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October 30, 2023 Asked and Answered

So Long and Farewell: Asked and Answered's host steps down from the podcast

By Stephanie Francis Ward and Lee Rawles

After 13 years and 170 episodes, Asked and Answered host Stephanie Francis Ward is hanging up her headphones and switching off her mic. Asked and Answered, the ABA Journal's first and longest-running podcast, is ending its run—at least for now.

In this episode, Ward discusses her podcast tenure with the Journal’s Lee Rawles. Ward recently accepted a new position at the Journal as an assistant managing editor after a long reporting career covering legal education and general legal affairs. They chat about the podcast’s humble beginnings with an episode about alternative billing released April 5, 2010, and the changes that Ward has observed in the legal community over that time period.

A major shift that Ward identifies is an increasing willingness to talk about mental health struggles and work-life balance. There has also been a sea change in attitudes toward remote work, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ward and Rawles—host of The Modern Law Library, another Journal podcast—discuss the rapid pivot that they had to make when the pandemic shut down the ABA offices, and podcasts had to be recorded at their homes instead of a media room.

They discuss some of their favorite episodes from the past 13 years and which topics feel dated—like “How can attorneys use Google+ to generate business?”—vs. more timeless issues that lawyers face. One evergreen Asked and Answered topic that Ward returned to in several episodes was helping lawyers navigate social anxiety in business and rainmaking situations, and Ward shares some of her favorite tips that she’s gleaned from guests.

Finally, Ward thanks the listeners who’ve accompanied her on this journey and urges them to stay in touch with legal tips and pitches. The Journal’s other two podcasts, the Legal Rebels Podcast and the Modern Law Library, will continue to be released on their normal schedules.

In This Podcast

Stephanie Francis Ward

Stephanie Francis Ward, an assistant managing editor, joined the ABA Journal staff in 2001 as a legal affairs writer. She was also previously a senior writer. Ward had worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and California Law Business, a publication of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals. She earned her BA in journalism from California State University at Long Beach.