Trial Article Submission Guidelines

Writing Style

Articles should be brief and to the point. Emphasize the practical, not the esoteric. As much as possible, keep sentences and paragraphs short and in plain English, avoiding legal, scientific, and technical jargon.

Try to express your ideas conversationally. Write in the active rather than the passive voice; avoid trite metaphors and clichés; and, when possible, write from personal experience. Use subheads where they would help organize subject matter. Use subheads where they would help to organize subject matter.

Content

Trial has a national readership, and authors should tailor their articles accordingly. When possible, avoid citing authority from just one jurisdiction. Often, this can be done by noting that a legal theory or holding that you are discussing follows the majority or minority rule on a particular legal topic, citing authority from several jurisdictions to support your proposition.

Use gender-neutral language. Use “he or she,” and “his and her” when necessary, but cast sentences in the plural when possible to avoid these somewhat awkward constructions. If a gender-neutral term is available, use it.

Peer Review

All articles submitted to Trial are subject to peer review and must pass peer review to be cleared for editing and publication. The process typically takes between two and four weeks to complete. Neither the article’s author nor the peer reviewers know the other’s identities.

Editing

Trial aims for readability, as well as accuracy. All articles accepted for publication are checked for accuracy and edited for style and clarity. Edited drafts are sent back to authors for their approval before publication.

Length

Articles should range from 1,400 to 2,500 words (from 5 to 9 double-spaced typed pages). Sidebars or symposium pieces are shorter.

Endnotes

Please keep endnotes to a minimum—most Trial articles have around 20 endnotes. They should be compiled at the end of the article, not at the bottom of each page of text. Legal references should follow the ALWD Citation Manual (Fifth Edition), Association of Legal Writing Directors, including using authors’ first names. It is substantially similar to the Bluebook Uniform System of Citation, and more information is available at www.alwd.org. The main exceptions are that Trial does not use all caps for law and other scholarly journals and cites to the West reporters only. Do not include parallel citations to state reporters.

Biographical Sketch

Please submit only your name, occupation/firm position, firm name, city, state, and (if desired) an email address.

Email Submissions

Authors may submit articles via email to trial@justice.org or to a Trial editor.

Submissions to Other Publications

Please do not submit any article that is under consideration by another publication or has been published previously. Content must be original.

Policy for Authors

Authors must be free from pending disciplinary action in which the public finding of probable cause, or other similar finding, has been made. Articles by authors who have been disciplined will not be selected for publication except for good cause.

Trial online Publication

An article accepted for publication in Trial will appear in print, in the magazine’s digital edition, and on AAJ’s website, http://www.justice.org/.