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Dispute Resolution Magazine Author Guidelines

Revised 8/31/23

1. Length

Unless otherwise provided in the confirmation letter, writers should write as much as they need to make their points, but should also try to keep their articles under 2,800 words. This allows for about four magazine pages. On the other hand, shorter articles -- 750 words to 1,500 words -- are also welcome, and can be very effective. If you are uncertain about the length your piece should be, do not hesitate to contact the Editor, Lianne Pinchuk or Section Director, Jennifer Michel, for more details. 

2. Audience

The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution's membership constitutes our primary audience, and includes people from across the ADR spectrum, including practicing lawyers, judges, law professors, and law students. The lawyers who are part of our audience represent parties in ADR proceedings, serve as ADR neutrals themselves, or are just interested in keeping up with the field. Most law student readers intend to practice as lawyers. We strongly encourage you to write your article in a way that is relevant to these readers, and to write at a level that recognizes that they may be more sophisticated than most about ADR, but still do not share your expertise about your topic. One way to do this is to frequently ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Why should lawyers care about reading my article?
  • How can they use it to inform their representation and counseling of clients or their contributions to rulemaking or policymaking bodies?
  • Will my article help lawyers see how their perspectives fit into a larger issue or policy debate? 

3.  Magazine distribution

The magazine is distributed in digital version to all members of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution, approximately 10,000 recipients. The magazine is also distributed in print to all lawyer and affiliated professional members with addresses in the United States, approximately 4000 recipients. . International members may opt-in to receive a print copy of the magazine. The digital version of an issue is available soon after the issue is printed. The ABA editorial staff use social media postings and other electronic outlets to increase the reach of each issue. The magazine is available to non-members as a subscription service.

4. Submitting your article

Please e-mail Editor Lianne Pinchuk at [email protected] with your article as an attached file in MS Word for Windows.

5. Author biography

Be sure to include a short (1-2 sentences only) biography. The biography should include your current position, brief details about you that are relevant to the article, your e-mail address, and a professional web site. Please do not include honors, awards, association memberships, or roster or panel appointments unless particularly relevant to the article.

6. Author photograph

Include a photograph of yourself, preferably in high-quality electronic format.

7. Graphics or photos for your article

We encourage you to submit or suggest relevant photographs and graphics to accompany your article. You might want to look at photo and clip art sites such as istock.com to get ideas for photos and art. The more specific and detailed the suggestions, the easier it is to have our designer create art that will work well with your article. Graphics must be high resolution or they will not print well.

8. Unsolicited submissions

The Dispute Resolution Magazine Editorial Board welcomes the submission of article concepts and drafts. The Editorial Board reviews all submissions and makes final decisions as to the publication of articles in the magazine. All unsolicited submissions are forwarded to the Dispute Resolution Magazine Editorial Board for review. The review process can vary from four to six weeks depending on the Board’s current calendar. All authors are notified once their submissions have been received and forwarded to the Board. All authors are then notified once the Board has made a publication decision. The Board has final say on which articles will be accepted.

9. Deadlines for accepted articles and solicited submissions

When an unsolicited submission has been accepted by the Editorial Board or the Board has solicited a submission, the Editorial Board or the Editor will send a confirming e-mail to the author(s) with specific deadlines. Unless stated otherwise in the confirming email, the deadlines for final drafts are as follows: March 15 for Summer issue, June 15 for Fall issue, September 15 for Winter issue, December 15 for Spring issue. Please let us know as soon as possible if problems come up, to allow for appropriate adjustments. An extension may be given, but please keep in mind that it may contribute to delay in the production of the quarterly magazine.

10. Editing process for all articles

We are committed to keeping your article in your own voice, but your article is also subject to editing for substance, organization and style. We anticipate that most editing will be fairly routine and will focus on style, grammar, readability, etc. In this regard, we use the Chicago Manual of Style for text, and the Bluebook for legal citations. Your submission is not required to conform to this style. Be advised, however, that our editing process will include the edits required to permit your submission to conform to these style requirements. Also, we do permit endnotes (please avoid footnotes), but ask you to use them judiciously. Ideally, submissions will have fewer than 10 endnotes, which should be used for citation and reference purposes rather than author asides or additional commentary. The magazine’s Editor, Lianne Pinchuk, will be the primary editor for your article, and will be your primary contact throughout the process. Feel free to talk with the Editor about changes and other concerns regarding substance, style or policy. We also have a copy editor who will review the final version of the article before layout to correct grammar, typos, and the readability of the article. You must closely review your edited article at this stage. The edited article then goes to a layout designer for page design and production. Once the article goes into production, revisions will only be allowed for grammar or layout errors.

11. Formatting Guidelines

  • a. Provide a suggested title and a byline (“By Jane Doe”) 
  • b. Only one space between sentences. Submissions with two spaces between sentences will be sent back to the author for removal of the second space. 
  • c. 11 point font, Times New Roman. 
  • d. Left justified 
  • e. Endnotes, not footnotes

12. Author copies of the magazine

Each author will receive two copies of the magazine when it is printed as well as a PDF of the article as printed.

13. Copyright

All authors of articles to be published in Dispute Resolution Magazine will sign a publication agreement with the ABA. The agreement provides the ABA with the right of first publication of the article and is “nonexclusive,” which means that, after the article is published in Dispute Resolution Magazine, the author may republish it elsewhere. The author retains the rights to the original text of the article—the text the author supplied the ABA in the original Word document. Authors not need request the ABA’s permission to use the original text in other publications or media after its first publication by the ABA. However, if authors do republish the original work, we request that you credit the ABA for first publication. Authors may use the PDF of the article provided to them after publication for their own CLE presentations, law school classes, or other personal uses. For additional information on ABA Reprints and Permissions, please see the reprint policy.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions. We look forward to working with you.

Jennifer Michel
Director, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution
[email protected]

Lianne Pinchuk
Editor, Dispute Resolution Magazine
[email protected]