INN has partnered with the Media Law Resource Center on a referral service to help nonprofit news media obtain legal help. The service is intended to help member organizations find affordable media law specialists for cases that exceed what they can access from pro bono legal services, state press or other news association services. These specialists will be experienced, young attorneys who will be supervised by the senior lawyers in their firms.

Services include:

-Legal assistance

About: The Media Law Resource Center is a nonprofit membership association for content providers in all media, and for their defense lawyers, providing a wide range of resources on media and content law and policy issues.  These include news and analysis of legal, legislative and regulatory developments; litigation resources and practice guides; and national and international media law conferences and meetings.

Rate: Attorney fees differ by state, but an average rate across the U.S. is $250-$450 per hour.



INN has also partnered with the Student Press Law Center. The SPLC offers legal support for campus-based journalism.

Services include:

-A network of 190 pro-bono referral attorneys on call to assist with legal matters from prepublication review to open-records denials.
-A library of teaching and reference materials covering a wide range of media-law topics including copyright, libel, privacy and access issues.
-An automated fill-in-the-blanks letter generator keyed to each state's freedom-of-information statute.
-Email news alerts about developments in the courts and legislatures affecting press freedom and access to records and meetings.

About: The Student Press Law Center works at the intersection of law, journalism and education to promote, support and defend the rights of student journalists and their advisers at the high school and college levels. Founded in 1974, SPLC is the only organization in the U.S. devoted to providing free legal information and free or low-cost educational materials to student journalists and their advisers.

Rate: Attorney fees differ by state, but an average rate across the U.S. is $250-$450 per hour.




The need for a la carte prepublication of review has been one of the most-requested legal services among the INN membership, according to the results of a recent INN study with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Services include:

-Prepublication review of individual articles pursuant to the terms below. Sheppard Mullin will not be providing any other advice or services to INN members unless they enter into a separate, written agreement with a particular INN member client.

Terms of Prepublication Review agreement:

1. Before any prepublication review project is performed for an INN member for whom we have not previously provided such services, we will be provided with the full formal name of the member, its form of organization and state in which it is organized, and contact information for the person representing the member with whom we will be dealing, so that we can confirm that we have no ethical conflicts. If our review indicates that we have a conflict, we will not undertake the project. Because it can take some time to complete a conflict check, members who have not previously used our services should contact us and provide this information at least several days in advance of when they expect to need our services.

2. Our fees for review and discussion with the member client of any ordinary individual piece will be a flat fee of $500, regardless of the amount of time spent. However, we reserve the right to determine at the outset of a project whether it falls outside normal parameters, that is, whether it is likely to require an unusual amount of time to review and discuss. If, in our opinion, any particular review project is likely to take more than 3-4 hours, we will have the right to require the payment of additional fees (in an amount to be agreed upon between us and the member client), or to decline the project. For the purposes of this matter, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, we will charge $500/hour for time in excess of two hours. If this is not acceptable to the member client, we will have the right to decline the project. We will not proceed with review of any piece for which a member client will be charged in excess of $500 without prior permission of the member client.

3. As noted, our services will be limited to prepublication review, and will not include any other services, including but not limited to advising member clients with respect to demands for correction or retraction of pieces we have reviewed.

4. Payment of the $500 fee will be due upon our acceptance of the project. If a member client asks us to take on a project that will result in fees of more than $500, a fee deposit of $500 will be due upon our acceptance of the project.

5. While we do not anticipate that any significant disbursements will be entailed in our work for INN’s member clients in connection with this Matter, the member client will be responsible to reimburse us for or to pay in advance any necessary disbursements.

About: Sheppard Mullin is a full service Global 100 firm handling corporate and technology matters, high stakes litigation and complex financial transactions. From its 16 offices in North America, Europe and Asia, they offer global solutions to clients around the world, providing seamless representation in multiple jurisdictions. The firm has more than 800 attorneys.