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Editorial Guidelines for Writers

Legal Assistant Today is the only independent magazine geared toward the needs of the rapidly expanding paralegal profession. Legal Assistant Today offers information pertaining to paralegals on legal practices and developments, practical advice and "how-to" articles to help its readers achieve career goals, coverage of national regulation and licensure efforts, news, trends, professional event happenings, colorful and informative pieces on unique areas and persons in the profession and sound advice for becoming more efficient in the workplace. Writers must keep this readership in mind. Articles are accepted on assignment only, therefore initial query letters are strongly recommended. Before any article is accepted, writers must receive an assignment letter or verbal confirmation from an editor.

The following types of articles are accepted:

News & Trends: Send a query letter first. Submissions should be timely, investigative and written in straight news style. Photos are greatly appreciated. Most stories are approximately 600 words in length, unless otherwise directed by an editor. (We will pay $25 for news tips or leads that we use to write a story ourselves.)

Features: Send a query letter first. Average response time for a query letter is 30 days. We seek material that offers our readers new insights into the various aspects of the paralegal profession, with an emphasis on providing practical information in an easy-to-read, "how-to" format. Stories on paralegals involved with high-profile cases should show us the "what’s involved, how’s-it-done" angle through interviews with the featured paralegals. Features range in size from approximately 2,500 to 3,300 words, including sidebars. Payments for features are decided on a case-by-case basis determined by the article’s newsworthiness, content, length, author’s track record and other factors. Agreed-upon payments include the article and all attachments (charts, sidebars, etc.) unless otherwise specified upon negotiation.


All articles should be written in Associated Press (AP) style, spell-checked and edited by the writer for grammar and errors. A list of cited sources (including source name, title, phone number and e-mail address) is required. Keep sentences brief and to the point. Legal Assistant Today uses the active voice in all articles and quotes are kept in the past tense (e.g. "said"). Please do not double space between sentences. Text should be broken up with subheads as needed. Writers are encouraged to supply sample headlines and respectfully asked to be sure to place their bylines on both the hardcopy and the electronic version of their articles. All submitted materials are subject to editing. Due to time and space considerations, along with editorial discretion, Legal Assistant Today reserves the right to determine whether and when submitted material is published.

  • Kill fees are used both for the protection of the magazine and the protection of the writer. A standard kill fee for articles is between $25 and $50. Kill fees for all other written material — materials other than news articles — are determined on a case-by-case basis at the editor’s discretion. These fees are paid in instances when the material submitted does not meet the assignment goals, lacks sufficient quality for our audience or, in rare cases, when the editors determine that publication of the material would be detrimental to the magazine.
  • Footnotes are not used; incorporate these into the text.
  • Tables/Charts do not need to be produced in table form. Writers may simply type these clearly, with tabs, and provide a hard copy example of what the finished table/chart should look like.
  • Writers must obtain written (via fax, mail or e-mail) permission for use of copyrighted material (i.e. charts from surveys, etc.). Graphics are always desirable, and in some cases necessary (i.e. representations of forms, photographs of interview subjects, etc.). Writers should also remember to adhere to the policy of Fair Use when quoting from published materials.
  • Writers are encouraged to confirm all facts in stories prior to submission. Verifying questionable quotes, names, facts and figures is preferred. However, in order to maintain Legal Assistant Today’s journalistic and editorial integrity, third parties who are not a part of the freelance agreement should not be provided with copies of the stories under assignment. Providing copies of unpublished articles is a violation of Legal Assistant Today’s editorial and freelance policies and significantly complicates the publishing process.
  • All materials offered for publication should be submitted with the understanding that they are complete, original material and are offered to James Publishing for first North American rights, non-exclusive Web rights, marketing purposes and reprint permission.
  • Materials should be sent by e-mail as a Microsoft Word attachment.
  • Submit a brief biographical sketch (50 words maximum) with your manuscript. Include your current position (attorney, paralegal, freelance writer), company or other professional organization (if any), field of expertise, etc. (No hobbies, family members, etc., unless they pertain to your subject or your expertise.) If you are writing a column or a feature, please include a high-resolution photo of yourself (preferably a headshot).
  • Names, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and mailing addresses of all sources quoted in articles must be provided for editorial fact-checking purposes. If information is obtained from written material or Web sites, please include a copy (or e-mail attachment/link) of the material or Web address for proofreading purposes.
  • Due to the nature of the material and the need to turn copy around quickly, deadlines are strictly enforced.



















Please mail queries to:
Legal Assistant Today
c/o Rebecca Garcia
P.O. Box 25202
Santa Ana, CA 92799-5202

Fax (714) 751-5508

You can also e-mail
our editor.

We look forward to working with you.

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Updated 08/30/07
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