Call for Proposals for the
2018 AALS Annual Meeting

The AALS and its Arc of Career Committee and the Program Committee for the 2018 Annual Meeting are pleased to request proposals for the 2018 Annual Meeting to be held January 3-6, 2018 in San Diego.

Visit this page often to view open calls for presentation and papers.

  • Arc of Career programs address a broad range of matters related to the professional development, moving beyond presentations on substantive legal topics to include all aspects of the professional careers of law faculty and administrations. Proposals are due April 13, 2017 (CLOSED).
  • Open Source programs are traditional scholarly programs other than those sponsored by one of the AALS Sections (e.g., Section on Criminal Justice). Proposals are due April 13, 2017 (CLOSED).
  • Discussion Group programs provide a setting for discussions among a small group of invited participants. Attendees are welcome. Proposals are due April 13, 2017 (CLOSED).
  • Symposium programs are extended sessions (half a day or longer) that focus on in-depth scholarly exploration of a topic of academic interest. Proposals are due May 12, 2017 (CLOSED).
  • Hot Topic programs focus on topics that emerged too late in the year to be included in other types of programs. Proposals are due October 20, 2017.

The 2018 Annual Meeting’s theme, selected by AALS President Paul Marcus of the William & Mary Law School, is “Access to Justice.” We encourage program organizers to consider that theme in framing their proposals.

Download the RFP to learn more about general and specific guidelines for each type of program. All proposals should be submitted using the online submission form.

Submission Form Open Programs RFP Arc of Career RFP


Open Source Program

Empirical Research Methods and the Experiential Curriculum: ‘New’ Tools for Securing Justice in a Post-Fact Era?

An Open Source program that has been accepted for the 2018 AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego seeks up to five panelists to join the session. As part of the academy’s increasing emphasis on interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching, it is becoming commonplace for law schools across the country to hire faculty with advanced degrees in the social sciences, to recruit students with such previous experience, and to teach empirical methodology as part of their upper-level academic curricula. The scholarly benefits of cross-fertilization between legal and empirical analytical methods have been theorized, written about, made manifest through the work of numerous academics, and are now widely presumed. Less well-developed, however, are theory and practice regarding the connections between empirical methodology and legal advocacy. We will convene and facilitate a dialogue in which participants are invited to help us elaborate each of the three framework components described in the full call. The session will be organized as a roundtable style program in which panelists will answer a series of questions posed by the organizers.

Submission length: No paper is necessary; email a brief statement of interest no longer than one page.

Deadline: 5 p.m. June 19.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section Calls for Papers

Section on Associate Deans for Academic Affairs and Research

The Associate Deans section is seeking papers, proposals, and suggestions for speakers to participate in a session at the 2018 AALS Annual meeting that will focus on multiple issues involved with Distance Education in Law Schools. ABA Standard 306 addresses this issue and provides general guidance on distance education. As deans and faculty grapple with issues regarding distance education, we invite papers, proposals, and suggestions for speakers regarding the issues outlined in the full call for proposals.

Submission length: Please provide the topic and description of your paper or proposal in 300 or fewer words. If you are suggesting a speaker with expertise on the topic, please identify the person, the person’s expertise, and whether the person is willing to present.

Deadline: All proposals should be sent to Mary Garvey Algero, algero@loyno.edu, on or before Friday, May 24, 2017.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section on Conflicts of Law

The AALS Section on Conflict of Laws invites papers for its program on “Crossing Borders: Mapping the Future of Conflict of Laws Scholarship.” Now more than ever, the challenges created by conflicting laws are figuring prominently in multiple areas of legal scholarship. In subjects as diverse as state and federal regulation, technology and intellectual property, and commercial arbitration, scholars using a variety of methodological approaches are finding innovative ways to study conflict of laws problems. This panel discussion will explore these emerging trends in conflicts scholarship, and their implications for future work in the field.

Submission Length: Email submissions in Word format (not PDF). The title of the e-mail submission should read: “Submission – 2018 AALS Section on Conflict of Laws.”

