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, 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?
Theme: Ethics and Professionalism in Alternative Dispute Resolution
Deadline: June 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.
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?
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?
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?
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.