Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Editor's Message: Credit Where Credit Is Due

By  Ed Comey

     At first, I was extremely excited that Ben Hill asked me to edit the Lawyer magazine. The excitement turned to nervousness, though, when it dawned on me that I didn’t have the slightest idea what was involved in editing a magazine. As I’ve mentioned before, I think the Lawyer is the best local Bar publication around. I certainly didn’t want to be the one to mess that up (particularly the 25th anniversary edition). It turns out that, with all due respect to my predecessors, editing this magazine is a really easy job.

     Many of you may not realize (I know I didn’t) how many talented people make the Lawyer what it is. Naturally, it starts at the top with the HCBA’s president and executive director. Ben Hill and John Kynes have been incredibly supportive, and you’d be hard pressed to find two nicer people to work with. And of course, there are the HCBA section chairs. I had no idea they were responsible for (among other things) finding authors to write articles and making sure those articles are in on time. Luckily, we have no shortage of lawyers willing to write really high-quality pieces for publication.

     But it didn’t take long to realize the real secret to the Lawyer’s success. It wasn’t until I sat down to write this message that I learned Corrie Benfield’s official title is “Director of Public Relations & Communications.” Having worked with her for a year, I’m confident that title doesn’t come close to capturing all of the things she does at the HCBA. While many of you may know her from HCBA events, I suspect few have any idea how instrumental she is to the Lawyer.

     Thanks to Corrie, my job really starts when I get a magazine proof; by that time, she has come up with very creative ideas for features, compiled article submissions, edited them, somehow arranged the magazine layout, found photos to go along with articles and features, written small features to fill in content, worked with advertisers, and done a million other things I don’t even realize. After I make an edit here or there to the proof to catch the rare mistake that gets by her (I’m convinced she leaves those in on purpose to test me), she edits it again and works with the printer to get the magazine to your in-box. Oh, and did I mention, she has created a blog where she posts your articles and then circulates them on social media.

     You only have to read a couple of pages into the Lawyer to find a reference to and (unfortunately, in my case) picture of the editor, but you have to look really hard to find any reference to Corrie. I can assure you that disparity has nothing to do with our relative contributions to the Lawyer. The Lawyer has evolved into such a fantastic publication over the past 25 years thanks to the talents of people like Corrie. I hope those of you who enjoy the magazine will take a moment to thank Corrie (and all of the others working behind the scenes) for making the Lawyer a first-rate publication.