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Bob Ambrogi : Chat with the wizard of Rockport

In between working on things this week, I picked up the phone and talked with legal tech guru & writer Bob Ambrogi. Though we’ve exchanged emails and ideas via blog posts, I’d never talked to Bob.

Wow, what I didn’t know. Bob’s a journalist in addition to being a lawyer. He’s the only person ever to hold the top editorial positions at both national U.S. legal newspapers, the National Law Journal and Lawyers Weekly USA. Bob was founding editor of the later.

While at the National Law Journal, Bob was integrally involved with how Wasserstein was going to leverage its ownership of ALM and its newly acquired name back in ’99 and 2000. Like me, Bob was impacted big time by the opening of the dotcom trapdoor in March 2000.

All the well laid plans went out the window. A lot of emotions with letting go of friends with mortgages and families. To Bob’s credit, he takes great pride in helping those folks get back on their feet with new positions. Wish I could say the same for the all the people we needed to let go at

Rather than tech, Bob and I spent most of our time talking about how we support our offspring who’ve grown to the age we still consider to be our own age. Like my call with New Jersey Lawyer Frank Steinberg last week, we talked of how the heck do we pay the cost of college tuition – especially at private schools.

Rather than the law and technology, it’s families that makes for some of the best conversations. For Bob, the call of family in New England made continuing at ALM’s National Law Journal down in New York City too tough of a commute.

Bob’s now back in Rockport, Mass full time. In addition to practicing law, he consults on journalism issues, and still does some work for ALM. His own blog, his blog at with Carolyn Elefant, and his podcast with Craig Williams are well respected and widely received.

Only thing I have on Bob is being surrounded by the ocean on 4 sides here on Bainbridge Island. Across the country from me, Bob’s surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on 3 sides on the Cape Ann peninsula.

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