Lawyers Weekly Cuts Boston Staff, Papers

Minneapolis-based publisher Dolan Media Company today cut between eight and 10 staff positions at its Boston-based Lawyers Weekly publications. It also announced that one print publication — the consumer-oriented Exhibit A — would now be published only on the Web and another — the national legal newspaper LawyersUSA — would reduce its print frequency in favor of enhanced Web content.

The employees who were let go included members of the editorial, sales and art departments. Several worked for LawyersUSA. All were given the news today along with their final paychecks. They were then asked to collect their belongings and leave the building.

[Full disclosure: I was the original editor of LawyersUSA when it was founded in 1992 as Lawyers Weekly USA and I was the editor-in-chief of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly before that. I also worked for Dolan in 1998 and 1999 as acting publisher of its Idaho Business Review.]

An announcement published today on the Lawyers Weekly Web site made brief mention of the layoffs and put the number at eight. Sources told me that 10 employees were let go.

The announcement said that LawyersUSA would be “expanding its Web offerings and reducing its traditional reliance on print delivery to its readers.” The LawyersUSA Web site will continue as a subscription-based service while the print edition will go from every other week to monthly.

Exhibit A, which made its debut just last year as a free circulation newspaper with legal stories targeted to consumers, will shift entirely to the Web after its final print issue is put out next month.

Dolan purchased Lawyers Weekly in 2004.