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What is the ABA Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal?

The Journal is a scholarly publication in a law-review format. The Journal differs from traditional law reviews in that it has a dual editorial board consisting of an editorial board of practicing lawyers who are members of ABA’s Real Property, Trust and Estate (RPTE) Section and a student editorial board that is located at the University of South Carolina Law School. The Journal focuses on subjects of interest and importance to lawyers practicing in the fields of real property, estate planning, probate, and trust law. 

What is the circulation of the RPTE Law Journal? 

The Journal’s subscription base consists of over 22,000 RPTE section members, the major law libraries in the United States, and the major electronic research databases. 

How often is the RPTE Law Journal published?

Three times a year.

How do you recruit professional editors?

Replacement editors are usually recruited from active RPTE Section members at meetings, but expressions of interest are welcome from any RPTE Section member. Turnover among the professional editors probably averages one or two openings every few years. 

What are the different editorial positions? 

There are two Associate Editors and two Assistant Editors. They provide an additional level of professional review after the student editors finish with an article.

There are two Acquisitions Editors and two Associate Acquisitions Editors. They solicit and review incoming articles. 

There is one Editor. The Editor reviews articles at both the beginning and end of the editorial process, and proofs the final product.  Additionally, the Editor works with the professional editors as well as the staff and students at the University of South Carolina School of Law. 

There is also an Administrative Assistant at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

Finally, there are approximately 25-40 members of the Student Editorial Board at University of South Carolina School of Law. 

What background do I need to become a professional editor?

The professional editors are lawyers with a background in some aspect of real property and/or trust and estate law, and they are members of the ABA and the RPTE Section.  Experience with a similar journal in law school is helpful but not necessary.  Reliability and attention to detail are important. 

What is the time commitment for a professional editor?

The time commitment varies greatly. The Associate and Assistant Editors may spend as little as three to four hours every three to four months reviewing articles. Acquisitions Editors spend an average of three or four hours a month reading article submissions, although the timing can be irregular. The Editor spends two to four hours a week during ordinary weeks, and six to ten hours per week for two to three weeks when an edition is in final production. 

How long are the professional editor appointment terms?

Appointments are renewed each year, but a willingness to serve for at least two to three years is strongly preferred.

Who does the Bluebooking and citation checking?

The Student Editorial Board, with oversight by the Editor. 

Do the professional editors need to attend meetings or travel?

Professional editors are encouraged to attend two RPTE Section leadership meetings each year, but the editors can attend the Journal meetings by telephone if they are unable to travel.

Are professional editors reimbursed for expenses?

Editors are invited to the Section’s two leadership meetings, and their expenses are reimbursed, subject to the same limitations as others attending the same meetings. 

What involvement do the professional editors have with the University of South Carolina School of Law?

The professional editors are encouraged to visit the University of South Carolina School of Law and meet the student editors and staff if possible, but most of the professional editors do not have substantial, ongoing involvement with the students. The Associate and Assistant Editors communicate directly with the student Editor in Chief when they review articles, and the Editor is in regular contact with the student Editor in Chief and the administrative assistant at the University of South Carolina School of Law.