EDITORIAL GUIDELINES and INFORMATION
- News Releases
- Bylined Materials and Submissions
- American Lawyer Surveys
- Letters and Corrections
The American Lawyer is a monthly feature magazine covering the business of large (AmLaw 200) law firms and the nation's leading lawyers. While everything we write is related to the law, our focus is primarily on firms and people within this segment of the profession, rather than on the law itself or legal issues. Our audience is primarily composed of lawyers in these large firms, elite plaintiffs' lawyers and government attorneys who deal with large firms, and in-house lawyers at major corporations who retain large firms. Personalities in the industry are a major focus of our reporting, as are "inside stories" about people and events that are shaping this segment of the legal industry.
The best way to understand our editorial focus is to read our magazine. Subscriptions and back issues can be ordered online at www.lawcatalog.com and selected magazine content is available at www.americanlawyer.com. In addition to our regular features, we publish special-topic issues and supplements throughout the year. The best way to obtain information on these is through a review of our 2003 editorial calendar. The editorial calendar and other useful information are available in the "About Us," "Contact Us" and "Advertise" sections of the magazine's Web site.
News releases or submissions on the following topics are of particular interest to us:
- Lateral moves and mergers. Please be sure to note whether lawyers are joining the firm as partners or in some other capacity; the firm from which they have moved; whether they were a partner at the previous firm; and, in the case of mergers, how many of the post-merger total of lawyers and partners come from each firm.
- Big Suits. Lawyers' roles in verdicts, settlements, defense wins, and newly filed suits are regularly featured in this section. Information on this topic can be e-mailed to editorials.
- Big Deals. Short items on lawyers' roles in mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, securities and debt offerings, and other types of transactions are used in this regular feature. News can be e-mailed to Big Deals or to editor Brian Zabcik.
- Major software purchases and other large-scale technology licensing. This material is used in Tech Buys list in our AmLaw Tech supplement.
- Notable pro bono achievements
- Insight into the lawyering behind the latest legal-news headlines and information on behind-the-scenes management of large firms
- New business development strategies and the stories behind major new client acquisitions.
We generally request that information and new releases be submitted via e-mail to editorials. It's preferable to submit information as text within the e-mail, rather than as attachments. The subject line of the e-mail should plainly state the subject of the submission. Please do not send or e-mail photos; unsolicited photos will not be returned. If we are interested in a story, we will contact you to discuss photo possibilities. News releases also can be sent via fax to 212-481-8255, The American Lawyer, Editorial.
While we do review virtually everything that is submitted, our editors are not able to respond to each news release submission and request that releases not be followed up with a call. If we are interested in the story, someone on our staff will contact you.
Please do not send press releases to multiple reporters and editors in the newsroom. This is counterproductive, both for us and for you.
Finally, we welcome non-newsy, general background information and updates on industry trends, law firms and key partners and practices. However, please be aware that these types of releases are used as background and research material for future stories, and are rarely used as a basis for news stories in their own right.
The vast majority of articles in The American Lawyer are reported and written by journalists on staff. The magazine rarely publishes analyses of legal and industry changes written by outside experts or lawyers. The magazine generally does not publish articles that have been previously published elsewhere.
That said, we do occasionally use articles written by freelance journalists, often in our "Bar Talk" news section or for our "Lawyer's Life" section that focuses on lifestyle topics. Other guest-writer opportunities include:
- Management columns by professional staff, consultants, or law firm managers on important trends in legal management.
- Law office technology advice or analysis by experts (lawyers, staff, consultants, or vendors)
- Intellectual property trends
- The Arguments column, which covers important developments in public policy
- Book reviews of recently published non-fiction of interest to our audience (but not highly technical practice books)
Such columns and stories are usually 600 to 1,500 words. Authors should submit written queries — a proposal abstract — to editorials. If we are interested, an editor will discuss the query with the author before the topic is finalized and the article is written. The magazine occasionally publishes other types of bylined articles by lawyers. As with other story ideas, it is best to propose the idea via e-mail to editorials. Articles and columns are generally commissioned months in advance of publication and all writers must sign contributors' contracts.
We encourage prospective authors to also consider other American Lawyer Media national and regional publications. A complete listing of ALM publications and links to further information can be found at www.americanlawyermedia.com.
"Surveys" is the broader term we use to describe the reports, charts and rankings we publish on a number of topics throughout the year. These include the Am Law 100 and 200 rankings of the largest law firms in the U.S. and the Global 100 ranking of the largest firms in the world by revenue and census; and reports on lateral partner moves; law firm technology purchases, budgets, and trends; who counsels who; and associate satisfaction. Some of these surveys are participatory, some are based on reporting by our writers and still others are based on data collected by other organizations, including our sister ALM publications and third-party surveyors and data vendors. To obtain a surveys calendar, which includes descriptions of each report, scheduling and key contacts, email surveys. Many questions can also be answered by reviewing the "Methodology" section in each report that describes survey sources, items and data calculations in detail.
We welcome responses and reactions from our readers to the articles and surveys we publish. Letters to the editor should be e-mailed to editorials. It is our policy to identify letter writers by name, employer, and city. Please include a telephone number so that we can contact you.
We are eager to quickly and candidly correct any publication errors, regardless of the source of the request. Our correction policy, however, does not require us to accommodate readers who are simply unhappy or disagree with stories that have been published. Requests for corrections should be directed to executive editor Robin Sparkman or 212-313-9063, or editor in chief Aric Press or 212-313-9044.
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