A Letter From the ABA Journal Editor and Publisher

Why haven't I received my latest issue of the ABA Journal yet?

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December-January 2021-22 ABA Journal magazine cover

The cover of the December 2021-January 2022 ABA Journal print edition.

The December 2021-January 2022 print edition of the ABA Journal normally would have already started appearing in ABA members' mailboxes. Now, though, you shouldn't expect it to arrive for a couple of more weeks.

Why? It’s because of the same supply chain issues that have plagued so many industries since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the Journal, the problem is due in part to the surge in e-commerce. Demand for cardboard boxes and packing materials caused manufacturers to pivot away from production of the kind of paper used in books, magazines and newspapers. Other paper mills shut down altogether because of pandemic-related economic pressures.

According to Bloomberg, North American printing and writing paper capacity is down more than 2.5 million metric tons since the start of 2020. That’s a decline of nearly 20% from 2019 levels, Kevin Mason, managing director for ERA Forest Products Research, told Bloomberg.

Until now, the Journal’s printer had been able to overcome the paper market challenges. That changed last month when there simply wasn’t enough of the high-quality paper used in the magazine to produce it. Our options were either to wait for the next shipment of our paper to arrive or to print the magazine on a lesser-quality stock. As a staff, we felt our members deserved the best, so we opted to wait to print the magazine.

As a result, members should start getting their magazines near the end of this month. While this certainly wasn’t what the Journal staff planned when we sent the issue off to press, we feel you’ll find that the magazine was worth the wait.

In the meantime, members who want to see the December 2021-January 2022 issue can view the digital edition of the ABA Journal.

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