Lawyers Journal Editorial Policy

Every two weeks, the Lawyers Journal (LJ) publishes substantive legal articles and furnishes timely information on areas of interest to the local legal community. In addition, the LJ covers Allegheny County Bar Association news and events.

The ACBA Publications Committee determines all issues concerning editorial policy. Information published in the LJ may not be republished, resold, recorded or used in any manner — in whole or in part — without the permission of the publishers.

Article submissions

  • The author will receive story assignments (including due date and length) from the editor of the LJ, Brian Estadt. Likewise, the author will submit her/his stories to the LJ editor on or before the assigned due date. Late articles will not be considered for publication. Authors may reach the editor at 412-402-6682 or bestadt@acba.org.
  • Authors will submit stories via e-mail. It is the author’s responsibility to assure her/his story arrives by the deadline.
  • Authors may submit unsolicited work; however, the editors reserve the right to select, reject, edit and excerpt articles at their sole discretion. It is best to contact the editor to discuss a story idea before actually writing the piece.
  • The author assures that the story submitted is her/his own original work and is not under any legal restriction for publication (i.e. previous copyright ownership). Reprints will not be considered.
  • All Lawyers Journal submissions are subject to editing. The author allows the LJ to edit the work for content, clarity and mechanics. Authors will not necessarily be consulted for edits. The editor of the LJ reserves the right to return any work to the author for revision.
  • Articles that are essentially advertisements or self-promotions will not be selected for publication by the editorial board.
  • The author may only use his/her company name in a biographical description that may follow the article. This author’s bio is limited to two sentences, and it may not include contact information. The author may submit a headshot photo to run with the article, if space permits.
  • The author assumes full responsibility for checking all names, titles, dates and facts for accuracy before submitting the story.
  • Copyright: The LJ holds all rights for publication (including publication on the Internet) and all reprint rights.
  • The Lawyers Journal reserves the right to decline to publish any photograph which has been found to be altered or manipulated.

Style guidelines

  • Mechanics and style: Associated Press stylebook. Authors must recognize the interests of the readership and use terms and references relevant to the LJ’s audience. Keep formatting to a minimum. Don’t use bold. Bulleted lists are fine; avoid numbered lists unless it’s important to present the information sequentially.
  • Capitalize only proper nouns.
  • The target length for articles is approximately 700 words. After reviewing the topic, the editor will set a word count limit for each story.
  • The author is welcome to suggest a title for the article. Working titles and subtitles should appear on the first lines, not exceeding 25 characters, with a subtitle not to exceed 50 characters, followed by a byline.
  • Language usage: Authors must not use biased language based upon race, ethnicity, gender and/or other stereotypes.
  • Plagiarism: Whether deliberate or accidental, plagiarism is a serious and legally punishable offense. Authors will not use the words and/or thoughts of others as their own without proper permission and documentation.
  • The Lawyers Journal does not use box ads to promote upcoming ACBA events unless they are paid ads.
  • Introducing your topic: Sometimes it can be difficult for detail-oriented people to write an attention-getting introduction to a complicated issue, and as a result they may find themselves “backing into” an article by starting with background information or by structuring the article chronologically. Both of these approaches “bury the lead.” To grab your reader’s attention, please take care to explain what’s at stake within the first paragraph or two. As you write for the Lawyers Journal, keep in mind that although the audience is made up of well-educated attorneys, judges and others in the legal profession, we’re not looking for research papers nor committee reports. Articles not only should be substantive, they should be engaging. A strong lead helps capture your audience’s attention.

The audience of the LJ is made up of:

  • Members of the Allegheny County Bar Association (approximately 6,000), including attorneys, district justices, judges, legal administrators and paralegals;
  • Legal professionals in western Pennsylvania who specialize in all areas of the law;
  • Members of the business community who share a need for the latest local legal news.

Contribution policy

We welcome contributions from all sources but reserve the right to select, reject, edit and excerpt articles at our sole discretion. We will publish no article which, in the opinion of the editorial staff, can be reasonably interpreted as insulting or offensive to any individual or group. We will not return unsolicited manuscripts. We do not publish book reviews or accept book submissions for review. The opinions expressed in articles contained in the LJ are the opinions of individual authors and not necessarily those of the ACBA or the firms or entities with which the writers are affiliated. Articles are provided for the general interest of the legal community, but the information contained therein does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Neither the ACBA nor the individual authors assume any responsibility for the accuracy of information reported. The LJ assumes no responsibility for failure to report any matter inadvertently omitted or withheld from it.

Letters to the Editor

The LJ welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should be addressed to Brian Estadt, Editor, the Lawyers Journal, at 400 Koppers Building, 436 Seventh Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219. All letters must include signature, address, and phone number. All letters are subject to editing. We regret that we can neither print nor acknowledge every letter. We will not return letters.