CBA Record Writer's Guidelines

The CBA Record is a multifaceted journal published six times a year for members of The Chicago Bar Association. A typical issue includes feature articles, commentary on current legal developments or a recent decision, how-to articles, opinion pieces, discussions of ethical issues, bar news, and reports on special activities of CBA members and the association leadership.


The focus of the CBA Record is on current events in the law and on issues of general interest to the legal community of Chicago. We seek articles that present ideas that will help lawyers practice law better and operate their firms more efficiently. The CBA Record also welcomes profiles of interesting Illinois lawyers and reviews of books that are either authored by Chicago lawyers or concern local lawyers or Illinois law. We do not accept reprints of previously published articles.

Writing style

Feature articles should emphasize practical, rather than theoretical or esoteric points. Avoid the style of law reviews, academic journals, or legal briefs. Articles should be written in an informal, journalistic style. Short quotations and specific examples of your point will often improve an article.
  • Use gender-neutral language.
  • 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 when possible. Avoid the passive voice and the conditional (“I would argue”).
  • Avoid the outline format.


Footnotes are not permitted. Citations to cases and other materials should be incorporated into the text. Keep citations to a minimum, using the format in the most recent edition of The Blue Book. Include secondary citations for Illinois cases; for other states’ cases, cite the West regional reporter. Avoid the use of “Id.” Unless it is important to the article, subsequent history of a case should be omitted.


All articles are subject to editing for length, grammar, clarity, and conformity to CBA Record style, which uses the Associated Press Stylebook. Any editorial changes that may affect substance will be discussed with the author. The author may be asked to make revisions if significant changes are required.


The working title may be accepted or the Record may alter it.


The CBA Record will obtain appropriate artwork or photography, if any, to illustrate your article. However, feel free to make suggestions to the editor.


Manuscripts should be typewritten in a standard typewritten face and double-spaced on letter-sized paper. Articles generally range between 2000-3000 words, and should not exceed 4,000 words (about 15 typewritten pages of double-spaced pica type). Articles for the YLS Journal should range between 1200-1500 words, not to exceed 2,000 words. For certain topics, a shorter length may be appropriate. Long articles are often shortened to conform to available space. Do not overwrite–if it only takes five pages to cover your subject, don’t write a 10-page article.

How to Submit

Ideas for articles or completed articles for consideration should be sent via email to Only articles drafted by CBA members will be considered. Fiction and non-fiction books that feature authors or subjects related to the Chicago area are also accepted for review by CBA Record staff and can be mailed to: Sharon Nolan, Publications Director, Chicago Bar Association, 321 South Plymouth Court, Chicago, IL 60604. Include a cover letter with your contact information, and a short, biographical paragraph for use with your article, including a link to any biographical information on your firm’s web site, if applicable. State whether you are a lawyer, your place of employment, and whether you serve on any CBA committee or other entity. Authors must disclose any economic or professional interest or affiliation pertinent to their articles.