Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Join the VBA
Writer's Guide
Share |

Writer's Guide

VBA News Journal

VBA News Journal is the official publication of The Virginia Bar Association, a voluntary organization of lawyers and judges that strives to be the pre-eminent advocate in Virginia for the improvement of law and the administration of justice as well as the organization of choice for the enhancement of professional experience of Virginia lawyers.

VBA News Journal is published four times a year, as a service to our members.


VBA News Journal articles generally fit into one of two major categories: articles that relate to specific legal topics or issues or to the practice of law, or news of VBA programs, projects, events and activities. Other types of articles, such as columns, legislative updates or personal profiles, are included on a seasonal or space-available basis.

When You're Writing

Contributors to the VBA News Journal should emphasize practical points in a concise, journalistic style. Keep in mind that the subject needs to be of general interest to attorneys in diverse practice areas. Make your article readable: Avoid the writing style of law reviews, academic journals or legal briefs. Whenever possible, use gender-neutral language. Here's a tried-and-true formula: Open with an attention-getting lead paragraph, then state the thesis of your article in the second paragraph. Next comes the main text, in which facts and details are presented in an orderly way. Finish with a summary. And give your article a working title.

Format for Submissions

Please query first with topic idea, expected word count, completion date and possible photographs or illustrations by email VBA Communications Coordinator Marilyn Shaw, or by calling her at (804) 644-0041. Submissions, preferably in Microsoft Word or Open Source form, should be attached to an email containing the Biographical Information, sent by the mutually agreed upon deadline. Please single space between sentences in the same paragraph. 


Footnotes should appear at the END of the article — not at the bottom of pages.

Biographical Information

The author should include a brief biographical statement, including his/her job title, employer, education (degrees and institutions), special honors or accomplishments, and any significant involvement with The Virginia Bar Association (section/committee membership, offices or chairs held, etc.) Please DO NOT include this item as a footnote!


Authors are encouraged to submit photographs or illustrations to accompany their articles. The image should be uncropped and unresized and the resolution as high as possible, 300 dpi (dots per inch) preferred. Art that has been converted into low-resolution form for optimal Internet use will not reproduce properly in a slick magazine. All photographs or illustrations should be labeled and identified clearly and any creator credit lines should be provided. Physical photographs or artwork can be mailed to Shaw at the VBA at 701 E. Franklin St., Suite 1120, Richmond, Virginia, 23219. Avoid writing in ink on the back of photographs, as it can smear onto other photographs and cannot be removed without damage. Instead, use a soft pencil or printed labels to identify photographs. Please indicate if photographs or artwork must be returned to you.


All articles are subject to editing and will be edited to conform to VBA publications style (based on Associated Press style). Before an article is submitted, it should be proofread for errors and read for content by the author (and, preferably, another person with good writing skills and a fresh pair of eyes). Remember that computer spell-checkers don't always catch mistakes!

If an author wants to proofread an article before it is published, the editor will allow one proofreading only. The article must be returned with corrections and changes within five business days.

NOTE: Authors will receive five extra copies of issues in which their articles appear for their personal use.
For more information, contact Marilyn Shaw at (804) 644-0041 or


Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal