AALL Spectrum Submission Guidelines

Last updated August 3, 2022

As the official bimonthly magazine of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), AALL Spectrum provides informative and engaging articles of interest to AALL members. The magazine informs readers about the ever-changing, multifaceted world of legal information professionals on areas including the transformation of law, career and leadership development, accessibility, education, information technology, and best practices. The magazine also keeps members apprised of Association events and activities.

AALL Spectrum is published six times a year; it is distributed to all members free of charge and is available by subscription to nonmembers.


The American Association of Law Libraries is responsible for the creation and approval of general policies relating to the content, advertising, budget, and production of AALL Spectrum.

All content is copyrighted by the American Association of Law Libraries, except where otherwise expressly indicated. Except where otherwise expressly provided, the authors have granted permission for copies of their articles to be made for classroom use or for any other educational purpose provided that (1) copies are distributed at or below cost, (2) author and AALL Spectrum are identified, and (3) proper notice of copyright is affixed to each copy. For items in which it holds copyright, the American Association of Law Libraries grants permission for copies to be made for classroom use or for any other educational purpose under the same conditions.


AALL Spectrum seeks authoritative, well-researched articles about legal information and the profession.  Articles that inform, inspire, provoke, influence, or help improve practices are welcome additions to AALL Spectrum. Each submission should be an original, educational piece.

The AALL Spectrum Editorial Board is charged with identifying member content needs, and work with authors to help shape the content to ensure material is engaging and applicable to members. Content is provided by volunteer authors in the form of substantive articles.

AALL Spectrum prefers a thorough, detailed proposal letter that fully outlines the article topic. Please view our editorial calendar to see which issue seems like a good fit. If you have any questions, pleas email Heather Haemker, AALL director of marketing & communications. If you proposal is accepted, please observe AALL’s publishing guidelines, deadline, and word count (as stated below).


The AALL Spectrum Editorial Board has put together a list of best practices to assist you in the drafting and publishing process.



AALL Spectrum reserves the right to determine if and when submitted material is published. Whenever possible, the author will be contacted by either the AALL Spectrum editorial director or AALL director of marketing & communications to discuss questions of intention and interpretation. All submissions will be edited for clarity, grammar, and length. AALL has final discretion for specific content, form, and style of all items published in the magazine.


AALL Spectrum is a magazine, not an academic journal. Please write crisp, clear, and concise prose in a conversational yet succinct tone. Avoid jargon and arcane language. AALL Spectrum will not publish footnotes; directly credit sources within the body of the article by quoting or paraphrasing them. Ideally, all articles should be formatted in third person. However, exceptions can be made.  All submitted material is expected to be well-written and proofread by the authors for factual errors. Authors bear full responsibility for accuracy of information and quotations.

AALL has full editorial rights to the article. AALL Spectrum follows The Chicago Manual of Style Seventeenth Edition and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition for matters of style and usage, as well as an AALL Style Guide specific to the editorial requirements of the Association. Additional requirements for submissions are listed below:

  • Length Feature articles should be between 2,000 and 2,500 words. News and department articles are typically between 800 and 1,200 words. Shorter or longer articles will be considered. A specific length will be provided to the author(s) at the time of submission acceptance by the AALL director of marketing & communications.
  • Format All articles must be submitted via email in a Microsoft Word file. AALL prefers articles be submitted using 12-point, Arial font. All articles should be single spaced and void of indents or any other special formatting. When submitting your article, please include your name, title, library, institution, city, state, and email address within the document. Please don’t embed graphics or tables in the article submissions. Place electronic graphics in a separate file (see Art and Photo Requirements below). Additionally, submit high resolution (300 dpi) headshots for each author.

Please email Heather Haemker, AALL director of marketing & communications, with questions.


Photographs and graphic elements are accepted and should be turned in with the article. The author is responsible for obtaining permission for publication from the person(s) in each photograph and from the creator of any graphic submitted. Electronic images are required and should be photographed or scanned at an original size of approximately 8 inches by 10 inches at a minimum 300 dpi resolution in .TIFF or .JPEG format.

All submitted photos or graphics must include a numbered caption sheet. Captions should be detailed, identifying all individuals in the photos or artwork, and should clearly identify which photo they belong with.

Please email all AALL Spectrum submissions to Heather Haemker for publication consideration.

2022-2023 AALL Spectrum Editorial Board

Tina Ching, Chair
Michelle Hook Dewey, Executive Board Liaison
Ashley Ames Ahlbrand
Allison Reeve Davis
John J. DiGilio
Itunu Sofidiya
George Taoultsides
David Whelan