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Legal Management Magazine Writer Guidelines

What to Know When Pitching and Writing Content 

Legal Management magazine provides education and information relating to the business of law and law firm management for legal management professionals, managing partners of law firms, sole practitioners and others with an interest in this area. ALA and Legal Management share the goal of making the publication a thought-leader magazine for these industry professionals.  

We publish 10 times a year and feature content on issues of vital importance to law firm managers. One important thing to keep in mind: Our audience is not lawyers. ALA members are experts in the business of law. Opportunities are available for both column and feature writing. Additionally, we publish LM Extras, which is timely content we produce in between issues. Every issue of Legal Management contains two to three feature articles that must fit into one of the five core competencies:

  • Human Resources Management: Includes topics such as employment law, employee recruitment, training and compensation.
  • Communications and Organizational Management: Includes topics such as written, oral and interpersonal communication skills; leadership; self-management; and organizational development.
  • Legal Industry/Business Management: Includes topics such as trends in the legal industry, liability, legal business ethics, business insurance, marketing and planning techniques.
  • Operations Management/IT: Includes topics such as technology and facilities management.
  • Financial Management: Includes topics such as general accounting and financial analyses.

Submission Guidelines

Freelance writers, ALA members and consultants are encouraged to submit detailed article queries. If it’s a topic we cover regularly (cybersecurity, human resources), detail your fresh angle on the subject. Send us your pitches to [email protected]. If accepted, we’ll work with you to develop the required article. (Articles should be submitted in Microsoft Word format.)

Are you a business partner (vendor) interested in contributing? Check out our guidelines specifically for business partners. 

  • Know Our Audience: Our publication serves our membership, which is made up of legal management professionals in the industry. We look for content that is not tailored to lawyers. Generally speaking, articles should be oriented to the needs and interests of legal administrators and other law firm business management professionals and not specifically or solely to attorneys.
  • Read Through Past Issues: This will help you understand our tone and how to write for our audience.
  • Expect to Be Edited: Everybody needs an editor (even editors), and the editors at Legal Management have the right to edit the article for style, clarity and length and to make final selections on headlines, subheads and graphic treatment.  
  • Completed Work with Catchy Headlines: Turn in work that is clean and with a headline suggestion. (Headline writing can be tough, but give us a snazzy option, not just a general description (i.e., not Burnout and Legal). If your article is longer than 750 words, adding a subhead is a good idea to give the reader some entry points. (Features should definitely have subheads.)
  • We Love a Good Lead: Really think about your opening paragraph and how to hook the reader. We are all inundated with content these days; give our readers something to feel engaged from the get-go.
  • Keep It Fresh and Original: With a few exceptions, we look for content that is original and hasn’t been published elsewhere. Also, don’t send us plagiarized copy. What would your high school English teacher say?
  • We’ve Got Style: We don’t expect you to know all of our style idiosyncrasies, but as a general rule, we adhere to the Associated Press Stylebook and Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. ALA also has an internal stylebook; a digital copy will be provided upon request.

Keep these guidelines in mind when submitting feature articles:

  • Feature articles should have a clear how-to approach.
  • These articles should serve as a guide for law firm managers and provide practical takeaways.
  • All feature articles must include a minimum of two interviews (examples of sources include, but are not limited to, a cross-section of industry experts, ALA members and business partners).
  • Hard sources are also encouraged (stats, surveys, references to other research).
  • Writers may be asked for additional information or to make revisions, if necessary.
  • Cover features are 1,750 words. Shorter features are 1,000 words. 

Keep these guidelines in mind when submitting columns and department articles: 

  • Columns and departments should be no more than 750-800 words.
  • We look for a broad range of perspectives wanted. (Check out some of our regular columns for what we are looking for.)
  • All article material must be educational and cannot contain any case studies or promotional/advertorial content. 
  • Writers may be asked for additional information or to make revisions, if necessary.
  • Include a brief author biography listing current position, background and contact information you’d like readers to have (email, LinkedIn, website, etc.)
  • Authors should also provide a color headshot (at least 300 dpi, 2" x 3").

At ALA, we value our business partners’ expertise and invite you to contribute in one of the ways below. These opportunities preserve our editorial integrity, while still allowing you a chance to impart knowledge to nearly 9,000 legal management professionals. 

How our business partners can work to share their knowledge: 

  • Business Partner Perspective: This is a column in each issue of Legal Management. The general rule of thumb? It's educational, not advertorial. In other words, the content must be educational as Legal Management will not print case studies or anything sales-y. (But if you’re interested in advertising opportunities, contact Fred Ullman at f[email protected].) Also, this section cannot be purchased. Articles are assigned solely on the quality of the content pitched. There is no formal editorial calendar for this section, allowing flexibility based on timeliness and the business partner’s expertise.
  • Expert Interviewee: Our freelance writers occasionally interview business partners as experts on a particular topic. If interested in being interviewed, please send an email explaining your area of expertise.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • The first step is to send a pitch. Articles should be 750-800 words and should be written as a guide for law firm managers and provide practical takeaways. Use this as an opportunity to educate and build trust — not sell.
  • For any editorial consideration, business partners or their PR representatives must submit an article query by email to Valerie A. Danner, Senior Managing Editor, at [email protected]. No calls, please. If accepted, we'll work with you or your representative to develop the required content and to assign deadlines.
  • Compensation: No payment is offered to business partner contributors, nor do we permit business partners to purchase content.
  • Agreements and Permissions: Material accepted for publication becomes the property of the Association of Legal Administrators. The Association liberally grants reprint permission.

Once accepted, you'll be asked to...

Send a brief author biography listing current position, background and contact information you’d like readers to have (email, LinkedIn, website, etc.)

Send a headshot of the authors, preferably in color and at least 300 dpi, 2" x 3".

Only freelance authors are paid for feature article contributions (not consultants or business partners). A flat-fee will be confirmed when the article is assigned; exceeding word count will not result in additional payment. Invoices will be paid after article submission and editor’s acceptance.

Material accepted for publication becomes the property of the Association of Legal Administrators. Once accepted, the contributor gives the Association of Legal Administrators a nonexclusive license to reprint articles in future publications, such as article collections. The Association liberally grants reprint permission to its authors and members. 

Questions? Email us at [email protected].

Have Knowledge You Want to Share in Our Publications?

We’d love to hear it! Email us at [email protected]. If pitching an article to Legal Management or a topic for discussion on Legal Management Talk, be sure to check out our guidelines.

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