Law Week: New Legal Newspaper Long Time Coming
by Diane Hartman
A bright—and welcome—new star among legal publications in Colorado is almost six months old. Privately-owned Law Week Colorado joins bar association publications The Colorado Lawyer and The Docket in the legal field.
Filling in the vacuum left by The Colorado Journal, which got weaker and weaker and finally closed in October 2002, this is no boring offering.
Go to: www.lawweekcolorado.com and you’ll see what I mean.
Subscribers to Law Week Colorado get a hold-in-your-hands paper once a week, and it’s good. One issue in March had a lead story about law firm newsletters going electronic, another article about right-to-work laws, an essay on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, lots of briefs about who’ s doing what, a Colorado roundup of legal news, a social calendar supplied by Blacktie-Colorado.com, all wrapped around the resurrected Brief Times Reporter, which offers local case summaries and judicial announcements.
But perhaps what’s more fun is that subscribers get a daily e-mail. The format is short—they use links—and interesting.
Don Knox, former business editor at both the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post, and his wife, Rebecca Askew, associate general counsel for Real Legal Corp LLC, scoop together all the legal news they can find. They take from The Post, Rocky, The Docket, anything and anybody that has legal news. Everyone gets credit (as in "Denver Post reporter Mike McPhee reports . . .") and the effect is lively and inclusive. Don writes stories himself and coerces and/or pays for stories from others. He prints press releases from law firms or individuals. Even City Councilman and Professor Dennis Gallagher is listed as a contributor. News about Denver and Colorado bar members and activities is displayed throughout (for instance, stories on the Colorado mock trial competition and the DBA Barristers Ball).
If you don’t get enough news with the weekly paper and the daily e-mail, you can click on the Web site, which gets updated as they get new stuff. (Recently, a bulletin was sent out four minutes after Tim Tymkovich was confirmed to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on a 58-41 vote.) Also on the Web site are links to the Colorado courts, the federal courts, and things like the Colorado Constitution, the Colorado and U.S. codes, U.S. Senate and House members.
The philosophy, according to Knox, is "to create a viable, interesting, informative weekly newspaper for the legal community and to cover Colorado lawyers." He emphasizes that this is a collaboration with his wife: "She’s a lawyer, had her own law firm in the ’80s, was a prosecutor for Lakewood and an instructor and executive with Denver Paralegal Institute."
Knox covered legal matters in his job on the Denver papers, including the Silverado trials and the Sam Zakhem indictment (for not reporting as a government agent at the time of Desert Storm). "I’m quite happy writing about lawyers."
Obviously, they did research before they jumped in. "It showed that most cities Denver’s size have a weekly newspaper for lawyers—Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Detroit, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and others. Our question was, why didn’t Denver have a good newspaper for lawyers?"
Knox is also vice president of business development for e-InfoData.com, Inc., an information management company that works mostly with investigators. Don’s stepson, 12-year-old Max, "helps me do mailings—he earned a new skateboard." The couple spends several hours in the morning and the evening on the paper and Web site.
Knox would like to say two things to those in the legal community: "Subscribe and contribute news!" He’s surprised at law firms who don’t announce important moves, such as a new Chief Operating Officer. "You want to get the news out; it shows you’re progressive and that you’re proud of the people you hire."
Sometimes those at law firms have a hard time with press releases. Knox advises: "Just give the name of the firm, the contact person and phone, stick to the facts and don’t embellish. Send it electronically—we can get it up on the Web site quickly. You can send pictures (either .tif or .jpeg)."
Send news to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To subscribe, call (720) 338-6366 or go to lawweekcolorado.com.