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…

17 thoughts on “Podcasts

  1. Aftershokz bone conducting buds will save your ears and your neighbours sanity. They sit on your cheekbones and I often return from a run and forget they are there for several hours.
    Sorry, not very relevant to the post 🙂

  2. Women in Family Law Podcast – the Matriarchy? The Old Girls Club? If men formed such a group women would call them Misogynistic and demand to be included so they could destroy it from within.

    How can such a single sex organisation with just one aim of furthering the interests of women within law possibly meet any measure of diversity and inclusion?

    Very sinister indeed.

  3. Thanks for the recommendation Lucy – love a good podcast…

  4. I note you haven’t published my previous comment. Are you a member of WIFL?

    • I simply hadn’t published any comments for about a month because I’ve been busy. Nothing to do with a sinister pact with my coven.
      I’ve now published your comment, so that people can see it in its full glory.

      • I did ask if you were a member of WIFL. So are you a member of WIFL?

        • Not that it is any of your business, but yes I am.

          • Don’t you sit as a Deputy District Judge and aren’t you paid in that position from public funds?
            Do you think it’s appropriate for a judicial office holder to be a member of an organisation which is clearly discriminatory and promotes solely the interests of women?

          • There is nothing discriminatory about an organisation which provides mutual support by female legal professionals for other female legal professionals, particularly given the specific and endemic disadvantages they face.

  5. I’m intrigued, please enlighten me as to what specific and endemic disadvantages women face in family law which does not apply to any man in family law?
    As far as I can see the objective of this organisation is to provide help to only women from women to further the professional careers of only women in family law. Why would this help only be offered to women, why wouldn’t it be offered to any person in family law who needs help and professional development?
    This still has all the appearance of a Matriarchy, promoting the careers of women over men. That would be clear discrimination.

    • Brian,
      Go take a look at the statistics about the numbers of women at the bar, who make it to QC, the numbers of women judges, the differential in pay rates. And then come back and lecture me on discrimination.
      As it happens, the statistics vis a vis womens income are better at the family bar than across the bar generally, but only in children work. The more lucrative areas of family law remain male dominated.

      • Thanks I’ve done my research with the Bar Standards Board and what I found is that for over 15 years roughly the same number of men and women have been called to the bar. However the number of women practicing barristers has consistently been around half that of men. Here’s the links:
        2014 report https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/uploads/assets/1369b6b7-c330-4a9b-8796fec920857dc2/bsbbarometerreport112ppjune13.pdf
        Current published data:
        Stats on gender of less than 5 years practicing and more than 15 years practicing show women are leaving the profession. Other stats show a bigger proportion of women in employed rather than self-employed roles. I guess that would be down to choice?
        If you want to make QC or earn the big bucks I imagine you have to practice for longer. Perhaps women leaving the profession would be the cause of fewer women with more than 15 years practicing and not the discrimination you think you’ve found?
        I’m happy to hear your argument as to how women are being denied admission to be a QC or deliberately paid less when most barristers are self-employed and decide their own rates.

        • Thanks Brian. I am aware of all those tends and stats. I think that if you choose to see this as simply evidence of women making ‘choices’, and can’t see that this is very strong evidence that there is a big issue with diversity and equality of opportunity, then there is really little more I can or need to say. The position is even more stark for those from a minority ethnic background, and particularly so for women from BME backgrounds, by the way. If you wish to maintain your position that an organisation like WiFL shouldn’t exist (or perhaps doesn’t need to exist) then I suggest you go and take your arguments elsewhere. I don’t agree.

          • Here’s a piece from the Bar Council lamenting the shocking gender pay gap: https://www.barcouncil.org.uk/resource/new-figures-show-shocking-gender-pay-gap-at-the-bar.html
            If you follow the “More Information” link the table shows that in almost every area of law there are 2 to 3 times as many male barristers as female, except family, where there are more female than male barristers. I assume that’s a choice, but please correct me if you know of female barristers being forced into family law when they want to work in other areas?
            The note at the bottom says this:
            “This doesn’t reflect seniority or working patterns so can’t be interpreted as showing that women and men
            in comparable situations are necessarily being paid differently.”
            These are self-employed barristers.

          • Yes. I’ve already drawn your attention to that feature of the stats IIRC. I’m not going to waste any more energy on this. The very fact that you are talking about female barristers being ‘forced’ into areas of work suggests you don’t really want to appreciate the complexity of the issues.

  6. As someone who does support work for parents – mostly men – in the family courts, I welcome this initiative. Female judges are more likely to be fair -presumably because they are less likely to be attacked for sexism, and female lawyers seem to be given more attention in court.

    • Do you mean that female lawyers advocacy is afforded more weight than that of male ones, John? Not in my experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.