Meet Elaine Song, an editor with Thomson Reuters who has more than 25 years of experience in legal media. Elaine went to law school and soon after earning her law degree, became involved in writing about the legal system for general audiences. Before joining Thomson Reuters, Elaine wrote and edited for several publications, including the Connecticut Law Tribune and New York Law Journal. Today, she works with attorneys on contributed content for Reuters Legal News and Westlaw Today.
Q: Tell us about your role as an editor for Reuters Legal News and Westlaw Today.
My role is a mixture of working with public relations and marketing representatives to provide information and guidance on how to get published, fielding submissions on proposed content, and editing attorney contributed articles. I also coordinate and plan regularly scheduled columns for Westlaw Today that produce a steady flow of content to build relationships between our authors and audience.
Q: How do you seek sources for articles?
Word of mouth! I have cultivated relationships with law firms and the public relations and marketing community who understand the type of content we are looking to publish.
Q: What do you look for in an article pitch?
I emphasize the word ”analysis” and seek an in-depth look at recent developments in the law. I am looking for content that provides a practitioners view of what an issue means and its implications, along with practical tips and strategies.
Q: How does content get shared among the various Thomson Reuters platforms?
This often depends on the length of the content, because Reuters Legal News requires shorter articles while Westlaw Today publishes longer pieces. Generally, articles will run in both platforms. Westlaw Journals will also pick up articles published in Westlaw Today by practice areas.
Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is when authors don’t understand the reasons for edits. This stems from not understanding the process and the role of the editor versus the writer. The editor is here for a purpose, has an expertise and needs to make judgments when making revisions. We always run edits by our author because we respect the time and effort the authors put into their work.
Q: Looking ahead, what are some trends you are interested in covering?
We publish a wide variety in terms of practice areas and subjects, but I have seen a lot of discussion and interest in AI. It is impacting various practice areas, from employment law to data privacy, while also impacting the business of law. Law firm leaders are looking at how to use AI in the management of a law firm for billing and all sort of things, and I expect AI will continue to proliferate.
Another issue of interest is cannabis — the legalization in different states and issues caused by the lack of federal law.
Q: What do you do outside of work?
I am studying theology and religion, exploring ways I can serve in community and faith contexts.
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