WILLIAMSBURG–The Virginia Bar Association presented its Award for Excellence in Legal Journalism to Virginia Lawyers Weekly and Virginia Business on Jan. 20 at the group’s winter meeting.
The award is given in recognition and appreciation of exceptional legal journalism. In 2010, the VBA presented the award to the Bristol Herald Courier for a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles about the mismanagement of natural gas royalties in Virginia’s coalfields.
Virginia Lawyers Weekly and Virginia Business both celebrated 25 years of publication in 2011, which VBA President Lucia Anna “Pia” Trigiani called “a tremendous achievement, particularly in this day of electronic media and the challenges faced by print media.”
She said that the VBA was recognizing both publications for “their independence, quality reporting and for their service to the legal profession.”
Trigiani called Virginia Lawyers Weekly “an essential resource for Virginia lawyers.” She asked, “How many lawyers have been heard to say, ‘It is malpractice not to read Virginia Lawyers Weekly.’”
She continued, “The reporting is fair, sometimes tough … but, with the focus on accuracy and attention to detail, Virginia Lawyers Weekly has accomplished so very much in connecting lawyers across our vast and varied commonwealth.”
The paper has “lifted up the legal profession, without being untrue to fair reporting,” Trigiani said.
VLW Publisher Paul Fletcher accepted the award on behalf of the paper.
Trigiani hailed Virginia Business as a publication that is “the leading source of information about the people and industries most significantly affecting Virginia’s economy.”
She added, “As the practice of law has morphed more and more into the business of law, Virginia Business’s coverage of the legal profession has grown.” The magazine has partnered with the VBA for 10 years to produce the “Legal Elite” survey.
“Virginia Business has been a friend of lawyers, an essential source and resource for connecting law and business,” Trigiani said.
Accepting the award for Virginia Business was Publisher Bernard Niemeier.
Both Fletcher and Niemeier serve on the VBA’s Committee on Special Issues of National and State Importance.