New publishing schedule, enhancements in store for Lawyers Journal

Issue December 2015 By Jason Scally

Massachusetts Bar Association members can expect to see a different Lawyers Journal in 2016 as the MBA's print newspaper switches to a bi-monthly publishing schedule, starting in January.

The reduction to six print issues per year will coincide with editorial enhancements to the newspaper, including several new practical and personal components. Over the next few issues, readers can expect to see expanded profiles, new columns and a greater focus on sharing individual member news from around the commonwealth. The MBA's weekly online eJournal, published at and emailed to members each Thursday, will continue as the MBA's main outlet for timely news and announcements.

"Today most attorneys get information instantly and online, but we still see real value in having greatly expanded coverage of the MBA's news, events and benefits delivered regularly to our members' doors," said Martin W. Healy, the MBA's chief legal counsel and chief operating officer. "I fully believe the changes to Lawyers Journal will complement our online eJournal, My Bar Access and social media platforms and improve our overall bar communications efforts."

One of the most notable changes will be the addition of the MassBar Bulletin, a new section of Lawyers Journal, which will feature member-submitted news, announcements and photos - similar to those often found in school alumni publications. Inspired by MBA President Robert W. Harnais, the MassBar Bulletin will give members from all corners of the commonwealth a platform to share their latest professional and personal updates.

"The MBA is the largest statewide community of lawyers, but sometimes we miss the 'community' part when we're working in our day-to-day silos. Let's change that." said Harnais. "Tell us what you're doing. The MassBar Bulletin and other new Lawyers Journal features will make it easier to meet your neighbors - those across the state, as well those next door - and hopefully infuse some more congeniality into our profession. I also invite you to share your ideas, your views on the profession and how the MBA can assist you in the practice of law."

Lawyers Journal will continue to provide regular coverage of both legal and bar news, MBA benefits and events. Here are highlights from some of the new enhancements that readers can expect in 2016:

MassBar Bulletin: member-submitted announcements

Organized by county, the new section will allow MBA members to submit professional updates, including new jobs, recent accomplishments or awards, and more. Members can also share personal news and photos, such as weddings, birth announcements and outside-of-work accomplishments. Members can send updates of 50 words or less. Please include your name, firm, town (and county).

While the primary focus of the MassBar Bulletin will be individual announcements, MBA Honor Roll Firms (firms of five or more members with 100 percent of their attorneys enrolled in the MBA) will also have the unique opportunity to submit firm news and announcements. Honor Roll Firm announcements can feature the firm's logo and a description of 100 words or less.

Section Review and practice alerts

Section Review articles from each of the MBA's 18 sections and the Young Lawyer Division will continue to be published in Lawyers Journal. The newspaper will also be adding more news and practice-related alerts covering recent developments and hot topics.

Expanded profiles

Lawyers Journal will continue to run member spotlights, but readers can also expect to see more coverage and profiles of MBA Community Service Award honorees, judges and other influential people in the legal community. In addition, the newspaper will include more "insider" profiles with individuals who can offer useful information about navigating courts and agencies around the commonwealth.

Practical columns

In addition to the continuing Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers column,  Lawyers Journal will be expanding its "For Your Practice" section. Readers can expect to see columns covering technology, business development and even lifestyle.

Dedicated law student section

A section of Lawyers Journal will be dedicated to news and information for law student members, including calendar highlights of events of particular interest to law students.