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.

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Arizona_Supreme_Court_SealThe June issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine includes a terrific primer on a new court being piloted in Arizona: a commercial court that aims to bring expertise to bear to resolve business disputes fairly and expeditiously.

The primer was written by attorney Mark Meltzer in the format of a Q&A. As the Supreme Court staff attorney tasked with serving a longtime committee examining the issue—and that eventually recommended creation of this very court—I figured he was the ideal man for the job.

Here is a link to the story.

(I wrote about the committee and the pilot program here.)

But we’re wondering what other questions you may have about the Court. Yes, we thought long and hard on the best questions to get answered—but we may have missed something.

Perhaps you won’t have questions until you see the way the court operates. But it’s also possible you have queries, concerns or suggestions right now. Please write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

An Arizona commercial court pilot program will launch on July 1. Read more in the June issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine.

An Arizona commercial court pilot program will launch on July 1. Read more in the June issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine.

AzAt 2011 general counsel panel headlineWay back in September (remember September), I told you about an upcoming corporate counsel event—a panel discussion that I was asked to moderate, sponsored by the Legal Marketing Association.

It was a blast. It’s always great to hear the up-close-and-personal dialogues among and between lawyers who work within corporations and associations.

However, because Arizona Attorney Magazine is a multi-modal content-delivery system (say that three times fast), I point you now to a synopsis of some of the attorneys’ insights, available in print and online.

You may already have received (and read!) your print version of the magazine. But click here to read the concise article online.

Here is how the dialogue opens:

What are corporate counsel thinking?

Boiled down, that is the question that drives a great annual event that gathers lawyers and law profession communicators to hear from in-house counsel.

Corporate Counsel Q&A Dec 2013Tim Eigo: With an upswing in the economy, do you anticipate more outside legal hiring?

Sonny Cave (ON Semiconductor): It’s going to provide work both to the in‑house team and the outside team. At any given moment in time, I’ve got hundreds of matters that are being handled by outside counsel, lawyers in all the different countries where we do business. I do try to hold as much work in-house as possible. Our cost model is generally about 40 percent of the total legal budget for in-house work and about 60 percent for outside law firms.

Eigo: Todd, is real estate coming back, and is there a hiring effect?

Todd Weiss (Cole Real Estate): Yes and yes. When I started in 2004, we did $250 million in acquisitions. This year our goal is between $4 billion and $5 billion in acquisitions. There’s not a week that goes by that we aren’t sending a matter out to outside counsel. We rely heavily on our outside counsel to run our acquisitions.

Eigo: Lisa, as a large public university, what does your office seek in outside counsel?

Legal Marketing Association logoLisa Loo (ASU): We look for law firms that understand our challenges, understand where it is we’re trying to go. We’ve been lucky in that the law firms we have engaged understand the challenges. The downturn in the economy hasn’t lessened our work; it actually has made us be more creative because you have to figure out how you are going to bring more money in, and students tend to enroll in higher ed when the economy is down.

Keep reading here.

Today, I point you to a few photos I snapped of a terrific law school event. But after that, I have a question for you.

The event was a panel discussion at the University of Arizona Law School in recognition of Constitution Day. I told you about the Rehnquist Center program here. (Bios of the speakers can be found here.)

L to R: Speaker Clint Bolick, Goldwater Institute; Professor Toni Massaro; Hon. Neil Wake, U.S. District Court; Seth Waxman, WilmerHale

As always, the Center brought together a stellar group of people to discuss contemporary cases from the U.S. Supreme Court.

More photos are at the Arizona Attorney Facebook page.

Now, my question.

You’ve likely heard by now that UA Law Dean Larry Ponoroff tendered his resignation last week. (He resigned as dean only; he will remain on the faculty.) I always appreciated Dean Ponoroff’s insights, and I’ll be sorry to see him step down from leadership.

By coincidence, I had calendared with him a late October interview. It was to be a Q&A in the tradition we have of law school dean interviews. I was curious about how things are going at the law school, and what ideas and plans he had.

My first thought upon hearing the news was simply to assume our interview would be canceled, and that I’d simply wait to see who was named the new Dean.

But then I spoke with a lawyer whom I respect very much. He urged me to find out if Dean Ponoroff would still want to chat. The lawyer reminded me that someone on the way out (even if not all the way out) may be candid about the lessons he and his school have learned.

Do you agree? Would you find such insights helpful?

Professor Toni Massaro, Sept. 14, 2012

It’s ironic that I had to be reminded of that lesson, given that a similar Q&A has turned out to be almost my favorite dean interview ever. Back in 2009, I interviewed UA Law Dean Toni Massaro as she was ending her long tenure as Dean. Our conversation was rousing and gave me added hope for legal education.

Perhaps another such interview could offer the same result. Please let me know what you think.