The Florida Bar Journal Articles Guidelines
Features and Section Columns
Purpose and General Approach: The primary purpose of articles and columns is to educate or inform the reader on issues of substantive law and practical concern to lawyers.
Analysis, opinion, and criticism of the present state of the law also are encouraged and should be clearly identified by sufficient legal authority on all sides of an issue to enable the reader to assess the validity of the opinion. When criticism is voiced, suggestions for reform should also be included. Criticism should be directed to issues only.
Only completed articles will be considered (no outlines, abstracts, or topic pitches).
Feature articles will be reviewed by members of The Florida Bar Journal Editorial Board, who are appointed by the president of The Florida Bar. The board, which is composed of lawyers practicing various areas of law, has discretion over the acceptability of legal articles. The Bar Journal’s staff is liaison between authors and the editorial board. Section columns are reviewed by section column editors appointed by the chair of that section.
Length: Feature articles cannot be longer than 7,000 words, including endnotes (approximately 18 pages). Columns may be submitted directly to section column editors and may not exceed 4,500 words, including endnotes (approximately 12 pages). Articles submitted for possible publication should be typed on 8 & 1/2 by 11-inch paper, double-spaced with one-inch margins. Outlines or abstracts will not be considered.
Endnotes: Endnotes must be placed at the end of the article. Upon first reference to a case or statute, the cite should be provided in the text. Citations should be consistent with the Uniform System of Citation. Endnotes must be concise and placed at the end of the article. Excessive endnotes are discouraged.
Time Frame: The editorial board generally takes 60 to 90 days to offer its judgment on each article. After an article is approved, it is usually published in the Bar Journal within six months. If this time frame is unacceptable, the author should submit the article to another publication.
Publication Agreement: All authors are required to sign a publication agreement prior to publication.
Quality and Style: The board members approve articles for publication in the Journal only if they are of publishable quality. An article possesses “publishable quality” by combining various virtues of good legal writing, such as originality, significance of topic, thoroughness of analysis or exposition, clarity of discussion, practicality, novelty of topic or approach, sensible organization, and good style. An article need not satisfy any set formula to be of publishable quality, and it is not necessarily publishable merely because it exhibits a single mark of excellence (e.g., novelty) in the extreme. Thus, even the form (i.e., the structure and style) of an article may add to or detract from its message; form is content, and good style cannot be divorced from substance. Although the members of the editorial board recognize that publishable articles ordinarily will undergo some editing, authors should take care to edit and polish their articles before submitting them. Articles requiring substantial editing will be rejected or returned to the authors for revision.
Pending Proceedings; Authorial Involvement: Articles by authors currently involved in pending proceedings on the topic of the article or by authors whose firm is involved in such proceedings will not be published, except as follows: The editor may publish articles on broad, common topics on which numerous proceedings often are pending, such as jurisdiction, as well as articles specifically approved by the editorial board as part of a forum for conflicting sides of one or more issues in any pending proceedings. All primary authorities cited in articles should be final, not pending appellate review. Upon request by the author, the executive committee of the board will review any article relying heavily on nonfinal authorities to determine whether to publish it to illuminate one or more important issues despite the pendency of any proceedings on point. Prior to publication consideration, authors must disclose or disclaim their involvement in such pending proceedings.
Simultaneous Submission; Reprint: The board does not review articles submitted simultaneously to other publications. Prior to publication consideration, authors must notify the editorial office if the article or any version of it has ever been published or is pending publication in another periodical.
Electronic Format: Articles may be submitted to the editor in Microsoft Word (or compatible software) via email. No PDFs please.
Unsolicited manuscripts are invited and may be emailed to [email protected], or may be submitted to Editor, The Florida Bar Journal, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2300
Bar members may submit book reviews of approximately 500 words for publication in the “Books” column. Reviews must be written by Bar members. The books must be related to law, but may be practical, esoteric, entertaining, or fiction. Book reviews may be emailed to [email protected].