diversity of the WSBA. A 1993 Media,
Inc., survey placed Bar News in the top
10 of the Top 25 Northwest Business
and Trade Publications, and fifth in the
state of Washington. The American Bar
Association’s Division for Bar Services
1992 State & Local Bar Publications
Survey listed Bar News as the 12th-
largest state bar magazine in the coun-
try. Bringing the publication into the
new millennium, Mark Panitch served
as editor in 2000–03, followed by Lind-
say Thompson, who returned after hav-
ing served on the Board of Governors.
I became editor of Bar News in 2007.
As I told the Editorial Advisory Board
and the Board of Governors in the selection process, my priority was to
make the publication as readable and
personal as possible while retaining its
traditional educational and informational functions.
Since 2007, the publication has undergone additional significant changes. I titled the traditional editor’s column “Bar Beat,” gave it a permanent
place on the last page of the magazine
in the fashion of old-time magazine
columns, and focused on intensely
personal issues that affect us all, not
necessarily involving the practice of
law. As an additional “anchor” feature,
again aimed at bringing more human
interest to the publication, we added
a question-and-answer column (now
called “Beyond the Bar No.”) highlighting the personal and professional
lives of individual bar members.
Recognizing the importance of
communications between WSBA staff,
leadership, and members, we have
invited the members of the Editorial
Advisory Committee to become increasingly involved in planning for
the publication, as well as solicita-tion and authoring of articles. This is
especially important, given that the
publication still relies almost entirely
on submissions from staff and WSBA
membership, rather than paid reporters or contributors. The staff and EAC
have responded with contributions,
making the publication more diverse
and engaging than ever.
Hoping to create an even more
modern, inclusive, and magazine-like
presentation, in December 2013, the
name of the publication was changed to
NWLawyer (our first choice was “
Washington Lawyer,” but the name was already taken by the Washington, D.C.
Bar) and upgraded the design. We also
have worked in closer collaboration
with other communication functions of
the WSBA, including the website (with
a full-featured and searchable online
version of the current NWLawyer issue
with back issues) and the bar’s official
In 2014, NWLawyer received the
2014 Luminary Award for excellence
from the National Association of Bar
Executives, which voted the magazine
as the best regular publication among
large bar associations nationwide. NWL
Michael Heatherly is the
NWLawyer editor and can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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