Write for us
The Gazette welcomes articles by outside contributors – generally from lawyers, legal academics or people involved in areas of public policy that affect lawyers and the law. We do not, as a rule, publish articles by ‘suppliers’, such as legal IT companies.
This is a general guide to help would-be contributors understand what the Gazette editors are, and are not, looking for. While we do publish articles that are sent to us on-spec (ie which were written then pitched to us) it is best to contact the Gazette first. Not least, the idea may be so topical and appropriate that we have already accepted or commissioned a similar article on it.
It is also well worth checking if we have already published an article similar to the one you wish to write.
Pitching an article
It is useful to decide which section of the Gazette you would like to see your article appear in. As an outside contributor, your article will likely be one of the following: -
- Comment and opinion: this is not a technical article such as a ‘legal update’, but an issue where you hold a fairly strong opinion. It may have some technical content, but essentially this is a category where you are making an argument, not just providing analysis. Most such articles appear online, and are promoted by appearing on the Gazette ’s home page and in our daily e-mail newsletter. These should normally be between 350-700 words, or an absolute maximum of 1,000 words. We sometimes take a 200-word excerpt from these articles for the “Seen & Heard” page of the print edition. Contacts for comment & opinion articles are the editor in chief (email@example.com) and the features editor (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Legal updates and practice points: these appear either online, or online and in print. For occasional contributors we cannot guarantee appearance in print as the Gazette’s print pagination can change at short notice. Legal updates and practice points are articles of a more technical nature – providing analysis and insight in to legal developments such as recent judgments or changes through legislation and regulation. Practice points may be on a broader topic – and area of law you believe is ripe for reform, for example, or an assessment of a new DPP’s ‘first 100 days’. Please contact the features editor with ideas for these sections (email@example.com).
- Features: we define ‘features’ as article that are journalist-written. Several people will have been interviewed by the author, and they are always commissioned by the Gazette prior to being written. Lawyers and others contribute to these via interviews for quoting, but lawyers do not write our features. If you have spotted a feature you would like to be interviewed for, contact the features editor (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please note, if you are interviewed for a feature, the Gazette will not be checking quotes we intend to use with you.
- Letters: we welcome letters on any topic relevant to the Gazette’s readership. These should be a maximum of 350 words long, and should be sent to the editor in chief (email@example.com). Even if need withhold your name and address in the Gazette , we need to know these in confidence. If you are responding to a Gazette article or another letter, please say so.
- Book reviews: we have a list of books sent to us for review, though are also open to ideas for books to review. Contact Nicholas Goodman (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details.
- My Legal Life: please contact Monidipa Fouzder (email@example.com) if you would like to be considered for this section.
For anyone pitching an article idea, it is useful to know the following when you get in touch: -
- Which section you hope it will appear in.
- Why the article will be topical.
- Why the article would be of professional interest to some or all practising solicitors.
- What it will add to the understanding of the area.
- What the areas of novelty or controversy are.
- Who the author is and why they are qualified to write on this topic.
- It is useful to have a few lines detailing these points that can be emailed to the Gazette .
- When you can send the final-draft article.
Authors should avoid certain formats for their contributions. The Gazette ’s content is predominantly articles in paragraphs. Bullet-points are used very sparingly and we never publish articles that are in the form of ‘Q&A’ or ‘FAQs’. Complex graphics are also not suitable.
We want authors to write with authority and in their own voice – not to try to write a journalist-style feature where they have interviewed other people.
Note, we are not an academic journal, and articles should not include footnotes or endnotes.
A certain level of knowledge on the part of the readership can and should be assumed, but articles should be understandable for lawyers for whom this is not their specialist area. Among the reasons for us to reject an article is when it is too consumer or public facing. While many non-lawyers, including clients and potential clients, read the Gazette (which may be to the benefit of the authors), we do not commission with that audience in mind.
Legal updates and practice points should be between 800 and 900 words long. This is a single page of the print edition, and allows us to use it in print and/or online, depending on space and other editorial considerations.
Please note, we do not pay external contributors.
Why an article might be rejected
Sometimes we are unable to publish an article, even if an author was asked to submit. Reasons include:
- The article is defamatory.
- It does not meet our style requirements.
- It is the wrong length.
- Its content is different to that pitched.
- The content or analysis does not meet our editorial standards.
- The article has been overtaken by events.
- The article has been used to promote a particular product or service.
- In responding to other events, we have taken a decision as to what we should be publishing.
We look forward to hearing from you. The information here is based on what we tell would-be contributors when they contact us – we thought it would be helpful to make it available online.
Eduardo Reyes, commissioning and features editor