Submit a Program Proposal - Annual Meeting

Faculty engagement is at the heart of the AALS Annual Meeting. There are two primary ways to participate: through an AALS Section or by submitting a proposal as an individual faculty member. There are several types of individual programs, each detailed within their categories below.

The 2023 theme is “How Law Schools Can Make a Difference.” We encourage program organizers to consider the theme in framing their proposals, but it is not a requirement for submission or selection.

Please note: we plan to have the 2023 conference in person in San Diego, CA. After two years of virtual meetings, we urge you to think about how you might best attract and engage an audience. We welcome and encourage your creativity in this endeavor. For example, you might consider how you may replicate the benefits of Zoom chat during your in-person session, or you might plan to host a pre-conference Zoom session that inspires excitement about your in-person panel. We also recognize the temptation to center programs on the challenges that we are currently facing with the pandemic, but we truly encourage you to look ahead and beyond these issues.

Learn More About…

Download the  2023 Submission Timeline | Questions may be directed to AALS staff.


Section Programs

Sections play a critical role in developing the Annual Meeting: 75 percent of Annual Meeting programs are organized by Sections. Each Section has the discretion to design a program that meets the needs of its members, and may have unique requirements for participation. The best way to get involved is to be an active member of a section. Joining is simple: just click here.

More details

General Guidelines

All section programs are allotted 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Program organizers should take the AALS core value of diversity into account, and include junior faculty and participants who provide viewpoint diversity appropriate to the program, and reflect a variety of law schools.

AALS encourages sections to consider jointly sponsoring a program with one or more other sections, as one of the most valuable features of the Annual Meeting is the ability to engage multiple constituencies on a common topic. Joint programs tend to be the most well-attended.

Sample programming offered by sections

  • Panels: This format involves 3 or 4 speakers presenting work on a common theme. A Section’s leaders may issue a call for papers to select speakers. Contact section leadership if you have an idea for a panel. The leaders of each Section are easy to find on the aals.org section page.
  • Works-in-Progress: This format provides the opportunity for junior scholars to present their drafts and to obtain feedback from their colleagues. Sections are free to determine the manner in which these sessions are structured. Some opt for a more traditional panel format; others provide a number of round tables hosting one junior scholar and a number of others who have volunteered to read and offer feedback on their work. Each section has discretion to choose the format it prefers.
  • Pedagogy/Alternative formats: Sections may choose other formats for the annual meeting. For example, sessions on pedagogy often follow a format in which hypotheticals are posed to the audience with 3 or 4 panelists whose role is to guide the discussion.


Individual Faculty Programs

Individual faculty can engage in the Annual Meeting via Arc of Career programs and several types of Open Submission programs without being associated with any AALS Section. Both categories are discussed in more detail below. These types of individual faculty programs account for 25 percent of Annual Meeting programming.

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.

Program organizers should take the AALS core value of diversity into account, and include junior faculty and participants who provide viewpoint diversity appropriate to the program, and reflect a variety of law schools.


Arc of Career Programming

AALS Arc of Career Committee organizes programming at the Annual Meeting to address a broad spectrum of issues related to the professional careers of law faculty and administrators. Recent sessions have included topics such as social media for the legal academic, lateral moves through the lens of hiring chairs and deans, teaching abroad, becoming an associate dean, lawyers leading higher education from the C-suite, and more.

Proposals are now closed.

Arc of Career General Guidelines

  • Format: There is no set format for Arc of Career programs, although most are structured as a traditional panel with 4-5 presenters followed by a question and answer period. encourages faculty to be innovative in their proposals and to consider formats that are more interactive than the panel model.
  • Length: 1 hour and 40 minutes

Open Submission Programs

Please read the RFP introduction in full as well as the instructions for the type of program you are interested in.

