Author Guidelines

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Washington Lawyer is the award-winning official publication of the District of Columbia Bar. Published six times a year as a member benefit, Washington Lawyer reaches more than 101,000 Bar members and other legal professionals in Washington, D.C., and beyond. The magazine features cutting-edge content on law and practice, provides insight into local and international legal developments, in-depth analysis of substantive law, practical tools and resources, and deep dives into issues of interest to the broader readership. Washington Lawyer communicates important developments at the D.C. Bar and supports the organization’s core purpose to enhance access to justice, improve the legal system, and empower lawyers to achieve excellence. First published in 1976, Washington Lawyer is available in print and electronic format at

Washington Lawyer welcomes submissions from D.C. Bar members, journalists, and others in the legal profession who wish to share their expertise on law-related topics. Articles must be original, previously unpublished, and exclusive to the D.C. Bar.

The Bar will not publish articles that resort to personal attacks against members of the bar or the judiciary; are overly self-promotional or one-sided; are written for the purpose of airing personal issues or grievances about a particular person, office, or organization; or run counter to the Bar’s stated mission, purpose, or values.

The Bar reserves the right to edit all materials for accuracy, length, clarity, organization, and style. Acceptance of submissions is at the discretion of the editors and/or the Washington Lawyer Advisory Board.

Email content pitches and article submissions to [email protected]. All submissions must be in Microsoft Word, single spaced.

Use the following guidelines for submitting content for consideration in one of the following four sections of Washington Lawyer:

I. Features

Features are longform articles that provide a comprehensive discussion of a particular topic, person, or event. Feature stories often include multiple interviews with subject matter experts, background research, and other supporting data.

Washington Lawyer feature stories run from 1,500 to 2,500 words and come in different forms and styles such as:

  • Informative articles
  • Q&As
  • Profile stories
  • Personal essays
  • Practice how-tos

Articles should demonstrate originality of topic or angle, significance of the subject matter, thorough analysis, clarity of discussion, practicality, and logical organization. Authors writing about a case or matter in which they are involved must disclose that information in the article.

Washington Lawyer strongly discourages the use of endnotes in feature stories. Cases, studies, reports, surveys, and other background materials should be referenced in the body of the article.

Contributors to the Features section need not be lawyers or members of the D.C. Bar, although preference is given to authors who are Bar members or legal professionals.

II. Taking the Stand

“Taking the Stand” — Washington Lawyer’s opinion section — is a forum for D.C. Bar members in good standing to address issues of importance to them and that would be relevant to others. Typically between 900 to 2,000 words, “Taking the Stand” submissions must meet the following editorial criteria for acceptance:

  • Accuracy
  • Originality and clarity
  • Well-articulated argument drawn from the author’s own expertise or experience
  • Relevance of the topic to the membership and to the wider legal community
  • Verifiable supporting facts

Endnotes, while allowed, should be used sparingly and carefully to provide additional context. Endnotes should be concise and relevant.

III. Your Voice

The letters to the editor section of Washington Lawyer is open to D.C. Bar members in good standing. Letters should be less than 300 words and include the writer’s name, city/state, and contact information. Priority is given to letters written in response to material previously published in Washington Lawyer.

Washington Lawyer encourages a robust and respectful discussion of issues from diverse voices. Letters that resort to personal attacks or use abusive or impolite language will not be published. Letters are subject to fact checking and editing for accuracy, clarity, and space.

IV. Worth Reading

This section comprises reviews about recently published books relevant to the law. A typical review is 1,150 words long, provides readers an overall sense of the subject matter of the book, and offers a fair critique of the work.

Contributors to the Worth Reading section need not be lawyers or members of the D.C. Bar, although preference is given to authors who are Bar members or legal professionals.

Copyright Notice
Material published in Washington Lawyer is the property of the D.C. Bar, which may promote and publish the same content through its various communication channels, including email, e-newsletters, social media, and the Bar’s website.

Reprint and Permissions
Authors published in Washington Lawyer have the right to a perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide license to use their work for their own personal use and to promote their employer, law firm, or law practice. This use includes permission to make and distribute print or digital copies of the work to friends, colleagues, clients, or on an employer or law firm website or social media without further notice to or approval from the D.C. Bar, provided that the copy contains the following notice: “This article first appeared in the [insert issue date] of Washington Lawyer. Reprinted with permission from the District of Columbia Bar.”

To republish their work in another publication, authors must first seek prior written approval from the D.C. Bar, as long as the subsequent publication is more than 90 days after the original publication date. Reprint requests should be sent to [email protected].