Arizona Attorney Magazine Creative Arts Competition ad 2013 cropped

Our current grinning look for the Arts Competition

We’ve hit the 10-year mark for our Creative Arts Competition at Arizona Attorney Magazine. Here is how I drafted the opening to our arts pages in the May 2013 issue (on newsstands soon!):

“10 years is a long time to do most anything. But here at Arizona Attorney Magazine, it stuns us that we’ve been privileged to host our lawyer–artists since 2004. It may not feel like just yesterday that we launched the finest attorney arts competition in the country, but a decade? It’s hard to believe.”

“In those years, we have had the opportunity to enjoy sharing parts of the legal brain beyond pleadings and contracts. And we have been pleased beyond words by the commitment of hundreds and hundreds of lawyers, each of whom answers ‘Yes yes yes’ to the question of whether there is more to life than work work work.”

A lot of amazing occurred in those 10 years. But one thing that struck me was this: What nervous Nellies we were.

When we decided to launch this new initiative early in the 2000s, the Editorial Board and I were concerned that our lawyer–readers would see it as fluff, and that no one would submit. And even if they did, how talented were the lawyers, really?

Pretty funny concerns, I think, now that I look back. But if we want a glimpse at the odd worries that possessed us, we need look only to the evolution of our “call for artists” ads through the years. As you’ll see below in this sample of work, we began with a look that would have fit in a 19th-century paleontology journal. And our categories were strictly legal—and included zero visual-arts content!

Over time, as we saw the popularity of the competition, we loosened up a bit, on our categories and our design. Finally, in the past few years we have posted ads that could be run in any magazine of general circulation.

Write to arizona.attorney@azbar.org and tell me your favorites.

Here is a selection of our ads through the past decade.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.