Since 1878, the New Jersey Law Journal has been a steadily published, must-read chronicle of the courts. But in the last quarter century, it’s been through changes — initiating annual judicial surveys, digital publishing and adding Lawyers for the Arts. It’s still published weekly in downtown Newark and throughout changes in ownership that have made it part of the nation’s largest legal journalism company, it has held to its time-tested format of news, case reports and commentary for the New Jersey legal profession. The man who’s overseen those changes for 26 years is stepping down. Publisher Emeritus Robert Steinbaum told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that one of his biggest accomplishments included publishing 30 books on New Jersey law for lawyers over 22 years.
“We come out with two books a year and they’re supplemented annually so they keep up with changes in the law,” said Steinbaum.
Steinbaum said that every book is available in paperback and in eBook form, as digital publishing has come to flourish over the years. He said that digital publishing has allowed for eBooks to link to cases directly that are discussed within the book, through hyperlinks. He also said that newsletters from the New Jersey Law Journal are now available several times a day and on the web with digital publishing.
Steinbaum said that the transition into digital publishing has come gradually and that the journal has been on the web for 15 years. He also said that the law journal has introduced more content with breaking news alerts and newsletters, as well as the full day’s cases in the evening.
Steinbaum said that digital publishing has changed the way that lawyers do research for cases because law firms don’t have physical libraries any more.
“It’s the rare law firm that has a physical library,” said Steinbaum. “It is all database research. Firms have subscriptions to various reference systems. So there are no physical libraries. Lawyers can be at their desks and they can tap into any kind of database and any kind of legal reference.”
About 12 years ago, the New Jersey Law Journal started the Celebration of Lawyers in the Arts publication. Steinbaum said the concept began to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Law Journal with a musical review. He said that he wanted to show a different side to lawyers, that they were versatile, could sing and could dance. Over the last four years, Steinbaum said that the New Jersey Lawyers for the Arts has included plays and shows such as Bye, Bye, Birdie and Pajama Game.
Steinbaum said that the Lawyers for the Arts has showcased the arts.
“The celebration gave rise to the New Jersey Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, a charity which provides free legal services to artists and arts organizations,” he said.