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Wisconsin Lawyer

Writing a Book Review

Lawyers are encouraged to submit brief book reviews (no more than 300 words, about 1.5 double-spaced, typed pages) for publication. Reviewed books must be related to law but can be practical, scholarly, theoretical, entertaining, or focus on social issues having a legal or constitutional component; the goal is to include a variety of subjects and types of books. The Wisconsin Lawyer™ editors have a list of books available for review, or you may review a book you already have read, as long as it is related to law. If you choose to review a book not provided by the editors, please contact the editors to discuss whether the book is appropriate before writing your review.

Book review authors need not necessarily be "expert" in the area of the law they are reviewing. If the reviewed work purports to be easily understood and useful to practitioners of all skill levels, the reviewer should discuss this point. The review also should address any other information the materials include that increase usefulness to readers, such as forms, charts, bibliographies and indexes, and whether the materials are available in other media.

Reviews must be typewritten, double-spaced, using a common word processing program, such as Word™. The Wisconsin Lawyer prefers an informal, reader-accessible writing style. Include a brief biography (two to three sentences, including law school and graduation date). Please do not submit a photograph.

Reviewers are reminded to write objectively. A book review is not the forum for any political or other personal agenda. Reviews are subject to editing for style, length, and clarity.

Authors should submit their review within the agreed time period. Limited extensions may be possible; discuss this with the WL editors. Authors who cannot submit the review in the agreed time should return the materials to the editors for distribution to another reviewer. Authors must sign and return a copy of the Book Review Column Conflicts Questionnaire with their completed book reviews. Authors of completed, submitted reviews may keep the materials they review.

If you are interested in reviewing a book, please contact Karlé Lester, Associate Editor, at the State Bar, P.O. Box 7158, Madison, WI 53707-7158; direct dial at (608) 250-6127; or email

Please submit your review by email to

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