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Abbreviations and Acronyms
- As a general rule, uppercase abbreviations have no periods. However, use J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D. Leave periods out of MBA.
- Avoid abbreviations such as CAA for Clean Air Act. Well-known abbreviations like EPA and ACLU may be used on second reference if they will be repeated at least two times in a single article or web page. Enclose the abbreviation in parentheses after spelling it out the first time.
- In headlines, capitalize all of the principal words including It and Is. Only capitalize prepositions of four letters or more (With, Over, Through, Above).
- Semesters are lowercase.
Class Years and Degrees
- Specify the degree only if the graduate received a degree other than a J.D.
- On first reference of alumni, use a backward apostrophe and two-digit graduation year one space after name: Michael Porter ’68 and Stacey Ericsson ’99 LL.M.
- Be sure to use a curly rather than straight vertical quotation mark.
- On first mention, refer to the Dean by her complete title: Gillian Lester, Dean and the Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law. For subsequent mentions, refer to her as Dean Lester.
Centers and Programs
- With few exceptions, Law School centers and programs do not begin with the word “The.” On subsequent references, do not capitalize center or program.
Columbia Law School
- The Law School and Columbia Law are the preferred shortened versions of Columbia Law School. CLS is acceptable in limited cases in informal, brief communications such as social media posts.
Courses, Externships, and Clinics
- Capitalize courses, clinics, and externships only when used as proper nouns. Do not use quotes.
- Endowed titles are capitalized after the individual’s name.
- On subsequent references, refer to professors by last name only.
- The abbreviation Prof. is used in headlines and social media posts where space is at a premium.
- Lecturer in Law is not hyphenated.
Says, Not Said
- When quoting an individual, use says for a brochure and similar communications where the date of speech isn’t relevant. This construction contributes to a fresh, timeless feeling. Use said for announcements, events coverage, and other quotes where the date is relevant.
- Do not use www or http before a web address.
- Do not write click or click here before a link. Simply embed the link.
- Lowercase internet, web, and website.
- Homepage and website and are one word, lowercase.
- We use the serial comma.