The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin invites you to send in news pitches and announcements relevant to the Chicago legal community and the practice of law in Illinois. In a typical day, our small reporting staff receives dozens of leads. This is a guide to help make sure your story gets told.
I’d like to write a letter to the editor. How?
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Chicago Lawyer consider letters to the editor to be an important way to allow our readers to engage with our audience. Letters are part of our mission to enlighten readers, encourage thought and debate on the issues affecting our legal community.
To submit a letter to the editor:
- Email your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your full name, title, firm, phone, email and city. We do not publish anonymous submissions or allow authors to use pseudonyms.
- Address your letter to the editor, not as an open letter to third parties, our readers or the general public.
- All submissions must be less than 500 words.
- Our editors give preference to letters that address an item recently published in the Law Bulletin or Chicago Lawyer, including news articles, court decisions, opinion pieces, other letters or event photographs. As appropriate, please cite the title and publication date of the item you have referenced. We also accept letters on topics that haven’t been covered in the Law Bulletin or Chicago Lawyer that would be pertinent to our readership. Please refrain from personal attacks.
- Your submission must be exclusive to the Law Bulletin or Chicago Lawyer, not submitted for publication elsewhere. All content must be written by you, not a ghost writer, and include appropriate citations for reference. If we haven’t published your submission within 14 days of receiving it, you may submit it elsewhere.
- You must disclose fully any relevant professional, transactional, commercial, financial, litigation-related or political affiliations or interest you may have involving the topic or individuals discussed in your letter.
- We don’t publish all letters received. Publication is at the sole discretion of our editors. While we try to keep the editing of letters to a minimum, we do reserve the right to revise submissions as we see fit, for purposes of clarity, brevity and relevance.
- For questions regarding this policy, call 312-644-4033 or email email@example.com.
When does CDLB publish?
We’re always online at chicagolawbulletin.com, where we’ll post new content throughout standard business hours. Our print edition, 163 years running, goes to the press around noon Monday through Friday. To subscribers in downtown Chicago, it’s hand-delivered later in the afternoon, while other subscribers get their print editions by mail.
What kind of news items does CDLB look for?
An effective pitch will meet two main criteria: local and legal. We want stories relevant to the lawyers and legal professionals working in and around Chicago.
Among stories related to litigation: We’ll nearly always prioritize news about courtroom activity, judges’ orders and final case outcomes over news of a recent lawsuit’s filing, though we welcome a heads-up on new filings so that we can put them on our radar. Cases that create new legal precedent and lawsuits/verdicts for high dollar amounts may jump to the front of the line.
But it’s not just hard news! We also love stories that show the more fun and meaningful side of the legal practice: stories that show how lawyers, firms and bar groups are being innovative, addressing challenges and otherwise stand out from the pack. If your pitch involves a national or international firm, be sure to emphasize the Chicago or Illinois tie-in.
How should pitches be sent?
Send most of your pitches by e-mail. Deliver the more breaking or urgent pitches by phone. Don’t send pitches by fax. (We’re mostly millennials here these days.)
When you do email, send your pitch to either one reporter or editor, or Cc a few of us if you’re not sure where a certain pitch belongs. BCc’ing several staffers on a single e-mail or sending the same e-mail individually to multiple staffers runs a risk of confusion and a slower or missed response.
Whom should I pitch for a specific topic?
The best advice here is to subscribe to the Daily Law Bulletin and read what we publish, so you gain an understanding of what stories fall to which reporters. You can also consult the Contact Us page for an up-to-date listing of reporters, editors, and the “beats” they handle. When in doubt, e-mail the editor's general inbox.
Can I submit announcements about people and upcoming events?
For announcements of firm moves, appointments, promotions, awards, and legal community events, e-mail Sarah Mansur at SMansur@LawBulletinMedia.com.
To have your event listed on our community calendar, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d like to write a column for CDLB’s “Lawyers’ Forum” section. How can I start?
Lawyers’ Forum columns provide an opportunity for lawyers to contribute their expertise and insight with our readers. We accept one-time CDLB and its sister magazine, Chicago Lawyer, have separate columnists that do not overlap. Editors can assist you or a client columnist-to-be with questions and story angles. More basic guidelines:
- Authors should be licensed to practice in Illinois and in good standing.
- Topics should not be self-promotion; subjects should not be something the author profited from or will profit from.
- Columns should be 600 to 900 words, with sources cited included in the text (no footnotes or endnotes; one citation per case or statute is fine).
- Conversational newspaper style is preferred over academic or law-review style; make the main point in the first paragraph (or soon after).
- Columns will be edited for accuracy, style, brevity and clarity.
- Along with any submissions, please include a two- or three-sentence bio for the author, and you can add your e-mail address if you like.
The primary contact for planning Lawyers’ Forum columns is Emma Zelewsky at EZelewsky@LawBulletinMedia.com. Once a submission is approved, we will provide you with the date it’s scheduled to publish online and in print — typically within a few days, depending on current submission volume.
My law firm settled a case, but we entered into an agreement with the other side not to publish certain details. You’ll still publish the parts we want, right?
In any article our staff writes, CDLB will treat facts and documents found in the public court record as public. Our reporters and editors have the final say in what details from public record belong in stories.
Lawyers who send us the minimum required information on a case — the case caption and the party names — should expect to read both the plaintiffs and defendants identified in the published article, based on information we retrieved from court records. If neither party in a settlement can share those minimal details with our staff, we can’t confirm it against public record, and we will not proceed with a news article on that settlement.
Please note: This is a different policy than that of our fellow Law Bulletin Media product, the Jury Verdict Reporter, which collects and honors confidential data on lawsuits for research purposes. Contact JVR’s John Kirkton for details on the publication’s rules.