Deadline: Submissions must be e-mailed to Ms. Angela Martin no later than 6:00 p.m. EST on Friday, August 18, 2017.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Sections on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law and Election Law

The Section on Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law, in co-sponsorship with the Section on Election Law is pleased to announce a Call for Papers relating to “The Use of Nonprofit Organizations in Political Campaigns.”

By the end of 2016, the nonprofit sector was on the verge of becoming politicized. Many events during 2016 alone relate to a growing pressure on the nonprofit form to be used for political purposes. Papers should examine some aspect (or aspects) of the legal and policy issues that arise, including the range of permitted and proscribed political speech, the problem of speech from the pulpit, the use of nonprofit networks, the constitutionality of disclosure rules, and the appropriate tax treatment of political speech.

Submission length: Describe your paper proposal in 500 words or less.

Deadline: Submit the proposal no later than June 15, 2017. Papers relating to nonprofit and philanthropy law should be sent to Professor Roger Colinvaux of Columbus School of Law at Catholic University at colinvaux@law.edu. Papers relating to election law should be sent to Professor Franita Tolson of USC Gould School of Law at ftolson@law.usc.edu.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section on Transactional Law and Skills

The AALS Section on Transactional Law and Skills solicits unpublished papers that analyze the question of access to the courts in a variety of transactional law settings. From small business disputes, to mandatory consumer arbitration, to restrictions on shareholder lawsuits, it is no longer obvious that parties will have access to courts in the event of a dispute. Taken together one could reasonably question whether the current trajectory in common business and consumer settings to limit parties and third parties access to the courts through a variety of transactional mechanisms is good policy or it goes too far.

Submission length: 1-2 page proposal

Deadline: Submit proposal to the Section Chair (Brian JM Quinn, brian.quinn@bc.edu) by August 31, 2017.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section on Animal Law

The AALS Section on Animal Law seeks proposals for a panel presentation and paper relating to the topic “Corporate Transparency, Accountability, and Animal Welfare.”

Public perception of the use of animals for commercial, scientific, or entertainment purposes creates an incentive for businesses to limit the public’s access to information about their use. Greater knowledge about the treatment that is permitted under state and federal regulations in general could negatively impact business. To help maintain their privacy, corporations have sought legislative protection and have otherwise made it difficult for the public to know about a specific company’s animal welfare standards or compliance record. This panel will highlight these challenges and ask whether there is a social responsibility to, if not provide access to information, at least not hinder access.

Submission length: Your proposal must include:

  • Your name, school affiliation and title, and contact information (including e-mail address and telephone number);
  • A current CV that includes past presentations and scholarship;
  • An abstract of your presentation and its title; and
  • Any other information that you think will be helpful to the Section in making its decision

Deadline: Submit proposals to the Animal Law Section chair, Fran Ortiz, at Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research

The AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research is seeking proposals for two separate sessions at the 2018 annual meeting.

The first is “Tips from the Trenches: Teaching Students to Help Social Justice Practitioners,” co-sponsored with the Section on Clinical Legal Education. The second is “Designing Legal Writing Problems Incorporating ‘Access to Justice.’” We awelcome participation by faculty of different experience levels, as well as presentations with an interactive component, such as breaking into small discussion groups or panelists leading a discussion with the audience.

Submission length: Submit a proposal containing the following information:

  • Name, contact, and biographical information for each proposed presenter,[1] including designation of the primary contact person;

  • Identification of whether your proposal is for the main program or the secondary program;

  • A proposed title for your presentation;
  • A one-paragraph to one-page description of your presentation, including content and format (e.g., primarily lecture or will there be an interactive component, how will you allocate your time, etc.); and
  • A brief bibliography of materials relevant to your program topic.

