Open Submission Programs – Annual Meeting

The Program Committee for the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools is pleased to request proposals for “open submission” programs for the 2019 Annual Meeting to be held January 2 – 6, 2019 in New Orleans. Open submission programs are those which are not sponsored by an AALS Section. All annual meeting attendees are eligible to participate as speakers.

The 2019 Annual Meeting’s theme is Building Bridges. AALS President Wendy Perdue of the University of Richmond School of Law selected the theme because “As our society struggles with this problem of deep polarization, lawyers and law schools have an important role to play. Lawyers are, after all, in the dispute resolution business. Resolving conflict is central to what we do. And today, perhaps more than ever before, the skills that we as lawyers have, and we as law professors teach, is of critical importance.” We encourage program organizers to consider using the theme in framing their proposals but it is not a requirement.

There are four types of open submission programs for the 2019 Annual Meeting:

  • Open Source programs are traditional scholarly programs outside of section programming and not sponsored by one of the AALS Sections. Closed April 13
  • Discussion Group programs provide a setting for discussions among a small group of invited faculty. Closed April 13
  • Symposium programs are extended sessions (half day or longer) that focus on in-depth scholarly exploration of a topic of academic interest. Closed May 11
  • Hot Topic programs focus on topics that emerged too late in the year to be included in other types of programs.

Open Source, Discussion Group, and Hot Topic programs that are selected by the Committee will be scheduled by the AALS staff for 1 ¾ hour sessions.  By contrast, Symposium programs are full-day or half-day programs.

All program organizers should allow at least 15 minutes for audience participation.  We also welcome proposals for Open Source programs that depart from the typical format of having participants present 10-20 minute talks. Organizers could, for example, submit a proposal for a roundtable style program in which participants answer a series of questions posed by the moderator and the audience.  As another example, participants could engage in one or more role-play sessions.


Proposals for Open Source and Discussion Group programs are due April 13, 2018
Proposals for Symposium programs are due May 11, 2018
Proposals for Hot Topic programs are due October 19, 2018

General Submission Guidelines

Specific guidelines for submissions which apply to each specific type of program can be found below.  The following general guidelines apply to all open submission proposals.

Programs may be proposed by full-time faculty members or administrators at AALS Member or Fee-Paid law schools.  International faculty, visiting faculty (who do not retain a permanent affiliation at another law school), graduate students, and non-law school faculty are not eligible to submit proposals but may serve as presenters.

Proposals for Open Source and Symposium programs may reserve one or more spots for participants selected from a call for participation. Participants selected from a call for participation must be identified no later than September 29, 2018.

For Discussion Groups, calls for participation will follow a different process that is described in more detail below under the Discussion Group proposal details.

A proposal for any of the four program categories should include:

  • The program title.
  • The names and contact information of the program organizers.
  • A detailed description of the proposed program, including (a) the format of the proposed program, (b) an explanation of the overall goal of the program, and (c) if applicable, an indication that one or more speakers will be selected from a call for participants.
  • Names of speakers to be invited including their full names and schools with links to or copies of their curricula vitae.  The number of speakers should be limited to three (or a maximum of four) plus one moderator and should include a diversity of law schools, viewpoint, gender, race, and years of experience. Discussion Group proposals should have no fewer than 8, and no more than 15 invited participants, with 12 being the strongly preferred max.
  • If applicable, name the journal or edited volume that will be publishing the program.

Program organizers should take the AALS core value of diversity into account when developing their proposal.  Organizers are also encouraged to include junior faculty and participants who provide viewpoint diversity appropriate to the program as well as representation from a wide range of types of law schools. The scheduled program time should be used only for the academic discussion itself; if there is any “business” to take care of (e.g., discussion of whether to form a new AALS Section, or combine with an existing one, etc.), that should take place outside of the allotted time.

Examples of successful proposals submitted in prior years are  available.

Program Committee for the 2019 Annual Meeting

Kathleen Boozang, Seton Hall University School of Law, Chair
Steve Calabresi, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
Jessica Erickson, The University of Richmond School of Law
Steve Mulroy, The University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
Dara Purvis, Penn State Law