texas Podcast for you. This sounds interesting.
John, Teresa, thank you both for being here and sharing your insights about well, how we can be better lawyers by using podcasts. This is fascinating. Thank you both.
John Strohmeyer: Happy to help. Thanks for having us Rocky.
Teresa Waldrop: Yes, yes, it was fun.
Rocky Dhir: Absolutely. It was fun. You guys were absolutely amazing.
And I want to thank you for listening. This was a lot of fun. I want to thank you for joining us on this ride. This has been another fantastic episode of the State Bar of Texas Podcast. I want to thank our friends at Legal Talk Network.
Find out more about us at legaltalknetwork.com. You can also engage with us on Apple Podcasts, leave a review, give us a rating. You can also find us on Google Play, on your favorite podcast app.
As you go through this journey of podcasting, we want to thank you for joining us on this journey at the State Bar of Texas Podcast, because after all, life is a journey. So thank you for tuning in.
Outro: If you would like more information about today’s show, please visit legaltalknetwork.com. Go to texasbar.com/podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts and RSS. Find both the State Bar of Texas and Legal Talk Network on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn or download the free app from Legal Talk Network in Google Play and iTunes.
The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by the State Bar of Texas, Legal Talk Network, or their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders, or subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.