Gina Passarella, the new executive editor of ALM's The American Lawyer, knows a thing or two about what a good story pitch looks like. Lora Wegman, co-issue editor for this month's edition of Strategies, caught up with Passarella to discuss how covering the legal industry has shifted in recent years, and how firms can communicate with reporters more productively.
Strategies: What are some of your goals in terms of editorial and innovation strategy? Are there plans to enhance or drop any particular areas of coverage?
Passarella: The first six months have been what I liken to a listening tour. We didn't want to make any major changes without connecting with our audiences first. The takeaway from these meetings is that our deep insights and analysis of the market are something readers crave. My goal has always been to not only tackle the day-to-day news of the market, but also to serve as business intelligence for our readers. I want to tell folks where things are headed, not just what happened yesterday. Whether it be an analysis of a trend in the market or a deep dive into a single firm, it all has to come back to the business of running a law firm and offering readers insights into how their competitors are operating.
While there are no plans to scrap any particular area of coverage, there are a few areas I want to see addressed. One is law firm innovation at a deep and sophisticated level through identifying the true change agents in the market and the trends in innovation. The American Lawyer will not simply cover the 200 largest firms in the country. We want to cover the business of law as it happens across a spectrum of firms, particularly when it comes to innovative approaches to running a firm.
You will also see more about the intersection of the law firm and the client. We have a client relationship beat within our reporting team and will be looking to pull in content from our in-house desk. We have also started a new industry insights column that runs across The American Lawyer, National Law Journal and Corporate Counsel magazines, looking at a specific industry from three points of view: regulatory framework, in-house perspective and major law firm players representing the industry. I'm also interested in running more case studies where we dig deep into a firm's experience on a particular topic, such as overcoming a challenge or making a major business decision, and talking about how they got there. That will require firms to be...