Thank you for your interest in submitting an article to The National Law Journal. Remember that you are writing a newspaper piece, not a court opinion or a law review article, and that we have certain stylistic requirements. All articles are submitted on speculation; we do not guarantee publication. Articles must be original; we will not publish articles that have been published elsewhere.
Authorship & Credit
Articles from law firms no longer need to have a partner's name on the byline. No more than three names may appear on the byline, although additional assist credits may be given in the biography.
Please include a brief biographical sketch, not exceeding 30 words.
Authors should seek to avoid writing about cases or matters that they or their firms have handled. Nor should they write about their firms' own programs, policies or publications. If it is necessary to mention a case or matter in which the author's firm was involved, the mention should be brief, no longer than a paragraph. The involvement must be disclosed to the editor at the time the article is proposed, and it must also be disclosed in the biography.
If desired, e-mail addresses, but not Web sites, may be included.
Deadlines are firm. Articles are due a minimum of five weeks before the cover date of the issue in which they are scheduled to appear. Each issue is printed a week before its cover date.
We will notify authors as to publication dates. Our schedules and production requirements are subject to change; therefore, we reserve the right to publish any article in a different issue than the one for which it was submitted.
Unless otherwise indicated by the editor, substantive law articles must be 1,200 to 1,400 words (about 5 to 6 double-spaced pages). Citations should appear in the text, not in endnotes. Articles exceeding this length will need to be cut by the author or editors.
Form of Submission
Please send an electronic version, which can be e-mailed. Be sure to tell us in what format the file was created. We prefer Microsoft Word.
All articles must be written in third person. Avoid "you," "I," "our," the imperative tense,and first-person references such as "It is the author's view that..."
Use the official name of a court on first reference. The National Law Journal style for U.S. circuit courts on first reference: "The 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals." Second reference: "The 3d Circuit."
First reference to anyone discussed in the text, including parties to cases, must include the full name. Give a jurist's title on first reference and identify the court over which he or she presides.
The National Law Journal style for references to law firms is based on the firm's principal office and branch office, if applicable (e.g., "Atlanta's Alston & Bird"; "the Los Angeles office of New York's Chadbourne & Parke").
Write in full sentences. Headings may be helpful, but do not rely on them to make your point or create transitions. We often delete such headings; put the information in the text.
The article should be of interest to experts in the field but also easily understood by lawyers who practice in other areas. Please explain references, terms and concepts that may not be easily recognized.
The article should be keyed to a recent development. The subject should have some news value--an important case, a new statute or regulation or a news event--and the recent development should be mentioned in the lead, not buried within the article. Don't simply provide a general, "hornbook" discussion of a given legal topic.
The article's central point should be set forth in its opening paragraph.
The article should be an even-handed analysis of the law rather than argument, opinion or op-ed. It need not be dry; in discussing a court case, the author might speculate as to why the court ruled as it did, contrast the case to previous cases, discuss questionsthat remain unanswered and say whom the decision will affect and why. But avoid advocating a particular position; don't argue, for example, that a case was correctly or wrongly decided or that a proposed legislation is unfair (or poorly drafted).
After submission, stay alert to developments in the area and please notify us if updates are needed before publication.
Please provide authority for specific legal points; do not say "The courts have held that..." without including appropriate citations. All citations must appear within the text. Please keep them brief.
Legal citations should follow Bluebook form. Do not use parallel citations; regional reporter citations are sufficient.
The editors will consult the author about substantive changes to the copy. We reserve the right to copy-edit and to make alterations based on The National Law Journal style or space constraints without notice to the author.
Before publication, the editors may send edited material to the author for review. When responding, please be prompt, and address substantive changes only; this is not the time to raise style questions or add new material.
The editors will write the headlines and any subheads that may appear. Your suggestions are helpful but not binding.
Additional Reminders & Tips
Avoid the excessive use of quotation marks. Use only for unfamiliar terms, and then only on first reference. Do not use quotation marks to report a few ordinary words by a speaker or writer.
Please include your name and your firm's name either at the beginning or end of the article. This information in e-mail is not sufficient.
Do not use parentheses except in official cites. Use commas instead.
Paragraphs should be two or three sentences. Avoid run-on sentences.
Avoid numbered or "bulleted" lists of items as much as possible. Try to incorporate such information into ordinary sentences and paragraphs.
Contributed articles are not intended to be "reporter" articles. Do not interview people or include spoken quotations from others. The author's own findings and expertise should emerge as the primary source for the article.