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Yale Law School Dean Anthony Kronman said the idea for Legal Affairs began eight years ago. Legal Affairs, a new bi-monthly legal magazine offered by Yale Law School, may serve as a forum for spirited ideas and opinions, but it makes for lousy bedtime reading, according to marketing materials promoting the publication. In a promotional package enticing readers to take advantage of a free premiere issue, the magazine’s editor, Lincoln Caplan, warns potential readers that the soon-to-be-debuted magazine would not put its audience to sleep. “ Legal Affairs is the wrong magazine to keep on your night table,” the newsletter-style promo reads. “A restful night’s sleep is NOT what you should expect when you lie down with restless legal minds and provocative journalists,” the letter continues. Dean Kronman said the first issue of the magazine will be published in March, while promising the content and look of the publication would be like no other. “It is engaging, entertaining and thoughtful,” Kronman, also chairman of Legal Affairs, said. “It will satisfy the eye while satisfying the intellectual appetite.” A publicity assistant for Legal Affairs referred questions about the publication to its editor, who could not be reached; however, the publication’s lavish promotional package offered a glimpse into the types of stories that it claims will leave readers “surprised, impressed, shaken and stirred.” Story topics for future articles include: A Tennessee judge who rules on all death sentence appeals — many of which are overturned in federal court; whether basketball legend Kareem-Abdul Jabbar’s sky hook move can be patented; and why an international criminal court in the Hague is the best way to prosecute terrorist acts as crimes against humanity. Kronman said the idea for the magazine came from a colleague’s suggestion during his first week as dean of the school eight years ago, as a way to bridge a widening gap between members of the bar and the legal academy. The colleague, federal taxation law professor Boris Bittker, told Kronman at the time that practitioners were complaining about the law reviews and how they were becoming increasingly difficult to digest and that practitioners had gotten out of the practice of turning to the essays for legal guidance. Kronman said although there was a plethora of legal publications on the market at the time, the substantive pieces offered were either too involved or not involved enough, intellectually speaking. “We were looking for something to fill the gap,” Kronman said. “Eventually it morphed into what is now Legal Affairs. Its look and feel have changed a dozen times along the way, but the basic ambition — to create a kind of place for a passionate, engaging, conversation of the law — has remained the same.” He credited Caplan — an accomplished book author who worked previously for the New Yorker and the U.S. News and World Report, and a Knight Senior Journalist who teaches writing courses about the law at Yale — with helping to “shape and drive” the publication. Kronman said although the law school has backed the publication with its name and with seed money, the magazine was not about the law school or its alumni. He added that it was not an in-house publication, and would retain its editorial independence.

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