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The popularity of podcasts has soared in recent years with more than 19.1 million podcast listeners in the UK as of 2021, according to statista. Aspiring lawyers can use podcasts to engage with information through a different medium, which offers a new way to learn about issues within and outside of the legal profession, while also supporting their commercial awareness.
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Being able to listen to podcasts on a commute, walk or run, or while cooking enables aspiring lawyers to make the most of the little spare time that they have between studying, applications and vacation schemes. LCN’s Bethany Wren said: “I think podcasts are a great way to top up your knowledge on a subject without even really trying, and to find out something new from those in the know.”
Here are the 15 podcasts we think all aspiring lawyers should listen to:
- Law Pod UK – this is a fairly new podcast brought to you by barristers at One Crown Office Row. It covers developments across aspects of civil and public law in the UK. With more than 150 episodes already, you can stay up to date with recent developments in medical law, and gain insight into the role of law in tackling climate change, whether AI can become a patent inventor and interviews with leading professionals, including Her Honour Wendy Joseph QC.
- Linkubator (Linklaters) – a student-led innovation podcast series, designed to help students who want to develop their understanding of how innovation and emerging technologies are transforming the legal sector. Episodes include conversations with experts and legal innovators on a number of topics, including non-financial misconduct and whistleblowing, and e-money communications and a new duty of care.
- The Intelligence, The Economist – this is a great podcast for aspiring lawyers looking to delve beyond the news that is making the headlines worldwide to impress firms at the interview stage. With episodes just over 20 minutes long, you can learn about NATO’s new game plan and the US Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion rights.
- BBC Radio 4 Best of Today – the Best of Today podcast challenges key policy makers on the latest news stories and features insight, analysis and expert debate, which will support your developing commercial awareness. The latest episodes include conversations on the soaring prices caused by shortages created by the war in Ukraine and the covid-19 pandemic, and the Russian missile strike on a Ukrainian shopping centre in Kremenchuk.
- Not all Lawyers Have Law Degrees – shortlisted for the UK Diversity Legal Awards D&I Initiative of the Year 2021, this BBC podcast offers insights into the various ways you can become a lawyer. With guests including Pauline Campbell, a career changer who qualified as a lawyer at the age of 41, and Victoria Roper, who chats about the Solicitors Qualifying Exam. One of the episodes includes a conversation with career changer Mukhtiar Singh who joined the Bar at 40 after previously working as a police detective.
- Talking Law – Sally Penni, the founder and chair of Women in the Law UK and multi-award-winning barrister, hosts this brilliant podcast. It provides insight into the careers of leading figures in UK law, with discussions focusing on the highs and lows of their careers, as well as the challenges and realities they have faced in the legal profession. Recent guests include Daniel Winterfeldt, Leroy Logan and Alison Fagan.
- LGBT+ lawyers – brought to you by the Law Society's LGBT+ Lawyers Division, as they focus on topics of interest to both LGBTQ+ lawyers and their allies. Recent episodes include insights into surrogacy law and the "practical realities of surrogacy" for LGBTQ+ people, and Christos Paphiti, a solicitor at Sharpe Pritchard, shares his "unique coming out experience, and why he feels it has not been an integral part of affirming his identity".
- UK Law Weekly – a weekly podcast on legal decisions and news. Find out about the latest cases and reviews from the courts with Marcus Cleaver, a former university lecturer in law. The latest episodes include a look at the Competition and Markets Authority v Pfizer, and what sort of immunity public bodies should have from cost orders, as well as a conversation on the circumstances in which a court or tribunal can change its mind about a decision it has already made.
- Herbert Smith Freehills Podcast – lawyers from global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills discuss a whole host of thought-provoking topics on their regular podcast. Episodes on the rise of the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) marketplace, greenwashing in the advertising and promotion of consumer goods, and a conversation with Richard Honey QC about private wealth and charities will be of interest to students wanting to hear how legal experts talk about contemporary legal and commercial issues.
- BBC Law in Action – hosted by Joshua Rozenberg QC, this is a long-running legal magazine programme that features reports and discussion on legal matters. With 159 episodes available to listen to, there’s plenty of content to keep you going, including episodes on why so few rape cases go to court, war crimes in Ukraine and libel tourism.
- The Legal Room UK – featuring a diverse range of specialist lawyers, this podcast’s most recent episodes include a look at right-to-work checks, IP law and NFTs, and contentious insolvency.
- Commercial Awareness with Watson’s Daily business and financial news – former stockbroker Peter Watson hosts this commercial awareness podcast, which offers an accessible insight into important business and financial markets news, including Snapchat’s subscription service versus Deliveroo’s new ad rollout, the increasing food prices and Apple’s move into buy now, pay later.
- FT News Briefing – straight from the Financial Times newsroom, this podcast provides regular updates to global business news. The latest episodes are: ‘How the beauty industry left Revlon behind’, ‘A new legal battleground in US abortion wars’, and ‘Russia heading for the first default in decades’.
- The Irwin Mitchell Podcast – a fortnightly podcast, brought to you by full-service law firm Irwin Mitchell. Covering a range of topics, including employment and family law, this podcast provides advice and updates from the firm's experts.
- Obviously we couldn’t write an article about legal podcasts without mentioning our very own LawCareers.Net Podcast, which is designed to cover a different topic each month, and features interviews with lawyers, recruiters, students, and members of the LCN team. Make sure you listen and subscribe on your favourite podcast app and let us know what you would like us to talk about by tweeting us with #LCNpodcast. We’ve also just launched a brand-new series offering students insights into various practice areas. You can listen to the first episode with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP associate Catherin McLaughlin as she discusses her role in the firm’s corporate finance team.
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Olivia Partridge (she/her) is the content producer at LawCareers.Net.