Guidelines for Moderators and Presenters - Annual Meeting

Please thoroughly review these important guidelines for moderating and/or speaking at the AALS Annual Meeting. This information will help you prepare for and navigate the meeting. 

All presenters and moderators should arrive onsite to check in at AALS Registration in the Exhibit Hall (Marquis Ballroom, level M2), and collect their name badge before their scheduled session begins.

For Moderators and Presenters: Pre-Meeting Coordination

We recommend that moderators and presenters follow this basic timeline to have a successful and organized program.

Please be sure to keep AALS informed of the addition or cancellation of presenters.

At least 6 weeks before, Moderators should:

  • Contact and introduce yourself to your fellow presenters.
  • Request a paper or electronic copy of each presentation.
  • Request a 2-3 sentence biography for introductions.

At least 2 weeks before, Moderators should:

  • Determine the order of the presentations.
  • Ask presenters to arrive at the meeting room 15 minutes prior to the session start time.
  • Ask them to be available to attendees following the session to continue answering questions outside the meeting room.

When you are at the meeting:

  • All presenters should arrive at the meeting at least 15 minutes before the session begins. With only a brief break between sessions, it is important to arrive promptly so your session can start on time and utilize the entire time allotted to you.
  • The moderator should brief everyone on the format of the session and how it will be conducted, including whether they plan to use timer cards or simply stand up to the side of the presenter to signal when it is time to conclude.
  • There will be an opening welcome announcement script at the podium; we ask that moderators use this script during the introduction to the session which will be audio recorded. 

Room Setup by Session Type

The standard meeting room set up for most sessions includes:  

  • Theatre seating (rows of chairs facing front of room with center aisle)
  • Head table and podium
  • Tent cards with names of moderator and each of the presenters

For Works-In-Progress sessions, the room set up includes:

  • Round tables set for 10 persons each
  • One standing podium

For Discussion Groups, the room set up includes:

  • Conference table seating (one table with seats around all sides) for the number of Discussion Group participants
  • Tent cards with names of Discussion Group moderator and each of the Discussion Group participants
  • Limited perimeter seating for audience members to observe the discussion on a first-come, first-served basis

For day-long programs, the room set up includes:

  • Schoolroom seating (rows of narrow tables for notetaking with chairs facing front of a room; center aisle)
  • Head table and podium
  • Tent cards with names of moderator and each of the presenters

Assistance inside the room

Session Assistants will be located throughout the hotel hallways to answer any questions moderators, presenters, or attendees have. For technology help, please call the Inspire audio visual hotline number provided in each meeting room on the projector table.

A/V setup

Each session meeting room except Works-In-Progress and Discussion Groups is equipped with the following: 

  • NEW THIS YEAR: AALS will provide PC laptops in session rooms.
  • HD projector
  • Screen
  • Audio (sound) patch to house sound for video or music presentations
  • Microphones: Podium microphone, head table microphones for presenters, microphone in center aisle for audience Q&A
  • Complimentary hotel Wi-Fi. If you are planning an internet-based presentation, we recommend you download your presentation in advance. A high volume of users at the meeting may cause a slow connection on the hotel Wi-Fi.


Laptops will be provided at the meeting. Presenters must provide the following:

  • USB flash drive. Since laptops will be provided, please plan to bring a USB flash drive with your presentation loaded.  A technician will be able to help you get it loaded on the provided laptop. 
  • Please note that there will be heavy usage of the conference Wi-Fi by attendees. If your presentation includes web content, you may consider downloading the web content in advance rather than relying solely on Wi-Fi in the meeting room.

Time management

Managing time during a session can be challenging. To stay on track, consider the following:

Most sessions are 100 minutes in length. We recommend that you plan for five minutes of brief introductions, 15 minutes of Q&A at the end, and 15 minutes if holding a business meeting to elect officers. This gives four presenters about 15 minutes each for their presentations. 

If the length of your session or the number of presenters is different from this example, adjust the timing of presentations accordingly. Timer cards will be provided at the head table for moderators to signal when five, two, and one minute are left, and when time is up. Moderators may also want to consider designating another person as the timekeeper.

Taking questions

We recommend waiting until the end of the session to conduct a combined Q&A with all presenters. Moderators should be prepared with a few questions for each presenter to encourage audience participation, if necessary. For the benefit of all attendees and for the audio recording, please:

  • Use the microphone,
  • Ask presenters during Q&A to state their name, and
  • Repeat questions posed from the floor.

Concluding the session

We encourage moderators to provide a short summary of the session at its conclusion and thank the presenters for presenting. Encourage attendees to evaluate the session on the Mobile App.


Your session will be audio recorded. AALS makes a digital audio recording of almost every session; after the meeting the audio recordings will be available to download as free podcasts. If you want to decline to be recorded, please sign and return the “Recording Opt-Out” form before the meeting and email to Shannon Leonard, [email protected]

Registration and Hotel Reservations

All moderators, law school presenters, commentators, and discussion participants are required to register for the meeting. Please visit the FAQs or contact [email protected] if you have any questions.

Register on or before November 21 to receive an early bird discount.

Hotel Reservations

For information regarding hotel reservations at the Annual Meeting, visit the Hotels page. Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am a moderator/presenter and I am attending only the session I am participating in, do I need to pay the registration fee?

Yes, all law faculty and professional staff who moderate and present pay the registration fee. 

What if I have technical difficulties during my session?

Session Assistants will be in the session hallways. Session Assistants will be available to seek hotel assistance for any setup, and heating/cooling issues. If you encounter technical or sound difficulties, please call the audio visual hotline number which will be located on a tent card near the rooms projector.

Where can I prepare onsite before my session?

There is a speaker ready room at the Marriott Marquis Washington DC. The location will be listed in the program. The room will be set up with a laptop, HD projector and screen for you to test PowerPoint presentations using your laptop. The speaker ready room will also have a printer for printing out presentation notes.

Who can assist me with questions about my presentation topic and length?

We recommend that you contact the law school faculty member who invited you to speak to discuss your presentation topic. Please see the full program to view the description of your session and the other presenters presenting.

Once you open the link, type Ctrl+F to open the search box and type the name of the session, then click on the hyperlink to open the session and see the participants and description.

What is the AALS accessibility policy?

AALS is committed to making our meetings and events accessible to all our presenters and attendees. Visit the Accessibility page for more information. Please contact AALS at [email protected] for assistance.