The ELJ By-Laws

The Elder Law Journal By-laws (last amended on Feb. 7, 2023) can be found here. The by-laws are rules created and voted into fruition by the ELJ to control the way ELJ operates.

The ELJ Student Note

Production of a note of publishable quality is required for continuing membership on The Elder Law Journal. This opportunity is provided only to ELJ members. The note is an article that the student writer on the ELJ submits for publication. The length of the note varies, depending on what is required for a thorough analysis of the topic chosen by the member and approved by the board. However, as a general guideline, a note should be approximately thirty to forty-five pages double-spaced, typewritten pages of text with an equal number of triple-spaced pages of endnotes.

Publication is a significant achievement, but due to space limitations, not all student notes can be published in the ELJ. The policy of the Board, however, is that the quality of the notes produced rather than space should be the primary criteria for publication; your note is judged on its own merits, not the merits of your peers’ notes. The Board does not set a specific number of student notes to be published per year. Offers of publication are usually made conditional upon further editing or continuing journal membership.

The Process of Writing for the ELJ can be downloaded here.

Important Deadlines for the 2023–2024 academic year can be downloaded here.

ELJ’s Footnote Guide can be downloaded here.

ELJ’s Style Guide can be downloaded here.

Lastly, don’t forget about the Joint Writing Competition page; which provides useful information on writing an effective note and common citation errors that are still relevant even though you already made it onto the ELJ.

ELJ Cite Checks & Proofreading

An important part of ELJ membership includes proofreading and citation checks. Each member is expected to individually check their assigned citations and at a designated time, meet with their assigned partner(s) to review their edits to the citations. This is a weekly commitment. The number of citations assigned and the designated partner(s) will vary from week to week. The purpose of this section is to provide the expected guidelines for these tasks.

ELJ’s Expectations for Cite Checks & Proofreading can be downloaded here.

ELJ’s Proofreading Marks Guide can be downloaded here.

UIUC Box is where all assignments will be located and can be accessed here.

The Online Bluebook can be found here.

Bluebook 101 (from the University of Washington) can be found here.

Common Mistakes

The following are common mistakes that the editors have found during cite checks. Review this list before submitting your manuscript.

(1) When material can be cited as a report or a website, ELJ cites it as a report and adds “, available at [link]” at the end. (R16 journal/ periodical does NOT follow this rule. No websites should be added to a journal/periodical citation).

(2) Which dash is the most dashing of dashes? Answer: it depends.

Small dash/ Hyphen (-) is used for hyphenated words (e.g. the green-spotted lion jumped over the glitter-encrusted bridge)

En dash (–, option + dash on a Mac; Alt + 0150 on Windows) is for page numbers and phone numbers. Only one en dash is used between the numbers. Other ranges should use “to.” Think “n” for “numbers.” (e.g. Johnson, supra note 4–5, 123–1234, May to July)

Em dash (—, shift + option + dash on Mac; Alt + 0151 on Windows) acts as a break in a sentence, similar to, but stronger than a comma. No spaces before or after the em dash.  Use an em dash on both sides of the full thought. Think “m” is bigger than “n” or “m” is for a “memory.” (e.g. Man Searched for Meaning—the greatest book in the world—states that…)

(3) R1.4 order of authorities. When there is a string of citations within one citation, don’t forget to look at R1.4 order of authorities to make sure the order is correct. This was the most commonly missed thing on the JWC.

(4) The index is your friend! The first thing you should do with a new citation is look at the index for guidance. Sometimes there is a special rule for the particular source. E.g. GAO Reports (R13.4, pg. 139) do not follow the typical report rules ( R15, pg. 149).

(5) R6.2 spelling out numbers (pg. 88) – In the text of the article (this does not apply to citations), in general, you spell out numbers zero to ninety-nine. However, there are several exceptions. Therefore, whenever you come across numbers while editing, stop and check this rule before proceeding.

(6) Websites with or without authors (R18.2.2, p. 182) – If there is an author, the author starts the citation. If there is an institutional author, the citation starts with the article name.

(7) Websites “last visited” date is the day of the cite check (because that’s when you should have last visited it).

(8) To change typical Roman-type to small caps (or vice versa): Command + D, click or unclick “small caps.” On Mac, Command + Shift + K.

(9) Abbreviations. Tables 6 Institutional Authors + 10 Locations are used for abbreviation of institutional authors of websites and case names. Tables 10 Locations + 13 Periodicals are used to abbreviate periodical names. If you abbreviate a word, check R6.1 for spacing rules on abbreviations.

(10) Periodical Names. Omit the words “a,” “at,” “in,” “of,” and “the” (but retain the word “on”) and omit any commas in periodical names. (T13, p. 510) This rule does NOT apply to website names but don’t forget to replace “and” with “&” in website or case names.

TIP! If you are looking for a court docket that is still pending or resulted in a non-written opinion ruling, use Bloomberg Dockets.