Author Guidelines

About

Law Practice magazine is published bimonthly by the ABA Law Practice Division (LP). The magazine is distributed to Division members and to subscribers as a high‐quality print magazine, a full‐color digital edition, and a full‐color mobile version available as the free Law Practice app, found in the App Store for iOS, Google Play for Android, and Amazon for Kindle devices. The print magazine is also available on a subscription basis internationally. Anyone can access current magazine articles and magazine archives at lawpracticemagazine.com. Law Practice is a leading source of practical information aimed at helping lawyers master the business of practicing law, delivering insight and advice on marketing, management, technology, finance, and more. Readers count on timely information and how‐to articles that are written clearly by authors who understand law practice management and the issues facing law firms in the private practice of law. We try to ensure that the magazine is in touch with the realities of practicing law for readers who may be solo attorneys, partners in an international firm, or in a virtual law practice.

Editorial Purpose

Law Practice is dedicated to helping legal professionals master all aspects of the business of practicing law. From theory to practice, we bring readers fresh insights and practical advice on marketing, management, technology, and finance.

Our Mission

To empower our readers to anticipate the opportunities, face the challenges, and embrace the expanding possibilities of practicing law.

General Guidelines

Audience

Articles should be addressed primarily to the needs of practicing lawyers, law firm administrators, and professionals working closely with the legal industry.

Article Length

All issues have one lead article of 3,000 to 3,250 words on the issue’s specific topic along with three supporting articles of 1,800 to 1,950 words each that expand on the theme or cover an aspect not addressed by the lead article. In addition, each issue will have two additional open topic articles of 1,200 to 1,300 words each which are relevant and of interest to LP members and LP readers, on any LP core area: marketing, management, technology, or finance.

Writer Guidelines Focus

We find the best articles have a narrow and clear focus. For example, an article on the history of social networking is too broad, while an article on techniques lawyers can use to improve their online profile may work. An article on the generalities of solo practice is too broad, while one offering client relations tips for solos may fit the bill. We try to avoid any appearance of giving endorsements. We have three technology columns that address specific products and services Hot Buttons, Product Watch and Web 2.0. Although we will not publish articles that promote a single product or service, a how‐to article on using a specific product can be helpful to readers such as these we have published "The Fine Art of Practicing Law on a Mac," "Getting the Most Out of Your iPad," "Acrobat X Tips" or "Get the Most Out of Microsoft Word."

Style

Writing style should be light and enjoyable. Technical topics should be tailored to the general readership. How‐to articles and checklists are encouraged. Citations should be incorporated into the text, not placed in footnotes or endnotes.

Headlines and Decks

We appreciate authors suggestions for headlines which should no more than 50 characters and decks or subheadings which should be less than 20 words.

Sidebars and Resource Tools

We encourage short sidebars, with checklists, tips, and resources, to accompany features. Please include references to relevant books, sites, vendor or product information and other research sources for “action boxes.”

Payment for Articles

Law Practice currently does not pay authors for articles.

Complimentary Copies

Authors will receive three complimentary copies of the issue in which their article appears. 

Copyright and Author's Agreement

Authors will be required to sign an American Bar Association publication agreement granting exclusive first publication rights to the ABA. This is included in the Author Packet (see below). Essentially, the author retains copyright to the words as written and the ABA retains copyright to the image of the article as it appears in the published form.

Editorial Decisions

Articles are judged by the relevance of the topic, the value of the content, and the quality of writing. The Editorial Board strives to present a variety of topics to readers, and so articles may be rejected because of overlap with other articles already accepted. The Editorial Board cannot provide authors with feedback regarding decisions made by Board members.

How We Review Manuscripts

Law Practice accepts unsolicited manuscripts or bylined articles for review. Please request a copy of the current Editorial Calendar for guidance on the editorial themes of upcoming issues. Our publication calendar requires that we work an issue early as deadlines generally fall four months in advance of the issue date. Open topic articles of 1,200 to 1,300 words on relevant, timely topics of interest to LP readers on marketing, management, technology, or finance appear in all issues, and if accepted for publication, will be used in the first issue with space available. The selection of the lead article with two supporting articles is generally assigned to an author by the Issue Team Leaders and Editorial Board.

New Authors

It is always nice to see new authors in Law Practice magazine. You can submit a query in the format of an article summary and outline for your proposed article or submit a full‐length article. If you have not written for Law Practice in the past, please provide three samples or links to representative published writings for the legal services industry. Law review and scholarly articles in legal journals are an honor for talented authors to publish, however, this style of writing does not fit the needs of Law Practice magazine for interesting helpful articles that address the needs of the busy attorney or law firm professional. Send articles and queries to the Editors. Their contact information can be found at lawpracticemagazine.com. The Editorial Board and the Editors review articles throughout the year. Once an article has been reviewed, the author will be notified of the article’s acceptance or rejection, or whether revisions may be needed. Authors will subsequently be notified when their articles are slated for publication in a specific issue of the magazine.

Editorial Process

Articles are first reviewed by the issue team and the Features Editor for completeness, clarity, and overall quality of writing. If acceptable, the article will be lightly edited for conformance to Law Practice style guidelines, and the author will be given a redlined poof of the proposed editorial changes to approve by the Copy Editor. The author will be given a page proof to approve before publication by the Managing Editor.

Reprint Permission or Copyright Information

Email queries to copyright@americanbar.org

Author Packet

Authors need to fill out and submit an Author Packet with their article, along with a brief one to two sentence biography detailing your title, organization, location, a color headshot, and an email address for publication with the article. The Author Packet can be downloaded here.

  • Author Agreement: Authors will be required to sign an American Bar Association Publication Agreement granting exclusive first publication rights to the ABA.  
  • Article Index: Authors select the broad law practice management topic area: marketing, management, technology, or finance. They must also provide a brief description (abstract) of what the article is about, and indicate the intended readership level the article directed to: subject‐matter awareness: basic (fundamental), intermediate, or advanced, and to which career stage: early, mid or late or all stages.
  • ABA Diversity Questionnaire: Because the ABA is committed to the elimination of bias and promotion of diversity, it collects demographic information on our members to track progress in meeting established goals. Authors are encouraged to answer the optional questionnaire, which is confidential.

Warranty and Representation

By submission of an article to Law Practice, the author warrants and represents that the author has included no material in the article in violation of any rights or any other person or entity and that the author has disclosed to the Law Practice Editorial Board all relationships with any person or entity producing any product or providing any service referred to in the article. Authors of accepted articles are asked to sign a Publication Agreement, which includes the author’s warranty that the work is original and does not infringe on the rights of others.  

Fact Check Process

Authors must provide complete source information as we follow a stringent fact-checking policy to ensure that information we present is accurate. This process is conducted by the Editorial & Publication Offices at Imagination Publishing Inc. If you cite statistics or facts in your article, please provide the source along with website or publication information so that the fact-checking process can be done quickly. These can be supplied at the end of the article, as a comment box in the Word doc, or on an additional sheet. Written permission grants, if necessary, from copyright owners of the material should be submitted with the Publication Agreement.