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Guide for authors

Before writing anything, please contact the editor with news, feature, or law and practice ideas to discuss their suitability for publication in Legal Action. If they are not suitable, we may be able to recommend more relevant publications.

Articles accepted for publication in Legal Action should meet one or more of the magazine's aims (see editorial policy). The articles should also be:

- genuinely interesting and useful to a substantial proportion of professionals working in areas of law relating to social welfare;

- ground-breaking and original;

- authoritative, accurate and well-founded;

- written in a clear and accessible style.

Authors are also asked to supply their photograph in colour for publication - an electronic version (TIF or JPEG at 300 dpi) is preferable, otherwise please send a hard copy (but no passport photographs please).

Readership
Legal Action is aimed at solicitors, barristers and advisers in the not for profit sector (including all Citizens Advice Bureaux) doing legal aid work. Readers also include local authorities, students and academics. The magazine is sold on subscription and it has a very loyal readership, many of whom have subscribed for some time. Most subscribers keep Legal Action (we sell binders) and refer back to articles, especially in the law and practice section.

Features
Legal Action welcomes features from practitioners, legal aid policy specialists, NFP sector advisers, academics, consumers and researchers in the legal aid field. These articles will address current issues in legal aid, legal services, and topics of interest in social welfare law and related areas. We are particularly looking for pieces which inform and take forward the debate on legal aid and legal services policy or practice.

Law and practice
These pages contain the 'hard law' which practitioners find essential to their work in all areas of social welfare law and most legal aid contract areas.

There are three types of article:

- recent developments series - regular comprehensive updates in an area of law;

- one-off articles;

- case notes, usually of important but unreported cases.

If you are submitting an article for publication in the law and practice section, it would be useful to organise the article in the following way: by summarising the facts and the decision of the case(s) and providing detailed comment examining the implications of the judgment, etc, including your views on why the case is of significance to advisers.

Presentation
1. Length - try to keep to length requested.

2. Style - avoid complicated word processing styles. Try to keep the same margins throughout. Leave one line space between paragraphs and do not indent the beginning of paragraphs.

3. Headings - use up to three levels of heading and subheading (1. bold, capitals; 2. bold; 3. bold, italics).

4. Endnotes. Please DO NOT use an automatic programme. Either, (i) place notes in square brackets in the text, or (ii) list them at the end of the article.

5. Punctuation. Avoid initial capitals (eg, in defendant), and full stops in abbreviations, citations and statutory references (eg, write s88, reg 93, etc). Use single quotation marks (').

6. Statutory material. Refer to Acts first by their full name with abbreviation in brackets. Refer to regulations/rules first by their full name and SI number, with abbreviation in brackets.

7. Case citations. If available, use the neutral citation. For reported cases, give year, law report and court (eg, write [1996] 1 WLR 19, CA). If unreported, give date of hearing and court (eg, write Lambeth County Court, 22 April 1996).

8. Spelling and sense. Please do a spell check in your word processing programme and read your document through before sending it, to ensure that it makes sense.

Submission
Please e-mail the file as a word document.

General information
Generally, articles that have been accepted as suitable for Legal Action will be published within three months' written confirmation of same. Authors are free to withdraw the offer of an article if it is not published within this time limit. Articles will only be published after three months with authors' agreement.