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Blog Guidelines

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Before the Bar Blog guidelines

Mission

Bringing together a diversity of opinions, experiences, and voices from people associated with the law anywhere in the world (but primarily, the 50 states). The content is targeted to law students, current, past, and future.

Size of blog posts

Between 800 and 1,000 words. If you can complete your article in 500 words, you do not need to write more than that.

Selected articles may also run in the print edition of Student Lawyer magazine.

Content Checklist

Each post runs with an author box that features the following:

  • Bio (50 words)
  • Headshot or logo (if the author is an organization or company)
  • Social media links (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, personal site)

This is the space where you can tell readers about yourself and the things that you do.

Style


Be clear and concise. Conversational. Not academic. Write as though you’re talking to a student directly. No footnotes, we can link out if we want to refer to source information.

Use short sentences in short paragraphs to communicate practical information. Write in the active voice and to the reader—you. 

Include tips, lists, bullet points, hyperlinks, examples, lively writing, and other techniques to facilitate the readers’ grasp of the information. 

Always use subheadings, which are essential for online articles to keep the reader moving through the content. 

We will edit your article for clarity, conciseness, style, and length. You are solely responsible for the content’s accuracy and completeness.

Topics

We’ve put together a list of high-level topics that we’re looking for, in case you’re not sure what to write about. These topics fall primarily under our Law School Essentials, topics that touch each law student as they progress from pre-law through graduation, passing the bar exam, and starting their professional career.

We have a veritably unlimited set of interests, as long as it pertains to law or students or life as a lawyer. We will not assign topics, but we may occasionally suggest one based on initiatives, calendar holidays, or a particular focus of the blog. Examples would be Pro Bono Week, graduation, mental health awareness, etc. See the list for more ideas.

Many authors work with legal technology products they would like to introduce to students. You may talk about your product in the context of a general interest topic in a guest post. The product should not be the focus of a guest post. If you would like to focus on your product, we do offer paid guest post options.

Target

Our audience is law students and not the consumer audience or potential clients for your organization. For example, we are looking for “how to be a DUI lawyer” – not “how to beat a DUI conviction.”

Frequency

That’s up to you. You can write once, monthly, or occasionally. We like to keep things to those classifications to spread things out among authors. But if someone really wants more than once a month, we can work with that. We don’t want the blog dominated by one author.

Reprints

Text of articles published in Student Lawyer magazine may be reprinted with permission and provided the following attribution is given to the magazine.

“©[Year] Published in [Publication Title], [MM/YY of Publication] [direct link to full article on abaforlawstudents.com], by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.”

You may not use graphics and images that run with the articles. Blog posts may not be reprinted without the permission of both the ABA Law Student Division and the author of the post.

Contact Info

To inquire about writing for Student Lawyer, please contact Lindsay Cummings.

 

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ABA Law Student Division The Law Student Division empowers law student by providing them with meaningful connections to practicing professionals, job resources, relevant programming, and practical skills competitions. We represent the law student community by advocating for policies that improve legal education, champion diversity, and strengthen public service.