American Journal of Trial Advocacy

The American Journal of Trial Advocacy is the nation’s oldest law review dedicated to the advancement of trial advocacy. The journal categorizes manuscripts by topic and intended audience: articles, commentaries and trial or courtroom techniques. Commentaries allow authors to discuss controversial topics that may be outside the scope of a full-length article. Articles are thoroughly researched discussions of new theories of law applicable to the trial attorney’s practice. Trial techniques, unique to the journal, are how-to discussions of proven trial tactics that include supporting case law and other research. The journal provides both theoretical analysis of the law as well as analysis of actual litigation practices.

Through the efforts of the late Dean Donald E. Corley, the American Journal of Trial Advocacy was founded in 1977. Dean Corley believed demands were rising throughout the profession for increased study and analysis of trial advocacy as a specialty within the law. Traditional law reviews have been unable to meet these demands due to their emphasis on a theoretical analysis of the body of the law. Because of their restrictive formats, ordinary law reviews do not deal with actual litigation practices to any significant degree.

The American Journal of Trial Advocacy publishes articles authored by prominent attorneys, judges and clinical professors throughout the country. These articles address proven tactics and techniques at the pre-trial, trial and appellate level. Student-written notes, comments and recent developments focus on new developments in the law that most directly affect trial practice and procedure. The journal, in its fourth decade of publication, has tremendous potential for breaking new legal ground, supplying the largest section of the bar with trial techniques and gaining a national circulation greater than any other law review in the South. The circulation of the American Journal of Trial Advocacy reaches all fifty states as well as eight foreign countries.


Journal members are selected from a highly competitive candidates writing program. Students ranked at the top of their class and select winners of writing and advocacy competitions are extended invitations to participate in the program, which consists of a write-on competition and Bluebook examination. This competitive admittance program ensures a continued high level of quality throughout the American Journal of Trial Advocacy’s writing and editing process.

An invitation to participate in a Writing Program for membership on the American Journal of Trial Advocacy is an honor extended to eligible Cumberland students who earn the privilege to write for membership. The Journal offers two annual Writing Programs, one in the summer and one in January.

The Summer Writing Program is conducted in June and July for Cumberland students who complete their first year in the top one-third of their class. Additionally, the Journal offers candidacy for the summer program to: (1) the authors of the best memos or briefs in Cumberland’s LLR Program; (2) the finalists of the Parham H. Williams Freshman Trial Competition; and (3) the winners of the Donworth Freshman Moot Court Competition, provided they finish their first year with a minimum 3.0 g.p.a.

Important: First year law students who think they might be eligible should submit their summer contact information to the Journal by the first of June to avoid delays in receiving an invitation to participate in the writing program. Review our Summer Writing Program Schedule and fill out our Summer Contact form.

A January Writing Program is conducted for 2L students who move into the top one-third of their class after their third semester. Emails and letters will be sent to eligible students as soon as class rankings are released each January. (Some students who transfer into Cumberland after their first year may be eligible and should contact the Journal to see if they qualify.)


The American Journal of Trial Advocacy is published three times yearly by students of Samford University's Cumberland School of Law.

Subscriptions are $24 per year ($15/issue), payable in advance, and are renewed automatically unless canceled prior to publication of the summer issue. Please fill out the Subscription Order Form if you are interested in purchasing a subscription.

American Journal of Trial Advocacy Seal

Notification of address changes should be sent to the Journal immediately and should include both old and new addresses as well as account number. The Journal is unable to supply replacement copies. All communications may be sent via email or to:

American Journal of Trial Advocacy
Cumberland School of Law
Samford University
800 Lakeshore Drive, ROBH 301
Birmingham, Alabama 35229

Reprints of published articles are available from the Journal office for a small fee. Indices for each volume are printed in its third issue. Back issues of Journal materials published prior to this year may be purchased from:

William S. Hein & Co.
2350 North Forest Road
Getzville, NY 14068

A separate copy of issue 37:3 containing the 2014 symposium “Today and Tomorrow: The Challenges of E-Discovery in Litigation” is available to purchase for a brief time for only $15 (use the order form here).


Author Guidelines

The Journal is dedicated to the art and science of trial advocacy. Accordingly, the Journal categorizes manuscripts by topic and intended audience: articles, commentaries, and trial or courtroom techniques. Commentaries allow authors to discuss controversial topics that may be outside the scope of a full-length article. Articles are thoroughly researched discussions of new theories of law applicable to the trial attorney's practice. Trial techniques, unique to the Journal, are how-to discussions of proven trial tactics that include supporting case law and other research.

Topic Selection

Submissions should be of practical utility to trial lawyers and judges and provide current information on techniques, strategies, or the law. You may contact an Articles Editor prior to beginning a manuscript in order to avoid overlapping topics. (You can email us or complete our Author Information and Response Form.)


Scholarly writing requires proper citation of authorities for legal assertions. Further, scholarship often benefits from citations to further material which may aid the reader in utilizing the provided information. The Journal follows the legal citation rules in the most recent edition of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation.


Articles are typically 5000 to 8000 words in length (25-50 double-spaced pages). However, the length of a manuscript ultimately depends upon the nature of the topic and its treatment. Trial Techniques, which are often more "how-to" pieces, are sometimes shorter in length (15-30 double-spaced pages) and contain fewer footnotes (25-100).


A manuscript may be co-authored. However, the Journal does not publish student authors or co-authors in the Article, Commentary, or Trial Techniques sections. Footnotes may be used in order to acknowledge the assistance of students such as law clerks or research assistants. (Note: We reserve publication of student pieces for Journal members only.)


Copyright remains generally with the author, though the Journal retains certain copyright privileges in order to facilitate reproduction on research databanks such as Westlaw and LexisNexis. Authors will be asked to sign an agreement that sets out the terms of publication. The Journal acknowledges the right of authors to use their material in future publication efforts, however. Reprint permissions are freely granted to others upon their proper acknowledgement of the Journal's copyright.


The Journal furnishes all authors with two copies of the issue in which their article appears, along with an exact PDF of the article. Bound reprints of articles are available to authors at reasonable cost.

Editorial Policy

The editorial staff reserves the right to make necessary editorial changes, though all possible deference is given to an author’s style of writing. Authors are provided final copies of their manuscript for review just prior to publication. The Journal reserves the right to accept or deny publication of any manuscript. Should problems arise regarding publication of an article, the editors will make every effort to work with an author.

Submission & Format

The Journal uses WordPerfect and Word in the production of its books. We welcome submissions in either format via email. If you wish to mail your manuscript, please submit two (2) hard copies as well as a copy on CD or diskette to the mailing address on our contact page.

Privacy Statement

The names and email addresses entered in this journal site will be used exclusively for the stated purposes of this journal and will not be made available for any other purpose or to any other party.

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Contact Us

American Journal of Trial Advocacy
Lynda L. Reynolds
(205) 726-2959
(205) 726-2938 (fax)
Robinson Hall, Room 301