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Feature (Substantive Law) Guidelines

Staff Contact: Liz Daniels, legal editor:

Editorial Process

Colorado Lawyer (CL) 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. Feature articles focus on a substantive law topic and will be peer-reviewed by volunteer coordinating editors who are subject matter experts. If you’re interested in writing an article, please contact the coordinating editor in your area of interest.

Publication Standards

  • Content/Tone: CL articles are intended to inform and educate. Articles should be oriented toward specialists in the area of law that the article emphasizes (e.g., business, criminal, family, labor, real estate, tax). Articles should be written in a practical, how-to manner rather than in a scholarly (law review) or case note style. Articles are meant to explain rather than advocate. Articles:
    • 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, alternate 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.

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 decided through appeals.

  • Citations: Authors are responsible for the accuracy of all citations. Citations must be adequate to annotate the material and provide practical information for attorneys.
  • Quotations: 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.
  • Format and Length: Article length should be adequate to sufficiently address the topic. Substantive law arti­cles are generally between 3,000 and 6,000 words, including citations (approximately 20 double-spaced pages). However, articles between 1,500 and 3,000 words are also accepted where appropriate, particularly as updates to previous articles. Requests to submit very long or very short articles should be discussed with the coordinating editor. Long articles may be broken into several parts and published in separate issues.
  • Sidebars, Charts, and Tables: Authors are encouraged to submit sidebars, charts, tables, or other instructive graphics with their articles.

Submission Procedures

Please submit the following to the coordinating editor:

  • Manuscript: Articles should be submitted as MS Word attachments to email. An abstract of up to 30 words should appear at the beginning of the article. The abstract should sum­marize the article without duplicating article text verbatim.
  • A short bio for each author.
  • A high-resolution (300 dpi or greater) digital headshot for each author. Smartphone photos saved at the highest resolution setting work great for our purposes. Please avoid submitting photos that have been compressed for the web.
  • 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 for each author. This 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.