Comment 8: Podcasts Can Teach Us a Lot. Surprise!

The availability of avenues to learn is, at times, dizzying. I’m old: I can remember relying heavily on books alone. This glut of resources is equal parts blessing and curse, especially within my role as a non-JD university law librarian. I’m in a constant state of keeping up keeping up-to-date with research methods and tools while also trying to develop a working, very base-line understanding of the subject area in which I work. Namely, I am trying to always develop a firmer footing in legal topics.


One of the avenues that I’ve turned to, thanks to my commute times, is podcasts. Sometimes, I stumble across a pod or a particular episode that is impossibly great. My usual go-to shows, hosted by lawyer-turned-editor-in-chief Nilay Patel, Vergecast and Decoder regularly provide great insights about the intersectionality of technology and the law (Which is kind of at the core of this blog); however, sometimes I find myself learning a lot about the law from truly surprising places. A recent episode of Gastropod, titled Can You Patent a Pizza?, does a superb job of explaining the many forms of intellectual property law through the telling of the invention of stuffed crust pizza. Specifically, the show brings in experts in IP law to explain the different forms of IP protections and how they could be applied to pizza.


It’s a good reminder to the advice we constantly provide students: don’t become resource blind because you only use you favorites. Has this podcast given me the ability to converse on the intricacies of IP law with library users? No. Not at all and, further, that isn’t really my job. What I have is a little more vocabulary, more appreciation of the complexities of legal topics, and reaffirmation that learning is never done.


I highly recommend checking out these podcasts or finding some interesting podcasts of your own. Learning can happen anywhere.

The ABA Rules of Professional Conduct, Model Rule 1.1 Comment 8 requires, “To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer shall keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” To that end, we have developed this regular series to develop the competence and skills necessary to responsibly choose and use the best technologies for your educational and professional lives. If you have any questions, concerns, or topics you would like to see discussed, please reach out to