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What is Mind Your Business?


Through its new Mind Your Business column, the ABA Journal is seeking contributors to share practical advice for attorneys on how to run their practices, insight into the latest in legal technology and thoughtful strategies for building a successful legal business. These unpaid submissions would be featured on our award-winning website, ABAJournal.com.

Pieces on more general legal topics, outside of the business of law, could be more appropriate for our Your Voice column. Read more about Your Voice here.

How do I submit a query?

Should you wish to write an article for the Journal, please send an email query consisting of a few paragraphs explaining what you plan to say, why it is important and interesting, and how you will report it. Remember that our primary audience is legal professionals who work across the country, so submissions should directly address the business of law and have no geographic boundaries.

Please include a brief explanation of your expertise in writing about this subject and where you have had articles published. Lawyers, law professors and legal services providers are our first choice for contributors. Hyperlinks or examples of previous publications are welcome.

Querying will save you the effort of completing an article that we may not choose to publish, and will save time for editors considering the many requests we get for publication. Address queries to [email protected]. Because of the volume of submissions we receive, please be patient for a response, which can take several weeks or more. No phone calls, please.

When you write

If we’re interested in your query, we’ll email our contributor agreement for you to sign and return, giving the ABA Journal the right to publish your article. You will retain copyright of your work.

As you begin to write, please consider that we’re interested in submissions written in an informal, conversational style (no academic papers, footnote citations or law journal submissions). We will not accept columns that have the sole purpose of promoting a product or business you are personally involved with. Contributors are required to disclose any material connections to technology or products, i.e. a business or family relationship, monetary payment, or the gift of a free product in the column.

As you write, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you an expert? This doesn’t mean you have to be well-known. But do you have a thorough grasp of your article’s subject matter?
  • What’s your evidence? You may feel strongly about a subject, but our readers expect proof. Citing research or original sources is one way to do this. Citing your own research is also a good idea.
  • Do you have a unique or original perspective?
  • Is your topic and advice useful? Can you provide advice, suggestions or steps the reader can act upon?
  • Is the article interesting and engaging to read?
  • Can you fairly and accurately discuss all sides of the issue, even if you have a particular point of view?
  • Can you cover the subject comfortably in a maximum of 1,200 words? (There can be exceptions for longer pieces, but those will be rare and at the editors’ discretion.)

And make sure your submissions avoid these pitfalls:

  • Advertisements for products or services
  • Self-serving praise
  • Anonymous attacks
  • All that may qualify as libel

All submissions must comply with the ABA Code of Conduct. If you have further questions about the articles the Journal editors will accept, the best direction is to read articles published at ABAJournal.com.

Submitted works will be edited as needed for style, content and length. The ABA Journal reserves the right to reject publication of an article for any reason.

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