Submission Guidelines

What type of article should I write?

The Docket Call covers the activities of the Young Lawyers Conference of the Virginia State Bar, activities and achievements of Conference members, and information that will assist new and young lawyers in their practices and professional development. Keeping this focus in mind, the Docket Call publishes a variety of content and is always open to new ideas or suggestions for recurring features.

How should I write my article?

Write in an informal, journalistic style. Avoid the style of law reviews, academic journals, and legal briefs. Short quotations and specific examples will improve an article. Open your article with a catchy, attention-getting lede, followed by a thesis paragraph that concisely states the gist of the article. Follow this with the facts and details of the topic, then conclude with a summary. Use gender-neutral language whenever possible, in accordance with Virginia State Bar policy. (Use “chair” instead of “chairman,” “worker’s compensation” instead of “workman’s compensation,” etc.)

How long should my article be?

Docket Call articles are generally between 500 to 1,250 words, though shorter or longer pieces can be appropriate. Please use endnotes instead of footnotes and keep them to a minimum. Contact the editors if you have any questions or concerns about submission length.

What about photographs?

Submitting photographs (including a headshot of the author) along with an article is encouraged. Photographs should be clear, high resolution digital images. Identify everyone in the photograph, as well as the date and location, if possible. Please also ensure you have the proper permissions needed to submit a photograph for publication.

Will my article be edited?

All articles will be edited to conform to the Docket Call style. When you submit an article, you should review it carefully to ensure that it is correct and that all necessary material has been included. If an author wishes and the schedule permits, authors may review the article once, following any editorial changes to the text. Editorial review by authors is not a guaranteed part of the submission process and is subject to the needs of the publication.

Whom do I contact about errors on or problems with the website?

Any inquiries or comments related to the website (including any formatting or similar issues with the articles) should be directed to the editors of the Docket Call at [email protected]. Questions or comments about the substantive content of the articles should be directed to the individual authors. Please note that, unless otherwise specifically stated, the opinions reflected in the articles published in the Docket Call are the authors’ own and do not necessarily represent the position of the Young Lawyers Conference or the Virginia State Bar on a particular issue.

How should I submit my article?

All submissions should be sent electronically to the editors of the Docket Call at [email protected]. Articles should be submitted as a Microsoft Word file.

When are the submission deadlines?

Generally, the following cut-off dates are in place:

Edition Submission Cut-Off
Winter (January) December 31
Spring (April) March 31
Summer (July) June 30
Fall (October) September 30

Out-of-schedule publications are possible for submissions with time-sensitive content. Contact the editors if you have questions or concerns about submission dates.

Suggested Writing Topics

The following topic suggestions are commonly requested for updates and new perspectives.

  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Asking the Right Questions
  • Attorney Client Privilege
  • Building a Practice
  • Career Development
  • Civility in the Courtroom
  • Collecting Fees
  • Discovery
  • Drafting Contracts
  • Emotional Client Representation
  • Ethical Practicing
  • Federal Government Career
  • Interviewing Clients
  • Landing Your First Job
  • Legal Marketing
  • Legal Research
  • Mediation
  • Mental Health and Law
  • Mentoring
  • New Client Orientation
  • Oral Presentation
  • Personal Finance Accounting
  • Post-Conviction Habeas Relief
  • Pro Bono Service
  • Project Management
  • Social Media and Law
  • Strong Writing
  • Teaching the Law
  • Virtual Hearings
  • Work Life Balance
  • Your Career Path
  • Your First Job