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 2024
Theme: Advice for Young Attorneys  
Deadline: October 1, 2023
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.

July/August 2024
Theme: Technology
Deadline: April 1, 2024
Technology continues to evolve at an ever-increasing rate. What are the latest technological advancements in the legal profession? How is current technology impacting the practice of law? Is technology being incorporated effectively in your legal practice and/or in the courtroom? What are some of the benefits and successes—or pitfalls and disadvantages—of technology in the legal profession today? Are there any associated ethical implications?

September/October 2024
Theme: Immigration
Deadline: June 1, 2024
The status of immigration law, with respect to both domestic immigration and international migration, is ever-changing. Are there unsettled practices about which attorneys need clarification? What legal-related programs are in place in legal service organizations and bar associations to assist immigrants? What are some ethical situations that may arise as part of this important work, and what best practices have you developed to address them?

November/December 2024
Theme: Lawyers and Disaster Relief
Deadline: August 1, 2024
Natural and human-caused disasters seem to be occurring at an ever-increasing rate. Have you or legal organizations in which you are involved assisted in response efforts? What lessons did you learn, and what steps can be taken to be prepared to assist in the future? What examples of professionalism in these situations can you share? Does your practice have an emergency response plan in place to service the public in the event of a disaster? How can lawyers help other lawyers in a disaster situation, and how can the courts assist?  

January/February 2025
Theme: Mentoring
Deadline: October 1, 2024
Mentor/mentee relationships are incredibly valuable, especially in the legal profession. Do you have a positive mentoring experience to share? What are characteristics of a good mentor, a good mentee, and a good mentoring relationship? Which ethical considerations are particularly important when mentoring? Does your employer or Inn have a mentoring program, and, if so, what makes it successful? Are there “best practices” you can share? In what innovative ways have you encountered mentoring relationships?

March/April 2025
Theme: Bar Associations
Deadline: December 1, 2024
Bar associations play a vital role, both professionally and socially, in the practice of law at the local, statewide, and national levels. What role should bar associations play in improving the administration of justice? Do bar associations provide an effective conduit between the bench and the bar? How have you effectively used your bar association membership to improve the practice of law? How do the roles of bar associations and Inns intersect, and what can each learn from the other?

May/June 2025
Theme: Pro Bono
Deadline: February 1, 2025
Our country has a “Justice Gap”: the civil legal needs of impoverished Americans exceed the resources available to meet those needs. What programs or projects does your Inn have in place to address pro bono needs? Who are the beneficiaries of these activities, and how are they positively impacted? How did your Inn members contribute and how did they, and the Inn, benefit from their volunteerism? How do pro bono activities tie into the mission of the American Inns of Court? Share your pro bono stories.

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