Style Guide

The LMU Loyola Law School style guide provides basic standards for grammar, spelling and punctuation. It is intended as a general guide and extension of the Associated Press Stylebook, one of the most popular and standardized mass communication guides used throughout the world for the past century. Writers working in broadcasting, magazine publishing, marketing departments and public relations firms traditionally adopt and apply AP grammar and punctuation styles. Therefore, we long ago adopted AP style for official communications and publications.

The first section covers matters of style and preferences specific to Loyola Law School. Like every style guide, our aim is consistency, clarity and correctness. If you have a question that is not addressed in this guide, please feel free to contact Marketing and Communications.

Updated August 2019

Preferred Style, Quick Reference

LLS References/Landmarks

[A guide to Westchester References/Landmarks is available here.]

Awards - Place in quotes if it is an award feature, ie: “She was featured among the Los Angeles Daily Journal’s “Top 50 Women Litigators.” Other awards require no quotes, ie: The American Board of Trial Advocates named him Best Oral Advocate at its 2012 competition. An attorney is on the list of Southern California Super Lawyers. 

Capitalization - Capitalize professional titles only when they appear directly before the person's name (Professor Lauren Willis; Willis, a professor....). Exception: Always capitalize endowed chair titles, no matter where they appear in the sentence (Laurie Levenson, David W. Burcham Professor of Ethical Advocacy) 

Chairs - A professor is the holder of an endowed chair, not the chair itself. Examples: Laurie Levenson, David W. Burcham Professor of Ethical Advocacy; Gary Williams, holder of the Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Chair in Civil Rights.   

Clinics and centers - Spell out the entire name of a clinic or center on first reference. In subsequent references, if referring to the clinic or institute, the word should be lowercase without the official name attached, ie: “She was an advocate at the Center for Juvenile Law & Policy’s Juvenile Justice Clinic for two years. She credits the clinic with preparing her to hit the ground running.” Ampersands are OK to use in titles, logos and for brevity (Center for Juvenile Law & Policy); otherwise, spell out “and,” ie: Center for the Study of Law and Genocide. When in doubt, consult the program’s website. 

  • Alarcón Advocacy Center
  • Asia-America Law Institute
  • Center for Juvenile Law & Policy
  • Center for the Study of Law & Genocide
  • Civil Justice Program
  • Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy and Innovation (begin with "The" on first reference)
  • Collaborative Family Law Clinic
  • Collateral Consequences of Conviction Justice Project
  • Conciliation and Mediation Assistance Clinic
  • Consumer Bankruptcy Clinic
  • Dependency Court Mediation Assistance Clinic
  • Employment Rights Clinic
  • Fashion Law Clinic
  • Federal Public Defender Death Penalty Clinic
  • Genocide Justice Clinic
  • Hobbs District Attorney Clinic
  • International Human Rights Center
  • Juvenile Innocence and Fair Sentencing Clinic
  • Juvenile Justice Clinic
  • Loyola Center for Conflict Resolution
  • Loyola Center for Conflict Resolution
  • Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic
  • Loyola Project for the Innocent
  • Loyola Public Service Institute
  • Loyola Social Justice Law Clinic (umbrella housing LLS' live-client clinics)
  • Ninth Circuit Appellate Clinic
  • Pro Se Mediation Advocacy Clinic
  • Project on Dispute Resolution and Development
  • Shriver Landlord Tenant Clinic
  • Veterans Justice Clinic
  • Workers' Rights Clinic
  • Youth Justice Education Clinic

Classes - Uppercase when referring to specific Loyola Law School classes, ie: “Allan Ides teaches Civil Procedure.” Lowercase when generically referring to a type of law in general, ie: “She focuses her scholarship in the area of torts and remedies.”

Concentrations - Uppercase when referring to the law school’s Concentration programs, ie: Criminal Justice Concentration, or “students may select a Concentration. The Concentrations are: Civil Litigation and Advocacy; Corporate; Criminal Justice; Cybersecurity & Data Privacy; Entertainment & New Media Law; Entrepreneurship; Immigrant Advocacy; Intellectual Property Law; International and Comparative Law; Public Interest Law; and Tax Law.

