Washington Law & Politics, the feisty, informative quarterly magazine for lawyers in the state, will be folding. The last issue will be the Spring edition. Staff were informed yesterday. I’m sad to see it go, not only because I have been writing the political column there for the last few years, but because it lived up to its cheeky motto: “Only our name is boring.”The whole article can be found here.
The news comes on the heels of word that its parent publication, Minnesota Law & Politics, has folded. The parent company, Key Professional Media of Minneapolis, kept the magazine going in part because of the success of its “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars” franchises, magazine features that rate attorneys and flourish from the competitive enthusiasm for self-promotion many lawyers and law firms possess. “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars” have been sold to Thomson Reuters which says they will continue to be published in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
As Crosscut’s Knute Berger notes, I was a longtime contributor to Washington Law & Politics, at various times writing about historical presidential visits to the Evergreen State, interviewing U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, reviewing the boom in local political blogs, and profiling former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper (a piece that won me a first-place award for government/political reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists). Prior to that, I was offered the WL&P editor’s post, but declined to take it. Unfortunately, that opportunity came just after my father had passed away in 2003, when I needed fewer responsibilities in my life for a while, rather than more.
The magazine wasn’t perfect; it had a consistently lackluster design and often focused on less-than-engaging personalities. But it did boast a bit of welcome irreverence, and for me, offered considerable writing freedom. I am definitely saddened by its sudden passing. And I want to thank editor Beth Taylor, along with co-founder Steve Kaplan and his executive editor, Adam Wahlberg, for their faith in me and for giving WL&P a better shot at success than many critics expected it would have when it launched back in 1997.