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Wall Street Journal Cuts Law Blog Writer

A typical day for me goes something like this: Wake up. Check the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog. Brush my teeth. Check the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog. Make coffee. Check the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog. Shower. Check the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog. You get the picture. So it came as a somewhat of a shock late Friday afternoon to see a brief post from the blog's principal writer, Dan Slater, titled "A Law Blog Farewell":

Today is my last day as the Law Blogger.

Writing the blog for the past year has been a privilege. And I’m happy to report that the Law Blog will remain strong under the guidance of longtime LB editor Ashby Jones.

All the best,


Slater, a former practicing lawyer, was one of 14 newsroom positions hit by cuts the WSJ announced earlier this month. A Feb. 5 memo to staff from Managing Editor Robert Thomson said that the cuts would include one member of the WSJ's New York-based law group but it provided no name. As Slater's post indicates, the blog will continue with legal editor Ashby Jones as its primary contributor. I can only echo what Mark Obbie said about Slater's layoff at his blog LawBeat:

Slater's departure is legal journalism's loss. He contributed original reporting (something not many bloggers can claim) and smart writing to the coverage of law from a business perspective. Jones is an able replacement. But, with one less staffer, it's obvious that law coverage in the Journal and online will suffer a net decrease.

Jones is a veteran legal reporter who formerly worked for The American Lawyer magazine. As Obbie says, he is an able replacement. The problem is, he already has a job, as editor of the WSJ's law page. Without a full-time writer, the Law Blog is likely to scale back its coverage of the legal industry. That will certainly throw my daily routine off kilter, and probably do the same to the daily routines of a large number of loyal Law Blog readers.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on February 23, 2009 at 11:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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