There are four types of open submission programs:

  1. Open Source Due April 11, 2022 (closed)
  2. Discussion Groups Due April 11, 2022 (closed)
  3. Symposium Due May 9, 2022 (closed)
  4. Hot Topics Due October 17, 2022

Option 1: Open Source

Open Source Programs are traditional scholarly programs proposed by individual faculty members. Diverse formats are encouraged. For example: an “Author Meets Reader” session to discuss a significant new book; a “Living Legend” program that focuses on the overall work of an established scholarly figure; a roundtable program in which participants answer a series of questions posed by the moderator and the audience; etc.

General Guidelines

  • Format: There is no set format for open source programming. While some use a traditional panel-style presentation, others have opted to use more interactive models. AALS encourages faculty to be innovative in their proposals.
  • Length: 1 hour and 45 minutes.

More details

Proposals due April 11

Program Guidelines
Who may propose a program:

Full-time faculty members or administrators at AALS Member or Fee-Paid law schools may propose programs. International faculty, visiting faculty (who have no permanent affiliation at another Member or Fee-Paid law school), graduate students, and non-law school faculty are not eligible to submit proposals but may serve as speakers.

Proposal contents:
  • Program title.
  • Names, affiliations, and contact information of the program organizers.
  • Detailed description of the proposed program, including (a) the format of the proposed program; (b) an explanation of the overall goal of the program; (c) a description of how diversity is achieved by the program’s speakers, content, and/or structure; and (d) if applicable, an indication that one or more speakers will be selected from a call for participants.
  • Names, titles, and affiliations of speakers to be invited including links to or copies of their curricula vitae. The number of speakers per program should be limited to a maximum of four, plus one moderator. Speakers should represent a mix of institutional affiliations.

Program organizers should take the AALS core value of diversity into account when developing their proposals and identifying speakers. Relevant considerations include but are not limited to speakers’ gender; race; years of teaching experience; faculty status (i.e., junior/senior faculty, tenured/tenure-track/clinical/non-tenure-track faculty); type of law school; geographic location; and viewpoint. To further viewpoint diversity in programming in particular, proposals should include speakers who will represent a range of philosophical, ideological, doctrinal, and/or methodological perspectives on the program topic as framed.

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 section), that should take place outside of the allotted time. Examples of successful proposals submitted in prior years are available online. 

Selection criteria

In reviewing Open Source Program proposals, the Program Committee will consider the overall quality of the program and whether the proposal:

  • Is well-written and thoughtfully constructed;
  • Is likely to be of interest to Annual Meeting attendees;
  • Is creative in including and facilitating audience engagement;
  • Includes presenters who further the diversity goals described above; and
  • Includes topics or viewpoints that further the diversity goals described above.

Option 2: Discussion Groups

Discussion groups provide a group of discussants the opportunity to engage in a sustained conversation about a shared topic of interest, and do not include formal presentations. There are no subject matter limitations.

General Guidelines

  • Format: A discussion group features no fewer than 8 and no more than 12 invited participants. Proposals should identify approximately two-thirds of the discussants and leave the remaining one-third to be selected from an open call for participation upon acceptance.
  • Length: hour and 45 minutes.

More details

Proposals due April 11

Program Guidelines
Who may propose a program:

Full-time faculty members or administrators at AALS Member or Fee-Paid law schools may propose programs. International faculty, visiting faculty (who have no permanent affiliation at another Member or Fee-Paid law school), graduate students, and non-law school faculty are not eligible to submit proposals but may serve as speakers.

Participants:

A Discussion Group program should feature no fewer than 8 and no more than 15 invited participants; 12 invited is the preferred maximum. The proposal should identify approximately 2/3 of the participants or possible invitees, and the balance will then be invited from an open call that the AALS staff will disseminate after the proposal is accepted. As with other programs at the Annual Meeting, attendees who are not invited Discussion Group participants are welcome to attend the Discussion Group as observers. At some point during the program, the moderator should open discussion to all attendees.

