Publications

Writing for us is simple; here’s everything you need to know

Have you always wanted to be a published writer? The ISBA Newsletters provide the perfect opportunity!

Who?

Our authors are practicing attorneys, law students, and anyone who can provide a unique legal perspective.  

What

We publish more than 40 titles covering various areas of the legal profession, from substantive law to practice management and advice. Not sure to which section you should submit your article? Contact Katie Underwood, Newsletter Managing Editor, for assistance. Need some inspiration? You can write about anything law-related, but here are a few ideas:

  • Case updates
  • New/proposed legislation
  • News and trends in your area of practice
  • Book/product reviews
  • Letter to the editor

When

Each newsletter publishes a minimum of four issues per year, and often many more. Every article is then archived on the ISBA Web site.

Why?

ISBA newsletter authors are respected throughout the state as leaders in their profession. And what better way to build your resume, get your name out to the community and advertise your knowledge—all without costing a penny! A recent survey showed that 75% of newsletter subscribers spend more than 10 minutes reading their issues, and one-third of these spend more than 15 minutes. Almost 75% of subscribers save or route their newsletters, so your article is bound to have a lasting impact on readers. Here are some additional benefits to writing for us:

  • Earn MCLE credit - According to Rule 795(d)(7) of the Supreme Court of Illinois' Minimum Continuing Legal Education Rules, authors who write “law-related articles in responsible legal journals or other legal sources” can get MCLE credit. And now there’s no fee to file with the MCLE Board.
  • Build your resume - Each year thousands of new lawyers enter the workforce. And with jobs diminishing firms can afford to demand the best and brightest. Publishing is critical to standing out in the crowd. So whether you’re looking for a job or want to prove your indispensability, getting published is essential.
  • See your name in print - Admit it—there’s just something thrilling about having your name published. And when thousands of your peers see it, isn’t that even better?
  • Market your firm - Advertising can be expensive, but with your byline you can give your firm exposure and boost its reputation among other lawyers—free!
  • Get $20 off an ISBA program - Have your article, consisting of at least 500 words or longer, published in an ISBA newsletter on a legal topic that helps lawyers in their practice and get a certificate for $20 off a live, on-site ISBA CLE program.
  • Become a part of case law - For the first time ever, the Illinois Supreme Court cited to an ISBA newsletter in its decision. Attorney Matthew Kirsh’s article, “When is a Declaratory Judgment Not a Declaratory Judgment” in the January 2007 issue of Family Law, now bears the official citation of 50 Illinois State Bar Association Family Law Newsletter 4-6 (January 2007).
  • Use what you already know - Chances are you’ve written a brief or summary of a current case. Why not publish it and help other attorneys benefit from the work you’ve done?
  • Raise your profile - The more you do, the more opportunities arise. Authors are commonly viewed as leaders on their subject and therefore invited to speak at CLE programs.

How (The details)

Length There is no minimum or maximum length for articles in most ISBA newsletters.

Editing - articles will be edited for clarity and style.

Endnotes and citations Citations should adhere to the following formats EXACTLY (periods and spaces are very important):

North East Reporter:
222 N.E.2d 222

Illinois Supreme Court:
222 Ill. 222
222 Ill. 2d 222

Illinois Appellate Court:
222 Ill. App. 222
222 Ill. App. 2d 222
222 Ill. App. 3d 222

Note: Please don’t include your biography in the footnotes. That should be a separate, unnumbered portion at the end of the article.

Summary - Include a very brief one- or two-sentence summary of your article, preferably 25 words or fewer.

Biography - Include a biography of yourself, including your e-mail address unless you don't want it published.

Copyright - The Illinois State Bar Association requires all newsletter authors to sign our author release form. We have two available—the general form may be signed only once to cover all future articles written. The single-use form must be signed for each article submitted.

The forms provide ISBA with a non-exclusive license to publish and post on our Web site. The author retains the rights to his or her article, and can publish elsewhere at any time.

Copies – Authors are entitled to five complimentary copies of the newsletter in which the article is published. Please let us know when you submit your article whether and where you’d like these copies sent to you.

PDF copies of an article with the ISBA’s logo (great for posting to your Web site or distributing to your clients) can be purchased for a minimal, one-time fee. Contact Katie Underwood for details.

Ready to go?

E-mail your article, in Microsoft Word format, to Katie Underwood at kunderwood@isba.org, who will forward the article to the appropriate section newsletter’s editor for review. If your article is accepted, we’ll let you know and ask you to sign our release form.