Deadlines & Themes for The Bencher

The Bencher magazine is the flagship publication of the American Inns of Court and published six times per year. Submissions are welcome and membership is not require to contribute an article. If you are interested in writing, please be sure to review our Editorial Policy and Submission Guidelines. Please contact our editor with any questions.

January/February 2023
Theme: Bench-Bar Relations
Deadline: October 1, 2022
Positive relations between the bench and bar are valuable in the legal profession.  Good relationships between judges and attorneys support and improve the administration of justice, enhance service to the community, and increase professionalism within the legal system by exploring issues of emerging concern or interest that involve the local bench and bar.  What steps have been taken to bring judges and attorneys together in your community?  When the bench and bar work together, what positive outcomes can be achieved?   How does being an Inn member promote good bench-bar relations?


March/April 2023
Theme: Law School Education
Deadline: December 1, 2022
Inn of Court members who are legal educators and law students are facing many challenging issues. Tell us about the state of legal education. From learning and teaching remotely, taking the bar exam, obtaining practical experience and jobs, to dealing with student loans, what are the issues that affect law students and legal educators? What words of advice do you have for those who soon will be entering the profession?

May/June 2023
Theme: Excellence in Legal Writing
Deadline: February 1, 2023
There is always room for improvement, especially when it comes to legal writing. Even the most seasoned attorneys or judges can enhance their writing skills and become better written communicators. What skills have you learned over the years that have made you a more persuasive advocate? What are common pitfalls that you try and avoid when writing a brief or motion? What guidance have you given others to improve their writing skills? Share your best writing tips.

July/August 2023
Theme: Dealing with Difficult Situations
Deadline: April 1, 2023
Most if not all practitioners have experienced difficult clients, co-workers, opposing counsel, and cases. Tell us about a situation where you faced such a situation and what you did to resolve the issue. What advice have you received from others to successfully deal with difficult situations? How have you counseled more inexperienced attorneys to respond to such a situation? Describe difficult situations that you have encountered, and provide practical tips for others should they face similar situations.

September/October 2023
Theme: Judicial Roundtable
Deadline: June 1, 2023
Judges have a unique perspective to view and evaluate attorneys, cases, and litigants from the bench. What have you learned about the practice of law since becoming a judge? What advice do you have for practitioners for improvement? What advice do you have for law students considering a judicial clerkship or internship? Do you witness the same common pitfalls from practitioners over and over again, and what can you offer to help them avoid these pitfalls? Share your judicial perspective and stories from your unique vantagepoint.

November/December 2023
Theme: Connecting to our Roots
Deadline: August 1, 2023
The American Inns of Court program drew its inspiration from the traditional Inns of Court in London, and American Inns can still benefit by looking to our English origins. Tell us about the creation of your Inn, highlighting any connections to an English Inn of Court. When was your Inn founded, by whom, and under what circumstances? How has your Inn evolved over time to become what it is today? Are there any traditions that your Inn adopted from our model Inns across the pond? Share a story connecting your Inn to our roots.   

January/February 2024
Theme: Advice for Young Attorneys  
Deadline: October 1, 2024
Mentorship can have a profound impact on the career of a young attorney. What is the best advice you ever received in your legal career? How did that advice shape your career and/or make you a better attorney? What advice do you wish you had when you were graduating law school? What advice have you given young attorneys that enabled them to overcome challenges and succeed in the practice of law? Please share your best advice for young attorneys.

March/April 2024
Theme: Women in the Law
Deadline: December 1, 2023
In honor of Women’s History Month, we welcome stories of female legal trailblazers from across the country. Tell us about a female president of your state bar association or a female federal judge in your district. What was her career like, and what impact did she have on your legal community? What challenges did she face and overcome? Interviews with current female legal trailblazers are also welcome. Share an inspiring story of a female trailblazer.

May/June 2024
Theme:  Ethics and Professionalism in Alternative Dispute Resolution
Deadline: February 1, 2024
Although alternative dispute resolution has distinctive advantages, it also has unique challenges. Have you ever had an ethical or professional conundrum during negotiation, mediation, or arbitration? How did you resolve it? What if the ethical issue is with the neutral himself or herself? What do you do? How do you train more inexperienced attorneys to deal with such issues? Share your best advice for dealing with ethical issues in alternative dispute resolution.

Article submissions should be e-mailed to Rita Zimmerman. We look forward to having you contribute to The Bencher.