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.
Deadline: April 1, 2021
Tell us about interesting ethical issues that you have experienced. What are the ethical rules lawyers should consider when discussing cases in the media? What ethical issues arise when a judge runs for re-election or a lawyer runs for election as a judge? What ethical concerns do lawyers face when engaging in the representation of clients, in communicating with prospective clients, or in declining legal representation?
Theme: Bankruptcy Law
Deadline: June 1, 2021
What is it that non-bankruptcy practitioners need to know about bankruptcy law? What are the basics? What are new developments in this field of law? What are some interesting new cases? Are there any new laws or rules that affect the practice of bankruptcy law? What are the ethical issues and pitfalls of which lawyers need to be aware?
Theme: The Long-Term Effects of COVID-19
Deadline: August 1, 2021
COVID-19 has impacted the practice of law in ways we never foresaw. How are things different for you as law students, attorneys, and judges? What changes came into effect during the pandemic that are here to stay? What did not work so well and how would you change it for the better? How has the pandemic affected your practice area and the type of work that you do? What types of cases will we see arising from COVID-19? Have you experienced an increase in the use of online dispute resolution? How have we had to adapt to stay in compliance with ethical rules regarding the practice of law?
Deadline: October 1, 2021
Mentors are valuable, especially in the legal profession. If you have had a good mentoring experience during your legal career, please tell us about it. What are the characteristics of a good mentor, a good mentee, and a good mentoring relationship? Does your employer or Inn have a mentoring program, and, if so, what makes it successful? Please share with us how you have benefited from mentoring or being a mentor.
Theme: Wellness in the Legal Profession
Deadline: December 1, 2021
Unfortunately, law students, attorneys and judges are at risk for alcoholism, substance abuse and other conditions that affect one’s well-being. What can be done when a legal professional has a condition that indicates they should not be practicing law or on the bench? What programs exist to assist individuals suffering from these conditions? How can we help them obtain treatment? What ethical issues are involved? Please share your suggestions on how to stay well.
Theme: Outreach and Pro Bono Projects
Deadline: February 1, 2022
Many Inns throughout the country participate in outreach and pro bono service projects. Tell us about the projects with which your Inn has been involved. Who were the beneficiaries of the project and how were they positively impacted? How did your Inn members contribute and how did Inn members and the Inn benefit from their volunteerism? How do outreach and pro bono projects tie into the mission of the American Inns of Court?
Theme: Re-entry Programs
Deadline: April 1, 2022
Many courts have re-entry programs such as Drug Court and Veterans Court, to name two such programs. The purpose of these courts, and other similar courts, is to decrease incarceration and encourage citizens to become productive again. Tell us about the courts in your jurisdiction, what they do and how they benefit society. Have you been a judge, an attorney or administrator in one of these courts? If so, please share your experiences.
Theme: Elder Law
Deadline: June 1, 2022
Do you work in elder law? If so, please share your experience as a judge or an attorney working in this interesting area of law. What are the basics that individuals who do not usually practice in this area need to know? What are the issues that frequently come up and what are the important cases? Please share your knowledge with us, including any ethical issues that arise in the practice of elder law.
Theme: Working with Witnesses
Deadline: August 1, 2022
Many attorneys work with witnesses, whether they are fact or expert witnesses. What are the best practices and the ethical and professional issues involved when working with witnesses? What do you need to do or know before contacting a witness? What are the rules regarding compensating or reimbursing witnesses? Does the type of witness preparation in which an attorney may engage depend on the relationship with the witness? Please share with us your experience in working with witnesses.
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?
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?
Article submissions should be e-mailed to Rita Zimmerman. We look forward to having you contribute to The Bencher.