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AU Washington College of Law Podcasting Success


WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the arrival of the 2005 class, American University Washington College of Law launched Podcasting. To date, the 200+ episodes have been downloaded almost 65,000 times. Podcasts are website “audiocasts” to which students, faculty, staff, and the world can subscribe. Once subscribed, podcasts are automatically delivered to a desktop computer, and then are transferred to an iPod or other portable audio MP3 player. As reported in the current issue of Online magazine, almost one third of people who own iPods or other MP3 players have listened to Podcasts: roughly a tenth of all internet users.

WCL launched this free service primarily for its students in Washington, D.C. and around the world. “The primary goal of WCL’s Office of Technology,” says Dean Claudio Grossman, “is to deliver event content, interviews with VIPs, and course material to students and faculty in many formats.” Grossman’s Welcome podcast (and all WCL’s non-program or class podcasts) can be found at: WCL recognizes that, due to distance and time constraints, students cannot possibly attend all of the many events offered at WCL. Podcast speakers include former President Jimmy Carter, Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Antonin Scalia. Topics include “Looking Ahead to the New Supreme Court Term,” “The Big Chill: Could You Land in Jail for Covering the News?,” “Assisting Iraq’s Government Draft a New Constitution,” “The WTO and Developing Countries,” “What is the Talmud: Investigating Sources in Jewish Law,” “The Reaffirmation of Custom as an Important Source of International Humanitarian Law,” and many more.

Because WCL generates so much content, users can now create a custom podcast using keywords. By entering in a few terms, a custom podcast link is created and can be copied to the user’s podcast software. Once done, only current and future content related to those search terms will be delivered.

To accommodate WCL students’ busy schedules, the school makes virtually every event available via podcast.

WCL is also sensitive to the needs of those students for whom English is not their first language. Podcast software allows the listener to slow down playback of the audio, making it easier for the speaker to be understood. Also, classes will be podcast for students who are unable to attend due to illness, family emergency or other excusable absence. Class podcasts are available only to WCL students.

Episodes and collections can be found at:

To arrange for an interview with Dean Claudio Grossman or Korin Munsterman, director of the Office of Technology, contact Kathy Thompson, director of Public Relations, at 202-274-4279; Cell Phone: 703-855-5556; or E-mail:


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