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History & Awards

The first issue of the LIJ appeared in July 1927 under the editorship of G L Mayman. The proposal to publish an official journal for the members of the Institute was put to Council by Mr EC Rigby in 1912, but was deferred until it was felt the Institute had sufficient members and a strong enough financial base to support it.

The initial aims of the publication were strikingly similar to those of the LIJ today.

It was to include:

  • Alterations to practice and new rules of courts, circuits, and sitting dates
  • Points of office practice
  • Questions of proposed legislation, law reform, anomalies, and questions of general interest
  • Special articles, notes on decisions of special interest to members, hints for guidance under new statutes
  • Proceedings of the Institute
  • Book reviews
  • Notices to members
  • Advertisements of legal publications

It was argued

"such a publication would . . . have a considerable value for country practitioners especially, and help to strengthen a sense of unity among the profession".

The LIJ was welcomed by the new state Attorney-General, Mr W Slater, who offered the editor

"every press facility in the collection of news from the different law offices".

By 1937 the LIJ had acquired a Queensland section, subsidised by the Queensland Law Society, but otherwise retained the same size and basic format, with the cover design still featuring the Supreme Court.

Editors came and went over the years, but the position was still an honorary one at the time of the LIJ's twenty-fifth year of publication. There was no acknowledgment of this milestone, although the Council notes in the November 1951 issue mentions:

"notwithstanding the ever increasing cost of publication, the high standard of the LIJ has been maintained”.

Photographs were rare in the early LIJ (some of the first were of the Jubilee Legal Convention in 1951) and colour took a long time to appear. By its fiftieth year the LIJ had a single colour cover, an expanded and slightly glossier format and an annual subscription price of $10.

It was commended by outgoing Institute president Brian McCarthy in July 1977 as "the best of its kind in the country", an accolade which is still used by many today when comparing the LIJ to other similar Australian and international publications.

October 2002 saw the complete redesign and relaunch of the LIJ.

As managing editor Mick Paskos explained in a letter introducing the redesign to readers:

“For the past 76 years, the LIJ has been a monthly source of expertly written and up-to-date information for Victoria's legal practitioners. It has built its reputation as a journal of integrity and practicality by tapping into the knowledge and expertise of the legal profession and covering the issues that impact directly on lawyers.

But, as the demands on lawyers have increased, so has the need for information to be delivered in a more concise and easier to digest format.”


As well as a redesigned masthead and front cover, the new LIJ included:

  • An expanded two-page contents section
  • Keywords at the top of each feature articles to help readers more easily identify material of Relevance to their practice
  • An improvement in the readability of the publication
  • Significant design improvements

While the legal profession has always appreciated the quality of the LIJ, in recent years, external media and legal bodies have rewarded the publication for its high editorial and graphic standards.

Awards Received for the LIJ

Design

2010 Publishers Australia Excellence Award
Business to business magazine cover of the year.
May 2010 edition of the LIJ, featuring a Braille front cover.

Editorship

2010 Australian Freelance Writers Network Good Editor and Good Corporate Editor awards  
Mick Paskos
Corporate editor of the year

Reporting

2010 TAC Yooralla Media Award
Jason Gregory
Best print news feature for "Lawyers with Disabilities: Ready, Willing and Able".

2007 Publishers Australia Bell Award
Editorial issues campaign of the year
Harriet Morley
Series of articles: "Breaking the Barriers: Victorian Indigenous Lawyers", "Indigenous legal careers: Taking the next step" and "Indigenous legal employment"

2004 Legal Reporting Awards
Reporter of the Year on Legal Issues
Jason Silverii

2000 Victoria Law Foundation Legal Reporting Awards
Best Report in Print - Melinda Brown
Article: “Heather Osland and the battered wife syndrome defence”

Images

2001 Legal Reporting Awards
Best Legal Image – Illustration
Kerry Millard

2000 Legal Reporting Awards
Best Legal Image
Illustrations by Leigh Hobbs
Best Legal Image – Photograph
David Johns

The LIJ has also received numerous commendations at the Legal Reporting Awards, the Quills and the Publishers Australia Excellence Awards (formerly the Bell Awards).

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