Courts - Some courts common to Loyola Law School publications:

  • California Court of Appeal (no “s” - not plural)
  • Los Angeles Superior Court (shortened name for Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County that is OK in most instances)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (the federal appeals court for California); its members are judges.
  • U.S. Supreme Court - Lowercase court when not part of proper noun Supreme Court. Its members are associate justices; there is one chief justice.

Day Division Program - Uppercase. Day Program and Full-Time Program also acceptable.

Degrees - No period in degree abbreviations, ie: JD, BA, LLM. When referring to Loyola Law School’s LLMs: It’s the 3-Year JD/Tax LLM or Tax LLM. When referring generically to such programs, they are tax LLMs. Never use an apostrophe when pluralizing – unless you are making it possessive, ie: The Tax LLM’s prowess is unrivaled. Loyola Law School Law School degrees include:

  • Doctor of Juridical Science (JSD)
  • Juris Doctor - Day and Evening JD
  • LLX Executive Education (certificate, not degree)
  • Master of Science in Legal Studies (MLS)
  • Master of Tax Law (MT)
  • Master of Taxation (LLM)
  • Online Master of Tax Law (MT)
  • Online Master of Taxation (Tax LLM)

Evening Division Program -Uppercase when the official full title is used. Also uppercase Evening Division or Part-Time Program.

Government - Abbreviate titles of elected officials when appearing before the name, ie: Gov. Robert (Bob) Miller.  The formal rules generally say that if there’s only one official at a time, their last official gives way to "Hon."  If there are many (Senator, Judge, Ambassador, General), you keep the title. 

Graduate Tax Program - The umbrella for all of Loyola Law School's online tax programs, including the Tax LLM and Master of Tax Law (MT).

Hyphens -For compound modifiers, hyphenate when it clarifies following AP Style. For example, “Sande Buhai tracks public-interest cases.”

Judges - Use salutation Hon. before name, ie: Hon. Arthur L. Alarcón. Use caution when referring to judges by synonyms. Judge Alarcón was a senior circuit judge, not a justice. Anthony M. Kennedy is an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. There are also magistrate judges and court commissioners – most of whom take the title of Hon. When in doubt about how to refer to a judge, check the court’s website. If the judge is retired, note it: Hon. Frederick J. Lower (ret.). 

Latin words - No italics. 

Law reviews - Loyola Law School has three law reviews; their names should be spelled out in their entirety on first reference. Acronyms or shortened titles are OK on subsequent references;

  • Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review: the Law Review or LLR on subsequent references
  • Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review: Entertainment Law Review or ELR on subsequent references
  • Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review:International and Comparative Law Review or ILR on subsequent references.

Legal terms - Use caution when editing legal terms or titles of legal documents. Sometimes they are awkward even though they are correct. When in doubt, check online or reference the Blue Book above. Some examples:

  • Petition for rehearing
  • Pitchess motion
  • State attorneys general
  • Writ of certiorari

Loyola Law School - LMU house style for the seven university college calls for prefixing LMU to each college's name. For LLS, that means LMU Loyola Law School on first reference. This same method should be used in interactions with the media. In following references, use Loyola Law School and LLS. When used without identification, law school should be lowercase

Nicknames - Many attorneys go by their full name with initial in official dealings. If a nickname is required in order to help readers recognize the alum, place it in parentheses, ie: Gov. Robert (Bob) Miller.

Specializations - Capitalize in reference to Loyola Law School's LLM and MLS focus areas. 

Students and alumni 

  • Alumni: Include graduation year, (Courtney Yoder ’06; David E. Burcham ’84)
  • Current students: Day students are Ds (ie: 3D Puneet Toor), evening students are Es (ie: 4E Jeff Ingram); students may also be referred to by expected year of graduation (ie: Jeff Ingram ’22) but be sure to ask the student what this date is as it can vary by program.