When I took over as editor-in-chief of InsideCounsel in 2001, the publication, which was then known as Corporate Legal Times, was a little worse for wear. It was printed on tabloid-sized paper, had no clear editorial mission and lacked editorial leadership. Among readers, it wasn’t known as the best business magazine for in-house lawyers–just the largest.
But it had a ton of potential.
The role of the general counsel in 2001 was undergoing significant changes–thanks in part to Enron’s demise and the introduction of SOX. In addition GCs were starting to operate their departments more like business units and were hungry for benchmarking data and articles about best practices. We quickly stepped in to feed that hunger. The magazine also became a vehicle for smart law firms to market their services. For years law firms believed that using ads to promote themselves was beneath them. That attitude soon changed as GCs began to treat their firms just like any other service provider.
Today InsideCounsel is an award-winning business magazine. It recently received a magazine industry award for its design and two awards for editorial excellence. A 2006 reader survey revealed 65 percent of in-house lawyers picked InsideCounsel as having the highest level of editorial credibility among its competitors. Sixty-six percent believed it was most useful, and 71 percent felt InsideCounsel did the best job in speaking to their needs.
Those are Hank Aaron-type numbers.
I would like to take credit for InsideCounsel?EUR?’s rise from the ashes, but I can’t. The only credit I can take is for assembling a great team. Those on the staff side who deserve credit are editors Mary Swanton, Keith Ecker, Melissa Maleske and Yesenia Salcedo and art director Daniel Tideman. The outside contributors who deserve credit are Julius Melnitzer, Adele Nicholas, Bruce Collins, Michael Baroni, Mike Evers and Steve Seidenberg.
Credit also goes to a group of in-house lawyers who have helped ensure the magazine, as well as our annual conference, remains relevant. Those include Brad Smith, Roger Marks, Craig Glidden, Jeff Carr, Patrick Oot, Janice Block, Laurie Robinson and Charles James.
Without the above, InsideCounsel would still be the largest, but not the best publication for in-house lawyers.