The nitty-gritty of the law doesn't necessarily lend itself to the Web, which generally caters to readers interested in shorter pieces rather than long, involved articles.
With that in mind, American Lawyer has spent the last few years “pushing harder and harder” to produce heavily researched articles that cover the entire legal spectrum, said Jack Berkowitz, senior VP of ALM, which publishes the monthly magazine.
“By nature, we're not a publication that fits within the Web,” Berkowitz said of American Lawyer, which debuted in 1979. “We run longer articles that need a lot of explanation and are not short, bulleted items.”
The feature well contains in-depth articles “that get at the subtleties about law cases,” Berkowitz said. The magazine does run some shorter pieces, including those in “Bar Talk,” “Big Deals” and “Big Suits.”
Two-thirds of the yearly issues of American Lawyer feature special reports. For example, the July issue carries the Law Firm A-List, the September issue features the Lifetime Achievement Awards and October has the Global 100, which reports on the financials of the top 100 law firms in the world.
“If you want to know how much money Skadden, Arps [Slate, Meagher & Flom] makes, you go to American Lawyer,” Berkowitz said, referring to one of the biggest, most influential law firms in the world.
The January issue alternates each year between Best Litigation Boutiques and Litigation Department of the Year.
“Editorially we spend an inordinate amount of money on the publication,” Berkowitz said. “The kinds of articles we run are going to the most powerful law firms, and lawyers are writers themselves.”
Ad pages grew 5% in 2007 compared with 2006 and are projected to grow 7% this year.
“Unlike other [b2b] markets, lawyers are comfortable with print,” said Steve Lincoln, group publisher of ALM. “Print is the core buy and is the adjunct to what we do with the Web or events.”
In August, Incisive Media completed its acquisition of ALM from U.S. Equity Partners for $630 million in cash. As part of the deal, Legal Week, which covers law in the U.K, was put under the aegis of American Lawyer. M