Lately, I’ve been listening to podcasts in the shower. I don’t like headphones and I don’t have a daily commute to speak of so when else am I going to listen to them, right? Plus, Radio 4 has become almost unbearable and I have to listen to something to wake myself up.
Due to a combination of poor acoustics and ventilation I listen to said podcasts with the tiny top window wide open and the bluetooth radio on full volume. My husband has only recently thought to tell me that when I do this I broadcast every word of my chosen podcast from the second floor across all the gardens in the neighbourhood.
I like to think therefore that the standards of public legal education in my part of North Somerset are particularly high. Saying that, I did try and listen to one such podcast whilst gardening recently, and every time I switched it on the neighbour remembered something else he’d forgotten to strim. So, perhaps not.
Anyway, what delights have I been forcing my neighbours to endure?
Well, first it was the Hidden Homicides podcast. And then a bit of the Post Office Trial podcast series (though I got a bit waylaid during that and lost track).
And more recently I’ve been listening to Malvika Jaganmohan and Maddie Whelan’s Professionally Embarassing podcast series, the first 10 episode series of which has just concluded. I’ve also belatedly spotted Melanie Bataillard-Samuel’s podcast Family Law & Lattes. I’ve only listened to the first episode which was a sort of strangely both reassuring and alarming run down by someone far wiser than I of the post-Brexit landscape in terms of jurisdiction for family matters.
But I really wanted to talk a little about Malvika’s and Maddie’s podcast, because actually I think its really rather great, and I’m a tiny bit jealous I haven’t got off my arse and done something like it myself, and I just think they deserve a big pat on the back. I’ve been talking about making a podcast for a long time, but it just seems like such a huge effort – and now M&M have done one I think they’ve cornered the market. It’s a really great mix of analysis and personal reflection, of law and of practice – and importantly the personality and thoughtfulness of these two engaging, sparky young women really shines through. They care about what they do. They remind me of a much younger me. All enthusiasm and hope and principle. *Sighs wistfully*.
Anyway, far from being professionally embarrassing, I think the podcasts are a great advert for the family bar, and for M&M – they are not afraid to tackle tricky topics, and to give praise and criticism alike where it is due, and they show some great insight into the flaws in the system, the experiences and challenges facing clients as well as other professionals. They are also acting as excellent role models on topical professional issues such as diversity and wellbeing.
I am looking forward to series two – and although their format is pretty much spot on as it is, I am wondering if they will have some guests the second time around. I hope they do – I don’t mean some stuffy Q&A interview format, but I think that there might be some great opportunities for multi-directional learning if they set up some exchanges with some more senior members of the profession – to give just one tiny example (which is not a criticism) it was great to see them showcasing the Resolutions Model in episode 10, in light of a recent case on the topic – but I was shouting from behind my shower screen that Resolutions isn’t actually new at all. It’s been around for years, and when it works it works brilliantly. But in fact, it has almost died out because practically nobody does it any more – the co-founder of it was a chap called Colin Luger from the Bristol area, and he passed a few years ago and since then I’ve struggled to find any expert doing this work. For me the judgment was useful in giving me a name of someone who now does use the model – but I anticipate she will be over capacity as a result! I think the mix of experience and fresh perspective that a junior and a senior practitioner could bring could make this even better. Anyway, that’s my interfering old aunt suggestion, and with that I’m going to butt out.
You can find all these podcasts on Spotify, and I’m sure elsewhere too. That’s just the app I use.
I’ve also discovered other podcasts and put them on my list to listen to during showers yet to come : The justice Gap Podcast and the WiFL – Women in Family Law Podcast.
What I doubt I’ll be doing any time soon is making my own podcast. I would probably have one listener, and that would be my dad. And although M&M’s podcast is pretty slick, I know from bitter experience it will take many more hours to prepare and polish than it takes me to listen. If I wanted to make time for a podcast of my own I’d have to give up several showers a week, and let’s be honest, I don’t think anyone would want that. Pongcast, by Lucy Reed…