Open Submission Programs – Annual Meeting

Organize a session at AALS 2020 without being affiliated with an AALS Section. The Program Committee for the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools is pleased to request proposals for open submission programs.

This category includes four types of programs:

  • Open Source programs are traditional scholarly programs other than those sponsored by one of the AALS Sections. Proposals due April 12.
  • Discussion Groups provide a setting for discussions among a small group of invited participants. Attendees are welcome. Proposals due April 12.
  • Symposium are extended sessions (half a day or longer) that focus on in-depth scholarly exploration of a topic of academic interest. Proposals due May 10.
  • Hot Topic programs focus on topics that emerged too late in the year to be included in other types of programs. Proposals due October 18.

The 2020 Annual Meeting theme, selected by AALS President Vicki Jackson, is “Pillars of Democracy: Law, Representation, and Knowledge.” The Program Committee encourages organizers to consider the theme in framing their proposals, though it is not a requirement for submission or acceptance. The Committee also encourages proposals that depart from the typical panel format.

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.

General Submission Guidelines

Programs may be proposed by full-time faculty members or administrators at AALS Member or Fee-Paid law schools. 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 presenters.

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

  • The program title.
  • Names 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, 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.
  • If applicable, proposals should name the journal or edited volume that will be publishing any papers that are presented at the program.

Program organizers should take the AALS core value of diversity into account when developing their proposal and speakers’ list. Relevant considerations include the prospective speakers’ gender, race, and years of teaching experience. Organizers are encouraged to include both senior and 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 section), that should take place outside of the allotted time. Examples of successful proposals submitted in prior years are  available online.

Program Committee for the 2020 Annual Meeting

Robert B. Ahdieh, Texas A&M University School of Law
Kathleen Boozang, Seton Hall University School of Law
Lisa M. Fairfax, The George Washington University Law School
James E. Pfander, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Chair
Christoper J. Walker, The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law