Want to raise your profile in the Colorado legal community and earn CLE credit in the process? Consider writing for Colorado Lawyer, the CBA’s official publication.
All article submissions are peer-reviewed by coordinating editors before being scheduled for publication. To get started, please review our writing guidelines and contact the appropriate coordinating editor to discuss your topic.
Bar News and In Memoriam items may be emailed to Susie Klein for inclusion in the print issue.
“As I See It” (Opinion Article) Guidelines
“As I See It” is a forum for expression of ideas on the law, the legal profession, and the administration of justice. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the authors, and no endorsement of these views by the CBA should be inferred. Authors should keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Articles should contribute in a positive way to the profession. When criticism is voiced, suggestions for reform should also be included. When advocating a position, the author should address valid arguments on the other side.
- Criticism should be presented with restraint and good taste and should focus on the issues rather than on individuals.
- Analysis, opinion, and criticism of the present state of the law should be supported by sufficient legal authority to enable the reader to assess the validity of the opinion. Citations should be provided where appropriate.
Colorado Lawyer is mindful of the publication’s role in promoting civility and professionalism and reserves the right to accept or reject any article. Submissions that include personal attacks, contain language that may be deemed defamatory, or are inconsistent with the objectives of the CBA will not be published. Further, the magazine will reject articles that are poorly written, denigrate the legal profession, relate to partisan politics, advocate or oppose a particular candidacy for a political or judicial office, promote a specific business or type of business, or otherwise violate ethical standards.
Writing Guidelines for Feature and Department Articles
Colorado Lawyer assumes that every article submitted for publication will be edited with the full permission of the author. The decision as to which articles will be published and when is at the discretion of CL. The editorial process generally follows these steps:
- The coordinating editor (CE) will review and edit the article for legal accuracy and to comply with CL editorial standards. The article may go through more than one revision.
- The CE will provide the author with a deadline schedule. Reviewed manuscripts are due to CL two months before publication. If the author anticipates any problem meeting the established schedule, this must be promptly communicated to the CE.
- The CE will submit the article to CL or, alternatively, the author may submit the article with a statement that it has been reviewed and approved by the CE. After the manuscript is submitted to CL, it will undergo in-house editing to conform to CL’s editorial standards. Editing may be extensive. CL editors will address the article’s style and tone, neutrality, organization, scope, readability, grammar, punctuation, citation format, and consistency.
- The author will be provided an edited manuscript for review and approval before publication. CL expects the author to turn around the article quickly (usually within 48 hours). If the end product is not acceptable, the author should inform the CL editor immediately. The article will not be published until a mutual agreement is reached.
Article length should be adequate to sufficiently address the topic. Suggested word counts are as follows:
- Substantive law (feature) articles: 3,000 and 6,000 words, including citations (approximately 20 double-spaced pages). However, shorter articles are also accepted where appropriate, for example, updates on new legislation or court rules. Requests to submit very long or very short articles should be discussed with the CE. Long articles may be broken into several parts and published in separate issues.
- Department articles and columns: 1,500 and 3,000 words, but longer or shorter articles will be considered.
CL articles are intended to inform and educate rather than advocate. Articles should be written in a practical, how-to manner rather than in a scholarly (law review) or case note style. Writing about proposed legislation is discouraged, because forthcoming laws are subject to change. Pending cases generally should not be the subject of articles until the cases have been finally decided through the appellate process.
Substantive law articles:
- should be oriented toward specialists in the area of law that the article emphasizes (e.g., business, criminal, family, labor, real estate, tax).
- must be objective and avoid the expression of the author’s personal views.
- may include: (1) statements of fact and analysis; (2) objective interpretation of the law, alternative interpretations of the law, alternatives to current law, and legal theories and strategies that can be used to best represent clients in the author’s practice area; (3) professional opinions that are explicitly grounded on existing case or statutory law, public policy considerations, or other authoritative legal precedents.
- must not: (1) advocate in favor of changing the law; (2) include personal opinion that amounts to a judgment of the current state of the law; (3) include statements that other practitioners incorrectly interpret or misunderstand the law; or (4) self-promote or promote a product, service, or profit-making venture.
Department articles and columns are generally less formal and often include how-to or best methods for practical application. First person may be used to share personal anecdotes, reduce passive writing, establish credibility, and (where appropriate) express personal views. Authors wishing to submit an opinion article should review the Opinion Article Guidelines.
Authors are expected to keep abreast of the legal field and of changes in the subject area. The author should contact the CL editor during the editorial process if new laws or cases impact an article. There may be time to make changes before publication; alternatively, an update may be published in a future issue of CL.
Authors are responsible for the accuracy of all citations. Citations must be adequate to annotate the material and provide practical information for attorneys. All citations should be formatted as endnotes and appear in numerical order at the end of the manuscript, not in the text of the article or as footnotes. CL generally follows The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation; authors are encouraged to review endnotes in published CL articles to become acquainted with the in-house citation format. Web addresses should be included for cited information when available.
Lengthy quotations should be used only if the language is essential; paraphrasing is preferred.
Introduction and Conclusion
Every article should have (1) an introduction that includes a short paragraph providing an overview of what the article covers, and (2) a conclusion that brings together the major points of the article.
Titles and Subheads
The article title should clearly state the subject matter of the article. CL encourages the use of headings and subheadings to indicate a shift in topic and to break up long sections of text. However, “stacked headings” (two headings with no text in between) are not allowed.
Sidebars, Charts, and Tables
Authors are encouraged to submit sidebars, charts, tables, or other instructive graphics with their articles.
Authors should submit the following items to the CE:
- Manuscript: Articles should be submitted as attachments to email in MS Word.
- Abstract (substantive law articles only): An abstract of 25 to 40 words should appear at the beginning of the article. The abstract should summarize the article without duplicating article text verbatim.
- Author Bio(s): The following information should be supplied for each author: name; phone number and/or email address; affiliation with firm, company, or entity, including the author’s title (associate, partner, etc.); and any other pertinent information about the author’s background and experience.
- Author Photograph(s): A digital headshot (head and shoulders) of each author should be sent to CL staff. Photos should be saved as .tif or .jpg files at a minimum of 300 dpi. Digital cameras settings should be at the highest quality setting. Photos saved from the Web are generally not suitable for print. A color print can be submitted for scanning by the editorial department.
- Disclosure Information: If an author, or anyone in the author’s firm, has served as counsel for a case or has been involved in legislation or any other matters discussed in the article, the author must disclose this information, which will be noted in the published article.
- Signed License Agreement(s): The License Agreement must be executed by each author and returned to the CE when the manuscript is submitted. This License Agreement allows CL to publish and distribute the author’s work in both print and electronic media. The author retains copyright. Signing this agreement does not preclude the author from using the material elsewhere; educational and professional uses of the author’s work are encouraged. If the author wishes to reprint or republish the article, the author agrees to provide CL with a signed Permission to Reprint Form and include a notice on the article that the work originally was published in CL.
For information on obtaining CLE credits for writing an article for CL, authors should contact the Board of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education at the Colorado Supreme Court, (303) 928-7771. The requisite form, “Form6: Request for Accreditation for Research,” along with contact information, is available at www.coloradosupremecourt.us/pdf/CLE/Form6.pdf.