iCLE and iTunes

Will you soon be able to hear Stanford Law’s Lawrence Lessig lecturing on Intellectual Property Reform through your iPod?

Forbes relates an interesting story about how Stanford University is putting course lectures and other Cardinal content on the web through Apple’s iTunes for free download (I was unable to find it on iTunes before I hit my deadline…).

Moves like this can accelerate something else: lawyer CLE options through podcasting technology.

Robert Ambrogi saw the potential for podcasting and lawyer CLE almost a year ago. Kevin O’Keefe of LexBlog picked up on it, and Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell were also on the trail. ALM’s Texas Lawyer has put up some examples, as has the LA County Bar Association.

What is fascinating about Stanford’s experiment is that it is giving it all away. This could be disruptive for some business models attached to education and podcasting. It’s probably a Top 10 university strategy for now. But down the road, who knows?

While this trend unfolds, here’s an idea for lawyers. Put up short podcasts on iTunes (say 5 minutes or less) that aren’t ads, but offer concise information on topical areas of the law. It could be better marketing than 95% of what’s out there (which is advertising, is expensive, and very different).

Why? Because one truth lies just beneath the surface of search and the Internet. It is this: when someone finds you, they are interested in your topic and primed for action. Maybe not a fat retainer, but some step toward a potential relationship. Most other advertising is just spraying a fire hose randomly and hoping you hit a customer who’s on fire.

We’ll be listening…

Update: A law student reader here in the Midwest let me know that Slashdot is covering the Stanford/iTunes story; I see Cynthia Brumfield has as well.

Update #2 (29 Jan 06): Here’s the Apple iTunes U site. In addition to Stanford, the University of Michigan School of Dentistry sinks its teeth into iTunes U. ABC News has more.

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