From the Editor

Over nearly forty years of publishing, the editors of Alaska Business have refined the magazine’s voice through performing their core responsibility: deciding what runs and what doesn’t. Our long-term readers know that editor after editor has maintained a couple of guidelines to strengthen the magazine’s unique voice and drive our mission to support the Alaska business community.

  1. Alaska Business does not accept political advertising, nor do we take a position on any political candidate. As advocates for responsible business development, we do occasionally take a position on a specific political issue that we believe will positively or negatively impact Alaska’s businesses.
  2. Alaska Business generally does not report on lawsuits, legal conflicts, or legal outcomes, unless they directly and significantly influence an Alaska industry. As an example, we are running an exception to this guideline in this issue in “Shared Infrastructure,” which includes commentary on the positions that ConocoPhillips Alaska, Santos, and the State have taken on who can use privately built roads, and under what circumstances, on the North Slope.

An unintended side effect of holding to these guidelines—which I believe benefit the magazine as a whole—is that historically we have rarely reported on the companies and individuals operating in political or legal spaces. Public relations and campaign management are major economic drivers in every state, and the legal industry is a critical support service for all Alaska businesses.

In this issue we’ve taken the plunge into reporting on the legal industry, and several of Alaska’s legal experts have stepped up to help us build that content, including the Alaska Bar Association through a Q&A. In addition to those insights, we are running the first iteration of the Alaska Business Legal Elite, a list of Alaska’s elite attorneys. Similar to the Best of Alaska Business Awards, we didn’t select the Legal Elite. Instead, we asked Alaska licensed attorneys to tell us who among their peers they respect the most for their legal skills and accomplishments. The results of those nominations formed the 2023 Legal Elite, which represent approximately 8 percent of the state’s active, licensed lawyers.

It’s important to note that this is not necessarily a list of attorneys who are available to the public for legal services. Included in the Legal Elite, among those practicing at law firms, are attorneys working for the state and those who have taken on roles as in-house counsel for an organization. Much like our other prestige lists—Top 49ers, Corporate 100, Best of Alaska Business—our goal with the Legal Elite is to honor and celebrate hard work and the success that follows.

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Tasha Anderson
Managing Editor, Alaska Business