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Writer's Guidelines

Our goal is to provide practical, authoritative information to child law professionals. Authors must have experience and expertise in their subjects. Writing must be clear, concise, and practical.

General Guidelines:

  • Sentences and paragraphs should be short. Avoid excessive use of legal or social science jargon.
  • Articles should be 3-6 double-spaced pages  (approximately 250 words per page). Exceptions can be made in some circumstances.
  • Margins should be 1 inch all around. Use 12 pt., Times New Roman font.
  • Microsoft Word format is preferred. If another format is used, let the editor know.
  • Use sidebars (for example) to define terms, highlight checklists and practice tips, and list resources. Place sidebars at the end of the article. (They do not count in the 10-page limit).
  • Address how the reader (probably a lawyer) can use the information you are presenting to do his or her job.
  • Try to present strengths and weaknesses of any research you discuss. Readers will want to know not only what the research says, but also how they can attack it or how an opponent might attack it.
  • Pay attention to your lead. Does it give the reader a reason to keep reading?
  • Break up your article into digestible chunks. Use headings and subheadings to guide the reader along. Use bullets for lists of information.
  • Quotes should be used sparingly and selectively. Quoted language should "sparkle" and state a point better than you ever could. If you can capture the essence of a quote in your own language in a manner that is clearer than the quote, spare the reader the quote and use your own language.
  • Your work will be edited; don’t take it personally. You will always be informed of all changes, and your input is welcome.

Style Sheet for References

  • Citations should appear as endnotes and should follow our style sheet.


Contact Claire Chiamulera, Editor, 202/662-1724