The explosive popularity of podcasting provides a real opportunity to reach diverse audiences who are looking for access to useful information and stimulating entertainment through a platform that is easy to fit into their busy lives. With thousands of podcasts available, listeners can find almost any podcast to suit their interests, hobbies, or goals—or, better yet, to start their own.
A trio of LCLD Fellows Alumni—Demetra Liggins, Heather Hubbard, and Jason Barnwell—have done just that, jumping into the podcasting pool to bring diversity and their dynamic insights to this important and seemingly ever-growing medium.
We enjoy listening to, and highly recommend, their podcasts described below.
Podcasting blossomed for Demetra Liggins (above, left) a 2012 Fellow and partner in Thompson & Knight's Bankruptcy and Restructuring Practice Group, from her blog, after an associate in Demetra's Houston-based law practice suggested that she consider podcasting. In December 2016, Demetra joined together with her twin sister Bemetra Simmons (right), a Managing Director at Mutual of Omaha Bank, and co-founded Corporate Homie, LLC and the "Corporate Homie Podcast," a weekly, advice-based podcast dispensing wisdom aimed at providing a support network for women and minorities in corporate America.
Even though Demetra went to law school and Bemetra went to business school, when the sisters started their careers, they realized that they were facing common issues, such as the homogenous nature of the workplace. As they started to achieve career success, people would seek their advice. Their response was to put that advice on the web and share it on platforms such as Instagram (below).
Demetra and Bemetra keep their podcast episodes short (about 20 to 25 minutes), and their topics usually come from listeners ("Homies") who give feedback and request topics via direct message on social media or email. In each podcast episode, the sisters share their experiences and tips in thoughtful, inviting conversation on topics as timely and varied as how to recover professionally "When You Miss Your Shot," what to do when "You Agreed To A Reference, Now What?," how "Team Sports Make Good Business" for succeeding in the corporate workplace, what lessons can be learned from the recent college admissions scandal, and business tips to take away from "The Business of Beyoncé" and her "Homecoming" documentary.
Their Homies have commented that listening to the "Corporate Homie Podcast" is comforting, and feels like eavesdropping on a private conversation between the sisters. They intend their podcast to be colloquial because the Homies are busy people who are not in need of another lecture. Homies can listen informally—at the gym, in the car, making dinner—and, for the sisters, that is exactly the point.
"Corporate Homie" is a passion project for Demetra to create a community for a group that largely has no voice in corporate America. It is her way to "pour something back into the community." Listeners can feel the sisters' optimism through their podcast. For Demetra and Bemetra, there is a culture of sharing: "There's a space for whatever you have to offer," says Demetra, and "enough room for everyone."
Heather Hubbard, a 2013 Fellow and founder and owner of a personal and professional development company, also entered the world of podcasting after blogging. Heather was a partner and litigation practice group leader in an AmLaw 200 law firm who always saw herself as an advocate for women and underrepresented firm members. In her role in the firm, she became an expert in navigating office politics, business development, marketing and sales, and best practices for self-promotion. In 2014, she decided to focus full time on consulting and made the bold decision to walk away from the day-to-day practice of law.
Now as a strategist and coach, Heather provides personalized solutions for attorneys seeking more success and satisfaction in their careers. She built her consulting company All Rise LLC from the ground up. Heather began her "Hustle & Flow with Heather Hubbard" podcast in 2017 as a natural way to build her audience, to provide access to information, and to have a direct impact on people.
Heather's podcast focuses on inspiration and wisdom to help with the "hustle and flow" of being a lawyer. In her podcast episodes, Heather offers unfiltered advice about how to succeed in the legal industry with the goal of aiding listeners to rise to the top of their careers in an authentic and personally satisfying way.
Episodes encompass a wide range of topics, including "Top 6 Reasons Why Attorneys Stay Stuck in Their Careers," the "Marketing Matrix" and how it can help plan and prepare for the year, "Mentoring in the #MeToo Era," "Top Takeaways—Strategies to Grow Your Business," "How to Sell Without Being Salesy," learning the "Secrets of a Super Connector" with guest Jason DeJonker, a 2013 Fellow and Past Chair of the LCLD Fellows Alumni Executive Council, and an "Ally Conversation" with guest 2014 Fellow Joe Drayton. For listeners, Heather's podcast is like having a personal coach to guide them through the parts of lawyering that are rarely taught (or are held close to the vest), as well as to unlock a wealth of strategies for productivity and success.
Produced by 2016 Fellow Jason Barnwell of Microsoft, "Business of Law" takes a direct yet nuanced approach to professional relationships, in a podcast described by Jason as simply "conversations about corporate legal operations and the partnership with outside counsel."
An Assistant General Counsel with a degree in engineering from MIT, Jason (below) launched the podcast in March 2018, and has since covered topics ranging from the highly technical ("Creating a Bot Brain using QnAMaker.ai, a Microsoft Azure Cognitive Service) and process-oriented ("Legal Productivity Hackers discuss innovation and Microsoft Teams"), to the rising cost of law school (with Makalika Naholowa'a, a 2015 Pathfinder and Head of Trademarks at Microsoft), to broader conversations
with industry leaders about salary levels and how companies like Microsoft are incentivizing diversity among outside counsel.
His most recent episode features the audio and video from a June event in the Fellows Alumni Speaker Series—Pathways to Leadership, a provocative conversation with four prominent Fellows Alumni (Caldwell Camero, Daniel Prince, Jill Long, and Merisa Heu-Weller), who discussed, in Jason's words, their "significant positive career growth as leaders in the profession and their organizations since taking part in LCLD." The panel was moderated by 2014 Fellow Katina Thornock of Starbucks and hosted by Lane Powell PC in Seattle.
We encourage you to listen to these informative and entertaining podcasts from our very own LCLD Fellows Alumni. Perhaps you might even be inspired by their podcasting achievements to add your voice to the podcasting scene. Knowing that the currency of podcasting is (a) subscribers and (b) reviews, we encourage the LCLD community to not only check out these podcasts-but subscribe and leave a review!
Averie K. Hason, Assistant General Patent Counsel, Eli Lilly and Company, is a patent litigation attorney based in Lilly's Branchburg, New Jersey facility. When she's not working, you can find her deep in a creative art or music project either alone or with her family.
Shanna M. Cohn, Corporate Counsel, AEP Energy, Inc., is based in Columbus, Ohio, and provides transactional legal support to the competitive retail energy supplier affiliate of American Electric Power Company. When she's not working, you can find her listening to podcasts, engrossed in yet another riveting documentary, or enjoying quality time with family and friends.