Journalist’s Journal – Angela Turturro (Special Sections Editor, New York Law Journal)

by Tom Mariam on July 18, 2012

Angela Turturro took over for Dorothy Hughes as the Sections Editor for the New York Law Journal at the end of June 2011.  The (mostly weekly) special sections, which Angela edits, give New York lawyers an opportunity to write expansively on key legal issues of interest in a major forum.  Angela discussed her new position, her background and the NYLJ’s special sections with our Tom Mariam.

What do you see as the primary benefit for the reader of the NY Law Journal’s special sections?

Each week, the special sections present a look at a different substantive area of law with four to six different articles on that subject.  For those who practice in that particular area, it’s an opportunity to keep abreast of new developments and trends, and to read the analysis of fellow practitioners in the field.  For those who practice in different fields, it’s a chance to expand their legal horizons.

What do you see as the primary benefit for the lawyers who write articles for the NY Law Journal’s special sections?

I think publishing articles is a great way for lawyers to connect their names not just to the specific issues about which they are writing, but to get their name out in the field in general.  It sets authors apart as being extremely knowledgeable in their field.

Angela Turturro

Which special sections are the most popular?

Litigation by a landslide!  Those sections fill up far in advance, even though we have one every month.  I attribute that to the fact that it is the most general of the special sections and thus can accommodate topics that don’t fit neatly into the other sections. As far as substantive topics go, a close second and third would be White Collar Crime and Corporate Restructuring & Bankruptcy.

What areas of the law can we expect to see more (or new) special sections published in the future?

For 2012, we added another Law Schools section, and have added new sections in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Construction Law and Immigration Law.

What was your professional background prior to this job?

I graduated Fordham University School of Law in 2009 and worked as a litigation associate for about 2 years before coming to the Law Journal.

How has the transition been for you to journalist from lawyer?

Having worked as an attorney, transitioning to the role of an editor required me to learn new lingo and even new computer skills.  With weekly deadlines that couldn’t be missed and the hard work of authors on the line, my first few sections made me nervous, but eventually I developed a good schedule and routine.

How does your experience as an attorney help you as the Special Sections editor?

I did a lot of writing as an associate and actually enjoyed the process of proofreading and making the document as pristine as possible–a process many people find so tedious, but which I love.  That attention to detail obviously translates well to an editing job, and I’m so happy I’m still able to draw on that experience.  Content-wise, my legal background is definitely helpful in terms of understanding terms of art, references to court procedures, etc.

What types of responses to your requests for articles are most likely to get your attention and gain strong consideration for publication?

A good response would be one that is unique, current and well fleshed out. For example, when a notable decision is handed down, there might be numerous pitches simply saying that the author will analyze the decision; however, the better pitch will take it a step further by explaining what the state of the law was, how it has been changed by the new decision, and what it all means for the future.

What are the biggest mistakes lawyers and/or their publicists make when responding to your queries?

I would say the biggest mistake is simply waiting too long to respond with a pitch.  I definitely understand that lawyers are busy and that it takes time to formulate a thoughtful pitch, but at a certain point I have to draw the line and fill up the section.

What do you like to do away from the job? 

I fancy myself a chef and a foodie, so I enjoy cooking new recipes and trying new restaurants.

 

Tom Mariam is the President of Mariam Communications LLC. You can reach Tom at tom@mariam.biz.


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