Editorial Style Guide

Graphic Identity Quick Start Guide (pdf)

& Ampersands are not to be used except in official firm names and some top level links on the website.

acronyms In copy, use full names on first use. Add the acronym in parenthesis after the full name, after which point the acronym can be used in running copy. Acronyms should be set in capital letters. See Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) (16th ed.) 10.6 on page 490 for exceptions.

age Always use numerals. When used as adjectives before a noun, or as substitutes for a noun, use hyphens: 5-year-old boy, but the boy is 5 years old.

ALL CAPS Don’t use all caps except for acronyms.

alumni and current students Names should be followed directly by degree program and year of graduation within parentheses: John Smith (JD ’16).

Atrium Capitalize when referring to Law School’s.

Bluhm Legal Clinic Use full name on first reference, can be Clinic on second reference.

capitalization in section titles, headlines, and headers Capitalize first and last words, and all major words, but lowercase articles, prepositions, and conjunctions. See CMS (16th ed.) 8.157, page 448, for additional information.

capitalization of organization names In copy, use full names on first use, capitalized as you would for a proper noun. On subsequent use, lowercase references that use the more generic organization name: Center on Wrongful Convictions, but Center on second reference. See CMS (16th ed.) 8.61 through 8.69, pages 412–416, for detailed information on the capitalization of organizations.

Career Strategy Center Use Career Center on second reference.

Center on Wrongful Convictions Not Center for Wrongful Convictions; use Center or acronym CWC on second reference.

Communication and Legal Reasoning Not Communications

contact information

Addresses format:

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
(Building, Room (spell out))
(Street - All words spelled out: East Chicago Avenue not E. Chicago Ave.)
Chicago, Illinois 60611-3069

Phone numbers - 312.333.5555
(List internal extensions as 3.5555 in publications for internal audiences only.)

course titles Actual course titles are uppercase: He teaches Contracts, or a section of Contracts. But areas of law when not referring to actual courses are lowercase: He teaches a course in contracts or specializes in contracts.

dates Always use Arabic figures, do not use st, nd, rd, or th (April 3 not April 3rd). (See Months)

degrees No periods: JD, LLM, PhD, etc. Joint degrees connected with hyphen, but degree/certificate uses slash: JD-MBA but LLM/Kellogg.

em dashes One space before and after. (Note: hyphens and en dashes should not have spaces before and after.)

email Not e-mail.

faculty names Use full formal name with middle initial on first reference, and last name only on second reference. In some cases, such as in quotes, you may choose to use informal first name, but only on second reference.

firm names Use full name (Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott, not Bartlit Beck); double check all firm names to ensure accuracy.

hyphens Hyphens are used to create compound words. With frequent use, hyphenated compounds become closed — for example: on-line is now online — but the hyphen should always be used to aid readability. For example: co-author is preferable to coauthor, post-trial is preferable to posttrial. See CMS (16th ed.) 7.77 through 7.85, pages 372–384, for detailed information on compounds and hyphenation.

International Team Projects (ITP) The name of a program at the Law School. In running text, the first reference would be the complete name followed by the acronym in parenthesis. On subsequent references the acronym can be used.

internet Use lowercase internet, not Internet.

Kellogg School of Management Not Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Use Kellogg on second reference.

LLM Not LL.M. (see degrees)

law library Use Pritzker Legal Research Center

Law School Capitalize when referring to Northwestern Pritzker School of Law but lowercase if referring to law schools in general or another law school.

legal clinic See Bluhm Legal Clinic

months PRESS RELEASES: When used with a specific date, abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. Spell out when using alone, or with a year alone. When phrase uses month, day, and year, set off year with commas: January 2004; Jan. 5; May 15, 2005, is the convocation date. PUBLICATIONS: Spell out the month. (See dates)

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law - Full name for first use in running text. Use Northwestern Pritzker Law or the Law School on second reference. Never use abbreviations such as “NU Law” or “Pritzker Law.”

Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law - Formal name for official purposes including press releases, transcripts, publications, and for copyright use.

NU Do not use this abbreviation, spell out Northwestern University

numbers Spell out numbers up to the number 10, unless the number begins a sentence. (see Percentage)

over vs. more than “Over” is used to indicate location; use “more than” when referring to amounts, time, etc.: He jumped over the log. There are more than 10 students in the class.

percent Spell the word out in copy, do not use symbol “%”.

percentage Use numerals. Don’t spell out unless it the first word of a sentence: He is late 50 percent of the time. Five percent of the class is female.

periods Only one space follows periods in copy.

proper names as possessives Forms the possessive for names ending in an “s” with the addition of an apostrophe and an s, for example, Evans’s collection. See CMS (16th ed.) 7.15 through 7.28, pages 353–354, for detailed information on possessives.

semesters Lowercase “spring” and “fall.”

Tax Program Not Graduate Tax Program.

titles of books, law reviews, magazines These titles should be italicized (note: this is different from AP style). If the copy in which these titles appear is italicized, they should be set in roman (non-italicized) type. Article titles should be noted with quotation marks. 

Off-site links Any links to pages not on the Northwestern Law site (including main University pages) should open in a new browser window. To do this, click on link name and select “blank” in the dropdown menu under “Target” in the Properties toolbox.

pro bono No hyphen.

Center on Negotiation, Mediation, and Restorative Justice Not Negotiations

titles CMS (16th ed.) rule 8.20, page 394, explains: When a title is used before a personal name, not as part of the name but as a descriptive phrase (often with the), it should be lowercase: the Clinic's director, Tom Geraghty; Illinois governor Pat Quinn. Lowercase titles when not used with personal name: The dean made an announcement. Capitalize title when used directly before a name.

U.S. or United States Use U.S. only as an adjective; use United States as a noun: U.S. Supreme Court. He is from the United States.

Website Not web site.