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Guidelines For Authors
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The VBA Journal is published two times a year, on March 1 and Sept. 1, as a service to our members and subscribers.

Article Submissions

Member submissions are encouraged.

Submissions generally fit into two categories:

  • specific legal topics or issues, or about the actual practice of law, and
  • articles and features about VBA programs, projects, events and activities.

Other articles, such as columns, legislative updates or profiles, appear on a seasonal or space-available basis.

The VBA Journal reserves the right to edit articles to fit the space and to VBA publications style.

Word Count

Substantive issues: 1,000-1,500 words, excluding endnotes

Updates for The Docket (when published): a short paragraph or two These are great ways to inform the general membership about your Council, Section and conference activities.

Query, Submission Process

Subjects should be of general interest to attorneys in diverse practice areas.

Query editor Marilyn Shaw ( or 804-644-0041, ext. 117) well in advance of submission with a summary of the topic and approach and word count request. Articles should be original to the VBA Journal.

At the same time, authors of legal topic articles should contact the Section Chair in the appropriate specialty area. Section member(s) designated by the Section Chair will informally peer review the author’s article in consultation with the author(s) before the article is submitted for publication.

Articles should be submitted as Word/Open Source documents attached to email. Please single space between sentences.

All contributing authors must fill out, sign and return a Publication Agreement.

When You're Writing

Contributors should emphasize practical points in a concise, journalistic style. Make your article readable. Avoid the writing style of law reviews or academic journals.

Open with an attention-getting first paragraph, then state the thesis of your article in the second paragraph. Next, present the main text, with facts and details in an orderly way. Finish with a summary. Please give your article a working title.


Citations should appear at the end of the article instead of the bottom of each page.

Biographical Information, Headshot

The author should include a brief biographical statement, including his/her job title, employer, education (degrees and institutions), special accomplishments or honors, and any significant involvement with The Virginia Bar Association. Please do NOT include this item as a footnote/endnote. Include 300 dpi, high-resolution photo of authors. Bio and photo requests also appear in the Publication Agreement.


Discuss potential visuals with editor at query.

Send accompanying, publishable photos or illustrations as high-resolution JPG files. Provide artist/photographer names and permissions, if applicable.

Identify all people in photos.

Submitted visuals will not be returned unless arrangements are made ahead of time.


Authors will receive a proof of the article as laid out ahead of publication. Corrections and changes must be returned to the VBA by email or fax within five business days.

2020 Journal Deadlines

  • Spring 2020 issue
  • Query by Aug. 15, 2019
  • Submit by Oct. 1, 2019
  • Proofs around Dec. 1, 2019
  • To members March 1, 2020
  • Fall 2020 issue
  • Query by April 1, 2020
  • Submit by May 15, 2020
  • Proofs around July 1, 2020
  • To members Sept. 1, 2020
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