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Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Call for Papers: Rhetoric & Argument

Jalwd_logo Whatever role logic and experience may have played in the life of the law, there's no doubt that rhetoric and argumentation have been an important part of what the profession does.  The Association of Legal Writing Directors is looking for papers for a special issue of its Journal on Rhetoric and Argumentation.  Submission deadline in September 15, and they're interested in short essays as well as longer pieces.  Click on "continue reading" for the Call for Papers.




The Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (J. ALWD) invites submission of articles for its Fall 2006 Rhetoric & Argumentation issue. In this "best practices" issue, the Journal will publish articles relating classical and contemporary rhetorical theory to the practice of professional legal writing.

The final deadline for submission of articles is September 15, 2005. Article selection will be completed by November 1, 2005. The Journal welcomes submissions from legal writing professionals, including law professors, lawyers, and judges, as well as from academics, researchers, and specialists from other disciplines. In addition to full- length articles, the Journal welcomes essays and practice notes. The Journal is designed to generate landmark volumes within the field of legal writing by encouraging and publishing scholarship that uses theory, research, and experience to propose and develop "best practices" within a specific subject area. The Journal aims to be an active resource and a forum for conversation between the legal practitioner and the academic scholar. To accomplish these goals, the Journal is interested in two kinds of articles: (1) articles that develop the theory and research the practice of legal writing, and (2) articles that apply theoretical and research findings from law and other disciplines to the "doing" of legal writing. In addition, the Journal will publish selected "practice notes" designed to highlight a strategy or technique applied in the field, a current problem or obstacle, or a new issue encountered in the field that has not yet received much scholarly attention.


For the Fall 2006 Rhetoric & Argumentation issue, the Journal editors envision that major articles may address subjects such as the following:

1. What classical rhetoric tells us about modes of persuasion as well as the classical techniques of invention, arrangement, and style; and how lawyers and law students can use this information to more effectively reach particular audiences.

2. How contemporary rhetorical theory (for example, the writings of James Boyd White, Stephen Toulmin, Chaim Perelman, Lloyd Bitzer, Kenneth Burke) can help lawyers and law students structure and present arguments more persuasively.

3. How the practice of rhetorical analysis can help lawyers and law students critically analyze legal documents and create more persuasive written documents.

4. Whether ethnographic and empirical research can shed light on how legal rhetoric is practiced in different professional settings.

5. Whether rhetorical theory and analysis suggests a revised view of argumentation and persuasion for legal writers and audiences.

Without compromising analytical rigor and the need to provide theoretical and research underpinnings for practical application, the Journal emphasizes readability and accessibility. To ensure the widest possible audience, the Journal appears not only in printed and bound hard copy, but also on Westlaw and the ALWD website: Volumes 1 and 2 of the Journal are available on the website.


Completed manuscripts will be accepted through September 15, 2005. The Journal editors prefer that manuscripts not be under submission elsewhere; please advise us if you are submitting your manuscript to other publications. Manuscripts should be accompanied by (1) a cover letter summarizing the article and (2) the resume of the author, including telephone number and e-mail address. For major articles, the Journal will consider manuscripts from 30 to 50 typewritten pages (7,500 to 12,500 words). For practice notes, the Journal recommends manuscripts from 5 to 15 typewritten pages. All manuscripts should be prepared in Microsoft Word 97 or higher, using double-spacing, one-inch margins, 12-14 point font, and footnotes (not endnotes). Hard copies should be submitted on 8 1/2 x 11 paper, printed on one side only. Citation format should adhere to the ALWD Citation Manual (2d ed., Aspen L. & Bus. 2003). The Journal discourages textual footnotes.

The Journal will use a two-step review process: an initial internal review by the Editorial Committee, followed by anonymous external peer review, with final publication decisions made by the Editorial Committee.

Please send submissions (preferably electronic) of proposals and completed manuscripts via Email here, or by mail to:

Linda L. Berger
Chair, Editorial Committee, J. ALWD
Thomas Jefferson School of Law
2121 San Diego Ave.
San Diego, CA 92110
Tel: (619) 374-6933
Fax: (619) 296-4284

Submissions will be acknowledged by e-mail.

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