For all accepted proposals, the Annual Meeting Program Committee and the AALS staff will post calls for participation and will facilitate the program organizers’ review of the submissions. The final participant list is subject to review and approval by the Program Committee. Once the participants are identified, the organizers are requested to solicit one-page abstracts from them and distribute them among the participants in advance of the meeting.

Organizers also are responsible for moderating the Discussion Group unless another moderator is identified in the proposal. Organizers are responsible for ensuring timely communication among the participants prior to the Annual Meeting, including disseminating any abstract or paper requirements and deadlines for circulating to participants.

Proposal contents:
  • Program title.
  • Names, affiliations, and contact information of the program organizers.
  • Detailed description of the proposed program, including (a) the format of the proposed program; (b) an explanation of the overall goal of the program; (c) a description of how diversity is achieved by the program’s speakers, content, and/or structure; and (d) if applicable, an indication that one or more speakers will be selected from a call for participants.
  • Names, titles, and affiliations of speakers to be invited including links to or copies of their curricula vitae. Discussion Group proposals should include 2/3 of their planned 8-12 discussants. Speakers should represent a mix of institutional affiliations.

Program organizers should take the AALS core value of diversity into account when developing their proposals and identifying speakers. Relevant diversity considerations include but are not limited to speakers’ gender; race; years of teaching experience; faculty status (i.e., junior/senior faculty, tenured/tenure-track/clinical/non-tenure-track faculty); type of law school; geographic location; and viewpoint. To further viewpoint diversity in programming in particular, proposals should include speakers who will represent a range of philosophical, ideological, doctrinal, and/or methodological perspectives on the program topic as framed.

Selection criteria

In reviewing Discussion Group proposals, the Program Committee will consider the overall quality of the program and whether the proposal:

  • Is well-written and thoughtfully constructed;
  • Is likely to be of interest to Annual Meeting attendees;
  • Is creative in including and facilitating audience engagement;
  • Includes presenters who further the diversity goals described above; and
  • Includes topics or viewpoints that further the diversity goals described above.

Option 3: Symposium Programs

Symposia are extended sessions, either half-day or full-day, that focus on in-depth scholarly exploration of a topic of academic interest. The Committee is particularly interested in programs that connect to the conference theme, How Law Schools Can Make a Difference. The Committee encourages Symposium organizers to arrange for the publication of the papers in a journal or edited volume. If the Symposium will be published in a student-edited law review, the AALS will waive the registration fee for up to

General Guidelines

  • Format: There is no set format for symposium programs, although most are structured as a traditional panel with 4-5 presenters followed by a question and answer period. AALS encourages faculty to be innovative in their proposals and to consider formats that are more interactive than the panel model.
  • Length: One half day or full day.

More details

Proposals due May 9

Program guidelines
Who may propose a program:

Full-time faculty members or administrators at AALS Member or Fee-Paid law schools may propose programs. International faculty, visiting faculty (who have no permanent affiliation at another Member or Fee-Paid law school), graduate students, and non-law school faculty are not eligible to submit proposals but may serve as speakers.

Proposal Contents:
  • Program title.
  • Names, affiliations, and contact information of the program organizers.
  • Detailed description of the proposed program, including (a) the format of the proposed program; (b) an explanation of the overall goal of the program; (c) a description of how diversity is achieved by the program’s speakers, content, and/or structure; and (d) if applicable, an indication that one or more speakers will be selected from a call for participants.
  • Names, titles, and affiliations of speakers to be invited including links to or copies of their curricula vitae. The number of speakers per Symposium panel should be limited to a maximum of four, plus one moderator. Speakers should represent a mix of institutional affiliations.
  • An abstract of no more than 750 words about the Symposium program and its anticipated contribution to legal scholarship.
  • A 250-word-or-less abstract for each proposed Symposium paper.
  • An indication of whether the request is for a full-day or half-day Symposium.
  • A description of any publication arrangement (or potential arrangement) for the program in a journal or edited volume.

