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Contributing to Dialogue

Dialogue is published four times a year, and focuses on topics related to the delivery of legal services to low and moderate-income people. Unsolicited submissions are welcome. However, articles are published in consultation with representatives of the committees that contribute to Dialogue and the director of the ABA Division for Legal Services. The Division for Legal Services retains discretion over publishing decisions.

Please contact the editor for further information regarding these guidelines.

Dialogue Writers' Guidelines

Download a PDF version of the guidelines.

Comments, suggestions, and proposed articles should be directed to the editor.

Submitting an article:

Please submit all contributions in electronic form in Microsoft Word format. Contributions may be sent as attachments to the editor via email, or articles on a USB flash drive may be mailed to:

Taylor Kremer
American Bar Association Division for Legal Services
321 North Clark Street 17th Floor
Chicago, IL 60654-7598

What to submit with an article:

  • With your article, please include the following:
  • Contact information, including a daytime telephone number
  • Brief biographical information (for publication)
  • References, Web links, photographs, graphics, or other materials that could be published alongside your article

Article length:

  • Articles should be no longer than 1200 and 1500 words, or about 3 to 5 double-spaced pages of 12-point type. Lengthy submissions are strongly discouraged.


  • Dialogue strives for a direct, easily understood style. Whenever possible, avoid lingo or terms not widely used outside of your area of expertise. Spell out acronyms and define technical terms on the first reference to them in your article. Be aware of your use of language and make points concisely. For example, writing "the committee seeks to improve the system" is preferable to "the committee is considering developing ways to make improvements to the system."

Citations and Endnotes:

  • Please cite any legal authority clearly, and identify the source cited to if it is not widely known. Footnotes and endnotes are discouraged, but supplemental information is welcome, either to be published in a sidebar or other format alongside the article.

Legal advice:

  • Articles that provide substantive legal advice to consumers are discouraged. Dialogue periodically prints articles that contain practice tips or other substantive guidance to legal practitioners. Dialogue does not have the resources to review the accuracy of such articles, and they will be printed with a disclaimer that states the article contains the views of the author, and not of the American Bar Association or the Division for Legal Services.


  • Articles may be edited for grammar, clarity, style and space. Every effort will be made to contact the author when substantive revisions are necessary. Deadline pressures make it impossible to submit final proofs to authors.

Biographical Information:

  • A brief biographical note will be published at the end of articles by outside contributors. Contributors are encouraged to provide a brief statement of their occupation, current employment and any status with the ABA (current or former committee membership, for example) that might further explain their relationship to the topic of the article. Dialogue retains full discretion over the contents of biographical notes.

Publication agreements:

  • Contributors will be asked to sign a publication agreement with the ABA to allow the publication of the article on the Dialogue Web site, and to warrant that it does not include material that violates a copyright held by any other person or entity.


  • Dialogue does not have the resources to pay contributors. The publication is distributed free of charge and does not generate any revenues.