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The Judges' Journal

Author Guidelines

A Publication of the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association


The mission of The Judges’ Journal, the official quarterly publication of the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association, is to help fulfill the Division’s goals: to assure the efficiency, effectiveness, and integrity of the delivery of justice and dispute resolution throughout the nation. The Judges’ Journal contributes to this endeavor by providing information that:

  1. Helps judges, attorneys, and court administrators improve the administration of justice by publishing practical articles and reporting innovations;
  2. Provides a dialogue between the bench and bar and among judges of various jurisdictions;
  3. Presents articles on important jurisprudential subjects; and
  4. Provides news of significant developments in the work of the Judicial Division and its conferences and committees, and presents other news concerning the administration of justice.

Quick Checklist for Authors

  • Word Length: 2,000–4,000 words (generally: 10–20 double-spaced, typewritten pages, including endnotes). All submissions are subject to editing suggestions, including trims to reduce the word count. The author retains the right of final approval.
  • Format: Magazine and law-review-type articles. If you submit the latter
    • Use law-review article format (not the format used in legal briefs)
    • Place citations in endnotes (not within your text and not in footnotes).
    • Provide complete citations (ABA Staff Editor does not have access to LexisNexis or West Law). Strive for good Bluebook style.
    • Use simple text formatting: Times New Roman, 12 point, double-spaced.
  • Abstract: Provide a 3–4 sentence article summary.
  • How to Submit Your Article: E-mail.
    Attach your article in a Word document and send it to:
    • ABA Staff Editor Melissa Ladwig ([email protected])
    • Your Editorial Board contact, if you have one.
  • Title and Author(s)
    • Provide a title.
    • For each author, provide a byline (full name, including middle initial) and a 3–4 line bio which includes an e-mail address.
    • You may decline to include your e-mail address; inform the ABA Staff Editor.
  • If editors request revisions:
    • Prepare for timely, efficient rounds of review.
  • Images: Images that accompany articles are usually researched, licensed, and paid for by the ABA. However, if you would like to recommend use of particular images, work with the ABA Staff Editor to research licensing options and costs and to submit high-resolution images.
  • Warranty: Submission warrants that your article does not infringe rights of others.
  • No Publishing Guarantee: Acceptance does not guarantee placement in a particular issue.
  • Author Agreement: Sign, date, and return your author agreement by scanning it and e-mailing it to the ABA Staff Editor. You may also fax or mail it.
  • Complimentary Copies: 5
  • Using Your Own Work: After publication, you may republish your own work in accordance with ABA policy, the terms of which will be supplied upon publication.


The writing style for The Judges’ Journal should be brisk and straightforward—more readable and informal than that in a law review article, although the magazine uses endnotes with standard Bluebook citation methods. The following style guidelines apply.

  • Strive for an interesting opening and closing.
  • Strive for a tone that strikes a balance between conversational and formal.
  • Avoid overuse of “legalese.”
  • Utilize the active, rather than passive, voice when possible.
  • Use gender-neutral language.
  • Be concise.
  • Avoid long quotations.
  • Avoid overcapitalization.
  • Use endnotes and citations in accordance with the law-review style (as opposed to brief- writing style) of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, Eighteenth Edition.

Submission and Publication

Prior publication: Articles should be original. Simultaneous submission or submission of an article based in large part on a previous version, although discouraged, may be permitted upon consultation with the Board co-chairs and/or the ABA staff editor. A reprinted article accepted for publication will be identified as such with an editor’s note.

Article length: Feature articles should run between 2,000 and 5,000 words, including endotes (10 to 20 double-spaced pages). The Judges’ Journal also accepts some shorter articles and columns.

Author Bios/Photos: Most articles in The Judges’ Journal include author bios and author photographs.

Please provide a 3-4 sentence bio indicating your full name (including middle initial); formal title; a brief summary of ABA involvement, if any; and any other notable accomplishments that lend authority to your article. Please provide your e-mail address. Most authors allow us to publish their e-mail contact information, but please feel free to decline to do so—simply inform the ABA editor.

Please provide a headshot to accompany your bio. Photos can be digital or photographic prints that we will scan. All digital photographs should be at least 300 dpi or ppi (dots-per-inch or pixels-per-inch). Please follow the guidelines below to get the best possible results from your image.

  • Digital photos should sent in one of the following formats: EPS, JPG, or TIF.
  • Digital photos should be 300 dpi.
  • All photos should be at least 2" wide by 2" tall or larger.
  • Try to send a shot where you are in the foreground of the picture. Portraits are always the best.

Do not send photos the following ways:

  • Do not copy a photo from a Web page, as these tend to be low resolution and will pixilate when printed.
  • Do not send a photo embedded within a file, such as in a Word or PowerPoint file.
  • Do not send low resolution photos (If unsure about the resolution send it and we will let you know if it is low resolution).
  • Do not send photocopies or printouts from photocopies.

Personal photographs may be appropriate for some articles or columns. In most cases, though, the designer will select images for the article or column.

Manuscript preparation/submission: Articles should be double-spaced with one-inch margins. Please submit articles by e-mail attachment.

The peer review process: Upon receipt, articles are sent to the Editorial Board for peer review. Manuscripts may either be returned to authors for some additional editing per the peer review comments or simply formatted and copyedited by the ABA staff editor and otherwise prepared for publication. In either case, authors receive one or more opportunities to review the changes made. Please note that all articles are subject to acceptance by the peer review board, and that individual Editorial Board members cannot guarantee publication.

The author review process: Authors will review edited articles in final manuscript form. Deadline pressures make it impossible to submit final typeset proofs to authors.

Publication agreement: Authors are asked to sign a publication agreement that grants the ABA, inter alia, the exclusive right of first publication, the nonexclusive right to reprint, and the right to use the work in other ABA media.

Contact Information

The Judges’ Journal
Melissa Hodek, Managing Editor
ABA Publishing/Periodicals
321 North Clark Street, 20th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60654
Tel. 312/988-5458; Fax 312/988-6081; [email protected]