That's Robert Craghead--not Santa--gracing the cover of the December Illinois Bar Journal.

That’s Robert Craghead–not Santa–gracing the cover of the December Illinois Bar Journal.

When you edit a legal magazine, here’s one thing you end up doing—a lot: Reading other legal magazines. (Plus websites, newsletters, podcasts, videos, skywriting, and messages in bottles).

Occasionally, the stack of reading material can get pretty daunting, so you wrestle your nemesis to the ground and focus on what will engage you the most. And that’s how I came across … a terrific Q&A.

Robert Craghead is the longtime Executive Director of the Illinois State Bar Association. Fortunately for his colleagues and lawyers from the Land of Lincoln, he’s also one of the nicest guys in the legal biz.

I’ve had the pleasure to speak with Bob many times at national conferences, and I never fail to walk away with a smile on my face—and an idea or two to steal for my own association.

The Q&A is concise—I’m guessing it will take you 15 minutes to read. And when you do, you’ll hear a smart guy address issues that will determine the future of the legal profession.

You can read the magazine piece here.

Well done to Bob and the smart folks at the Illinois Bar Journal.

In my experience, it's hard not to find Robert Craghead smiling.

In my experience, it’s hard not to find Robert Craghead smiling.

chicago bar association cba logo

When I find myself in a city other than Phoenix, I like to look around at what the area’s legal community has to offer. My stomping grounds this week are in Illinois, specifically Chicago. So let me point you to some law-practice-helpful content from two great bar associations.

First, I recommend some content related to law practice management technology (say that three times fast), available on the website of the Chicago Bar Association.

The lawyer-friendly material includes some how-to videos by the talented Catherine Sanders Reach. Now THERE are some ideas worth borrowing! (Follow Catherine here.)

Here, for example, is a video on editing or removing Linkedin endorsements:

And over at the Illinois Bar Journal (published by the state bar), I recommend a few things.

Illinois State Bar Journal 2014First, their magazine includes a series of short articles the comprise “Law Pulse.” In it, the author is able to cover a variety of compelling and timely legal topics, all without straining your patience with massive length or endless footnoting.

Good examples of their form are here and here.

Like most bar journals, the Journal focuses on state laws and cases. But in the magazine’s feature story area is an article that may catch your attention, no matter what state you’re in. Titled “The Ratings Game,” it examines the world of Avvo: “Sites like Avvo that rate lawyers and encourage consumer reviews are evoking reaction positive and negative in the legal community—and posing interesting ethical challenges.”

The article includes a useful sidebar that explains how Avvo says its formula works.

Illinois State Bar Association ISBA logoMany of you may belong to multiple bars. If so, I’d love to hear from you about what content from varying bar publications you’ve found helpful to your practice. Maybe we can borrow some ideas from fellow bar magazines!