Program organizers should take the AALS core value of diversity into account when developing their proposals and identifying speakers. Relevant diversity considerations include but are not limited to speakers’ gender; race; years of teaching experience; faculty status (i.e., junior/senior faculty, tenured/tenure-track/clinical/non-tenure-track faculty); type of law school; geographic location; and viewpoint. To further viewpoint diversity in programming in particular, proposals should include speakers who will represent a range of philosophical, ideological, doctrinal, and/or methodological perspectives on the program topic as framed. 

Selection criteria

In reviewing Symposium proposals, the Program Committee will consider the overall quality of the program and whether the proposal:

  • Is well-written and thoughtfully constructed;
  • Is likely to be of interest to Annual Meeting attendees;
  • Is creative in including and facilitating audience engagement;
  • Includes topics or viewpoints that further the diversity goals described above.

The Program Committee will also consider the quality of the paper abstracts, the likelihood that the resulting papers will substantially contribute to the scholarship in the field, the success of the proposal in achieving diversity for each Symposium session and across the whole of the Symposium, and the proposal’s relationship to the conference’s annual theme

Option 4: Hot Topics

These are programs that focus on topics that emerged too late in the year to be included in other types of programs. Organizers should check the preliminary Annual Meeting program before submitting a proposal to be sure that there is no substantial replication of the substance of a proposed hot topic program by a program already on the schedule.

General Guidelines

  • Format: There is no set format for Hot Topic programs, although most are structured as a traditional panel with 4-5 presenters followed by a question and answer period. AALS encourages faculty to be innovative in their proposals and to consider formats that are more interactive than the panel model.
  • Length: 1 hour and 45 minutes.

More details

Proposals due October 17

Program guidelines
Who may propose a program:

Full-time faculty members or administrators at AALS Member or Fee-Paid law schools may propose programs. International faculty, visiting faculty (who have no permanent affiliation at another Member or Fee-Paid law school), graduate students, and non-law school faculty are not eligible to submit proposals but may serve as speakers.

Proposal contents:
  • Program title.
  • Names, affiliations, and contact information of the program organizers.
  • Detailed description of the proposed program, including (a) the format of the proposed program; (b) an explanation of the overall goal of the program; (c) a description of how diversity is achieved by the program’s speakers, content, and/or structure; and (d) if applicable, an indication that one or more speakers will be selected from a call for participants.
  • Names, titles, and affiliations of speakers to be invited including links to or copies of their curricula vitae. The number of speakers per program or Symposium panel should be limited to a maximum of four, plus one moderator. Speakers should represent a mix of institutional affiliations.
  • An explanation of (1) why the topic is “hot” and (2) why it was not possible to make the proposal in one of the other program categories with an earlier deadline.

Program organizers should take the AALS core value of diversity into account when developing their proposals and identifying speakers. Relevant diversity considerations include but are not limited to speakers’ gender; race; years of teaching experience; faculty status (i.e., junior/senior faculty, tenured/tenure-track/clinical/non-tenure-track faculty); type of law school; geographic location; and viewpoint. To further viewpoint diversity in programming in particular, proposals should include speakers who will represent a range of philosophical, ideological, doctrinal, and/or methodological perspectives on the program topic as framed.

Selection criteria

We note that if years past are any indicator, we typically receive significantly more strong submissions for “Hot Topic” programs than we are able to schedule, so please recognize the likely competition for these important sessions. In reviewing Hot Topic proposals, the Program Committee will consider the overall quality of the program and whether the proposal:

  • Is well-written and thoughtfully constructed;
  • Is likely to be of interest to Annual Meeting attendees;
  • Is creative in including and facilitating audience engagement;
  • Includes presenters who further the diversity goals described above;
  • Includes topics or viewpoints that further the diversity goals described above;
  • The timeliness of the subject matter; and
  • Whether the topic substantially replicates an Annual Meeting program already on the schedule.