Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD

Call for Articles Volume 15
Deadline: September 1, 2017

Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD invites submission of articles for its Volume 15 (Fall 2018) issue. This volume will be published in print. It will also appear on the journal’s website in PDF downloadable format.     

The journal is a forum for conversation between academe and the practicing bar. Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD’s mission is to advance the study of professional legal writing, broadly defined, and to become an active resource and a forum for conversation between the legal practitioner and the legal writing scholar. Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD is dedicated to encouraging and publishing scholarship (1) focusing on the substance of legal writing; (2) grounded in legal doctrine, empirical research, or interdisciplinary theory; and (3) accessible and helpful to all “do-ers” of legal writing: attorneys, judges, law students, and legal academicians.

Traditionally, the journal declines publication of articles that are of interest to a purely academic or teaching audience.

Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD is published annually, thanks to ALWD. The subscription list includes 4,000 practicing lawyers and judges; law school libraries, deans, and professors; and others interested in the field of legal writing. The journal is available electronically on the journal’s website and from Westlaw, Lexis, SSRN, HeinOnLine, H.W. Wilson Company, and EBSCO.

We encourage submissions from law professors, practicing lawyers, and judges as well as from academics, researchers, doctoral degree students, and specialists in other disciplines. The deadline for submission of articles for the Fall 2016 issue is September 1, 2017.

1.     General Guidelines

1.1    Submission of articles and essays

Submissions of articles and essays under 15,000 words, inclusive, are due on or before September 1 of the calendar year before an upcoming issue. More specifics about technical aspects appears below, in Section 2.

We welcome articles on any topic that falls within the mission of LC&R: to develop scholarship focusing on the substance and practice of professional legal writing, broadly defined to include many aspects of lawyering, and to make that scholarship accessible and helpful to practitioners as well as to legal academics. Without compromising analytical rigor and the necessary theoretical and research foundation, our goal is to publish articles that are readable and usable by the broader audience of professional legal writers. We are looking for clear, concrete, direct writing; strong, interesting, intelligent voices; and a style that uses the text for substance and the footnotes to provide support, sources, and references for additional study.

Potential authors may wish to consult articles published in past issues, as well as the more specific information for authors available under the Submissions tab at

1.2    Exclusive submission preferred / peer review and the effect on expedited requests

Because of the time involved with conducting the peer review process, LC&R prefers exclusive submission of manuscripts but does not require it. Submission elsewhere does not prejudice the author’s chances of receiving an offer from LC&R. If an author has submitted the manuscript elsewhere or wishes to do so, the author should inform the Journal at the time of submission and notify the Journal immediately should the author accept another offer of publication. This is to allow us to alert our peer reviewers. Using an anonymous, peer-review process is time-consuming and makes expedited review difficult to accommodate.  

2.     Technical requirements

2.1    Three parts to the submission

Electronic manuscripts should be accompanied by both a cover sheet summarizing the article and a CV, resume, or summary of scholarship background of the author, including preferred email and phone contact information.  

2.2    Maximum length of submissions

For major articles, LC&R will consider manuscripts from 5,000–15,000 words of text including footnotes. For more informal essays, LC&R recommends manuscripts of approximately 2,500–5,000 words of text. Book reviews are solicited separately and are short documents.

2.3    Microsoft Word (native) and explanation

Because we use a professional designer who requires it, all manuscripts must be prepared and submitted as native Microsoft Word documents.[1] Most of us will be reading the submissions onscreen, whether on a desktop or tablet. For that reason there is no need for double-spacing, and in fact we prefer submissions in a multiple of 1.0 to 1.2 spacing (for readability purposes). Moreover, you are free to select the readable typeface of your choice. You are also free to use scientific numbering. At this time, we cannot print color graphics in our bound volumes, but if you do use charts, we will offer advice about converting to grayscale with patterns. 

2.4    Citation and providing copies of source materials

Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD follows standard legal citation form, contained in both the ALWD Guide to Legal Citation (5th ed.) and in The Bluebook (20th ed.). Please note that all accepted authors will be asked to provide copies of source materials that are unavailable through normal legal research methods (including title and copyright pages). We prefer scanned materials shared via Dropbox.

3.     Submission and process

Submissions should be sent electronically to the following email address, directly or through the ALWD website: or online via Express-O.

3.1    Process

This is a peer-reviewed journal. All submissions that meet the mission of the journal are sent to anonymous peer reviewers before returning to the editorial board for a discussion of the anonymous reviews and a final vote. The peer-review system is double blind. Essays are also sent to peer reviewers.   

3.2    Submission of Book Reviews

We include book reviews in each volume. Those are handled through a separate submission procedure after the articles are selected. For more information, contact our Book Review Editor, Nantiya Ruan,   

4.     Questions

Please contact co-Editors-in-Chief, Ruth Anne Robbins, or Joan Ames Magat,




[1] Any article that originated in another program such as WordPerfect will have to be recreated in Word because the footnote formatting is not converted properly (trust us, we speak from experience).