If you’re new to Tragos, Sartes & Tragos, then you might not know that we run a popular weekly podcast series called “Peter’s Proffer,” where Peter Tragos sits down with George Tragos and Peter Sartes to chat about trending topics, news stories and questions from viewers. In “the courtroom of current events,” we discuss some of the biggest challenges facing the legal world—past, present and future.
So when it was time to select a new essay question for our second privately-funded scholarship essay contest for college students, it was a no-brainer:
How will the popularity of podcasting impact the legal world in the next decade?
We were thrilled to receive 100 submissions in our second scholarship essay contest, and choosing just 1 winner was a challenge. But ultimately, one entry stood out.
Our winner, Steven Kappen, is a second-year law student at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
Congrats Steven on winning the $1,000 scholarship, and thanks to everyone who participated!
Without further ado, here’s his winning essay:
Podcasting has the potential to be a major disruptive force in the legal world in the next decade, and likely will operate on two major axes. There will be knowledge-based effects for the general public, and then the internal community of the legal world. Both are forces that are bound only to increase in magnitude over the next decade.
First, podcasting could lead to a more informed general public. Podcasting as a medium tends to be one that helps serve informative purposes. Most people’s current touchpoint for the legal profession before they seek/use legal services is likely television, or potentially books, both of which dramatize the courtroom. While podcasts can be produced in that style, even topically sensational podcasts (like Serial) tend to take a more informative approach than Law & Order. Podcasts will explore more legal concepts and information in an accessible format. A more informed public would possibly lead to a reduction or an increase in suits, as people get more information about legal theories that would give rise to and defeat suits. Over the next decade, as the populace internalizes more legal principles and theory, and as information about the court systems accumulate, there could be a corresponding rise in pro se litigants. It’s a trend that has played out with several other concepts, as people become well informed via digital sources on a topic.
Second, podcasting could change the marketing structure and requirements for the legal world. This insight would involve podcasting changing the relationship of legal practitioners and the community. Podcasts are becoming an increasingly powerful marketing tool. Podcasts create a strong relationship between a brand and the audience. The audience tunes in (often) weekly to hear hosts that they begin to build a rapport with. Many organizations and businesses of varying industries have begun to utilize podcasts as this community building tool, and then reaping economic conversions from them. Research on legal podcasts on Spotify still shows an open field. If one firm or organization was able to capitalize with an innovative podcast that is entertaining and informative, they could be able to dramatically increase their marketing. But if podcasting becomes a wide area of competition, legal firms would have to adapt and spend more on making sure they are marketing through podcasting adequately.
Podcasting has the potential over the next decade to shift some fundamental aspects of the relationship between legal service providers and the communities they serve. The providers that are early and dominant in the field will likely reap the largest benefits, but the lingering social effects will be waves that affect the whole legal world.
About our winner
Steven is passionate about helping break down barriers for other people. He’s called Oklahoma home for his whole life, and he is committed to making communities better through empowerment and designing better, supportive systems. He likes to stay active, and he enjoys basketball, videography and music.
Steven has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Oklahoma, and he’s currently pursuing a JD at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
Are you our next scholarship winner?
Visit our Scholarship page to participate in our next scholarship essay contest.
If you have additional questions about essay requirements or the selection process, feel free to contact us.