American Legal Technology Insider is published by long-established UK-based newsletter and legal IT information provider Legal Technology Insider Limited. The publisher/editor-in-chief is Charles Christian, a former practising barrister and winner of the UK National Newspapers Technology Journalist of the Year Award.
Who is your audience?
Our target audience is what we term ‘legal technology professionals’. On the vendor side, these are the people who design, develop, market, sell, distribute, consult, implement and support legal IT systems. On the buyer side, these are the people who specify, buy, manage, implement and support legal IT systems within law firms and corporate legal departments/general counsel offices. Within law firms, our readers include managing partners, CIOs, heads of IT, IT staff, KM staff and information services staff. We are primarily focused on larger law firms and so rarely carry news about products aimed at small firms/solos. We do not target individual lawyers as readers - happy to have them on board but our focus is on law firm management rather than end users. This newsletter was developed exclusively for the North American legal market - Canada and the United States. We carry news on UK, European and Asia-Pacific developments in our other publications.
What is the circulation and how do you distribute/reach your readers?
We are a purely digital publication - the newsletter is only available in a PDF file format - and is distributed both direct to subscribers via email as a file attachment and indirectly as a file that can be downloaded from our Orange Rag blog. We also have a number of vendors and 3rd party organizations who distribute it to their customers and clients. Subscriptions to American Legal Technology Insider are totally free. Our current circulation is approximately 16,000 - this figure does include some international readership (law firms & vendors) who take the newsletter to keep track of developments in the North American legal IT sector. [Editors note: To be added to the circulation, send an email to ALTi.]
What is your publication’s frequency? When do you publish?
We publish monthly - 12 issues a year - with new issues coming out on the first Thursday of each month.
Who contributes content?
Although we are open to ‘guest articles’ by external contributors, the majority of our content is written inhouse by the editor and our staff writers. A point to note here is that we are a newsletter with only a limited number of pages at our disposal and an editorial policy that recognizes our readers are very busy people with only a limited amount of time to spare looking at publications. We therefore focus on offering a current awareness service providing short summaries of all the important stories of the past month. We do not have an editorial board as, frankly, we don’t see the point of them. Life is too short. If a publisher does not have confidence in their own news gathering sources, they should not be in business.
What is the publication’s stance on vendor experts contributing content?
Always happy to consider contributions by vendor experts - we are a legal IT ‘industry’ newsletter and if the vendor side of the industry never has an opportunity to state its case, we cannot give a balanced report of the news. On the plus side, because vendors are actually developing the systems law firms use, they possess insights that law firms can only guess at. On the negative side, a lot of the material submitted by vendors fails the editorial content test as it is all too often revamped and over-long marketing collateral that adds nothing to the greater sum of human knowledge. If you want to tell us something, tell us something that will really interest our readers - as distinct from inflate the ego of your CEO.
What advice do you have for companies/PR professionals that want to get coverage in your publication? What not to do?
Our simple advice is: don’t keep it a secret. If you think a story (and this can be a new product story, a new win or deal, a new hire or promotion, corporate news, a new alliance, a new piece of research you’ve conducted or even a new industry trend you’ve identified) is likely to interest to us, then send it along or pitch your proposal to us. If we agree that the story is of interest, we’ll run it. And, the sooner you submit it, the better, don’t leave it till the last minute as our pages fill up quickly.
Also, as this question does crop up from time-to-time, our editorial coverage is never linked to advertising. We do not run paid for/subsidized/sponsored - or whatever else you wish to call it (in the UK the term is ‘advertorial’) - content. All stories are evaluated for publication on their editorial merits. If it’s good, we’ll use it. If it’s not, we won’t - even if you are one of our advertisers.
If applicable, please provide a link to the 2010 editorial calendar.
Because we do not run advertising-led feature articles, we do not publish an editorial calendar along the traditional “July focus on billing systems, August focus on ediscovery” variety. We are an industry newsletter - we want industry news. If a subject is topical, we will report it - and what is topical changes from month to month, and year to year. For example, currently we are carrying a lot of stories relating to the Microsoft Office and SharePoint 2010 launches.
Please provide a link to 2010 media kit.
We are in the middle of a website redesign and repositioning of some of our online services, so our media kit is about to be rewritten however here is a link to our current information.
What is your publication doing in the way of social media? How does access to/use of said social media tools influence and or affect your editor/publisher job?
As an information provider, we are acutely aware of the need to ensure our publications evolve and keep pace with changing media platforms. Currently we published in a PDF file format and complement our monthly newsletters with our breaking news blog - The Orange Rag - which is now one of the most widely read legal technology information blogs on the planet. We also support this with a Twitter feed to alert followers to new developments - see @ChristianUncut - which also provides content for the editor’s LinkedIn presence. We have experimented with Facebook but concluded that while it is good for social and extracurricular activities (Insider editor Charles Christian is also a short story writer) it is not relevant for business uses.
What is your publication’s most popular column/feature topic?
Reader feedback both for the American and UK/European editions of the Insider suggests the most popular feature is the comment and opinion we are prepared to express. Insider editor Charles Christian has been reporting on developments in legal technology internationally for nearly 30 years and was recently described by a senior vice president at Microsoft as "‘the most influential journalist in Legal IT’ - as a result, he has access to unparalleled market intelligence and background information on both technology trends and vendor track records. Add to this a willingness to tell it like it is - and the combination is a publication respected for its independence and impartiality.