Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : Editorial Guidelines

BAR BULLETIN STYLE GUIDELINES

The Bar Bulletin is a monthly twenty page newsletter published by the Maryland State Bar Association for its membership. Its focus is on MSBA activities, Board of Governor policies and decisions, legislation affecting Maryland attorneys, technology, as well as subjects affecting lawyers and the legal profession. Each month the Bulletin focuses on a topical theme.

  • All articles should be between 725 to 800 words in length.
  • Pieces may be submitted in a Microsoft Word document by email to bnichols@msba.org, or by USPS to Bryan Nichols, editor, MSBA, 520 W. Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.
  • Please do not include charts or graphs within any of the articles.
     
  • The Bar Bulletin does not publish or reproduce speeches.
  • Do not include any footnotes, end notes, etc or any legal citations within the articles.
  • Articles should focus on a theme with a broad overview of the subject. The Bar Bulletin is mailed to approximately 23,000 members.
  • Articles may be edited for content and length. If, significant editing is required that may affect the substance of the article, the author will be notified.
  • Occasionally, submissions may not necessarily appear in the issue requested due to space constraints. MSBA activities take precedence over other subject matter.
  • Photos of the author are not published with the article.
  • Please note that due to Bar Bulletin administrative policy, we cannot print your business or service's address, telephone number, e-mail address or Internet site at the end of any article. However, the Bar Bulletin may list your name as follows: Mr./Ms.___ is a partner with the law firm of Smith & Smith in its Baltimore office. He/she concentrates their practice in family law.
  • Deadline: The Bar Bulletin is distributed on the 15th of every month. Articles for the following issue must be submitted by the 20th.

2013 Bar Bulletin Themes

JANUARY
Taxation Law
Deadline: Thursday, December 20, 2012
FEBRUARY
Labor & Employment Law
Deadline: Monday, January 21, 2013
MARCH
Intellectual Property Law
Deadline: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
APRIL
Health Law
Deadline: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
MAY
Construction Law
Deadline: Friday, April 19, 2013
JUNE
Elder Law
Deadline: Monday, May 20, 2013
JULY
MSBA Annual Meeting Coverage
Deadline: Thursday, June 20, 2013
AUGUST
Immigration Law
Deadline: Friday, July 19, 2013
SEPTEMBER
Estate & Trust Law
Deadline: Tuesday, August 20, 2013
OCTOBER
Solo/Small Firm Practitioner
Deadline: Friday, September 20, 2013
NOVEMBER
Family & Juvenile Law
Deadline: Monday, October 21, 2013
DECEMBER
MSBA Legislative Preview
Deadline: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Please call Bryan Nichols, editor, about any of these issues, or if you would like to write about something not listed above, at (410) 685-7878 or (800) 492-1964 ext. 3026. Submissions are welcome throughout the year.

Writing and Editing Guidelines
for the Bar Bulletin

The Bar Bulletin favors a plain style of expository writing and urges its authors to write as simply and informally as they can. This does not mean that the publication wants frivolous or cute writing, but that it strives to publish clear and readable material.

  • Have a clear understanding of what you want to say before you start writing
  • Write it yourself; don't assign it to a subordinate who must guess at what someone else wishes to express.
  • Try to catch the reader's attention, create interest and make your main point in the opening sentences.
  • Write in plain English. Use short words, strong verbs and simple sentences. Avoid jargon and foreign phrases.
  • Be concrete and specific, not abstract and legalistic.
  • Write in the active voice. Avoid the passive voice and the conditional ("I would argue") mood.
  • Avoid compound or complex sentences. Break them into smaller bites.
  • Don't talk down to readers.
  • Avoid the outline form
  • Refrain from the use of first-person narrative (such as "I" or "we").
Publications : Bar Bulletin : Editorial Guidelines 

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