Deadline: Submit your proposal by email to Lisa Mazzie, Program Committee Co-Chair, at lisa.mazzie@marquette.edu by 11:59 p.m. on May 26, 2017.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section on Teaching Methods

The AALS Section on Teaching Methods seeks proposals for “Learning Together: Diverse Models of Collaborative Learning in Law School.” Collaborative Learning is based on the model that knowledge can be created within a population where members actively interact by sharing experiences and taking on asymmetrical roles (i.e., understanding all sides of a problem) mirrors much of what lawyers do in practice. Speakers will provide practical examples for conducting Collaborative Learning in a law school classroom.

Submission length: Proposals should not exceed 250 words and should include the following:

  • Your source or model for Collaborative Learning;
  • Your teaching ideas in this model—past, present, or future;
  • The amount of time you require to explain and demonstrate your ideas or techniques;
  • A track record of success or experience using the Collaborative Learning theory/model in teaching.

Deadline: Email completed proposals (Word format, no PDF) to Susie Salmon (salmon@email.arizona.edu) and Samantha Moppett (smoppett@suffolk.edu) by 5 p.m. EST on May 26.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section on Professional Responsibility

The Section on Professional Responsibility is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for the Section’s 2018 Program: The Ethics of Legal Education. The panel will explore the factors that have influenced ethical and values-based decision-making, leadership challenges, and how law school leaders’ ethics and values in this area may influence the future of the legal education and the legal profession. Participants need not write a paper, but will have the option to publish a paper if they choose to do so.

Submission length: 500-1500 word proposal

Deadline: Submit by August 15, 2017 to Renee Knake at rknake@central.uh.edu. The title of the email submission should read: Submission – 2018 AALS Section on Professional Responsibility.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Sections on Family and Juvenile Law, Children and the Law, & Aging and the Law

The AALS Sections on Family and Juvenile Law, Children and the Law, and Aging and the Law seek presenters for their joint half-day session “Keeping Up With the Changing Face of the American Family.” The two panels will be divided based on general topics, such as caregiving, family formation and regulation, family dissolution, or structural legal policy impacting children, parents, the elderly or families as a whole. We are particularly interested in submissions from junior faculty.

Submission length: Papers should be no longer than 11,000 words and no more than 100 footnotes.

Deadline: If you are interested in submitting your paper for consideration, please send it to jdweaver@smu.edu by August 21, 2017. Please use “AALS Call for Papers Submission” as the subject line of your email.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section on Disability Law

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 stands out as a model of bipartisan law-making. Early signs seem to indicate that this degree of bipartisan support for disability rights may be eroding in the Trump era. This panel will explore whether the ADA could pass in the current polarized political climate. It also looks to the future asking how we might build consensus across parties to further not only disability rights but also civil rights generally. We encourage academics from a broad range of backgrounds including disability law, election law, political theory, legislation, and civil rights law to submit proposals.

Submission length: Abstract.

Deadline: Email your abstract to Jessica L. Roberts at jrobert6@central.uh.edu by Friday, August 25.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section on Property Law

The AALS Section on Property Law seeks papers for two sessions at the 2018 Annual Meeting: “Structural Facilitation of Property Markets,” the general program, and “New Voices in Property Law: Junior Scholars Works-in-Progress Panel.” The first panel will examine the necessity of structural facilitators (legal doctrines, systems, and institutions have emerged over time to facilitate the effective operation of markets in property by adding value to property assets, adding certainty to and streamlining the process of property transactions, adding accessibility to property, or otherwise proving greater security for property rights) and the property system’s dependence on them, along with the ways they should or should not be regulated to guide or control their effect on property markets. The latter panel aims to bring together pre-tenure property law scholars with senior ones to present and get useful feedback on papers that will not yet have been submitted for publication as of January 2018.

Submission length: There are no formal requirements for the general session, though preference will be given to papers that are substantially complete. For the works-in-progress session, at least an abstract or a draft-in-progress.

Deadline: For the general session, email your submission, in Word or PDF format, to Property Section chair Donald Kochan at kochan@chapman.edu by September 1, 2017. For the works-in-progress session, email Donald Kochan at kochan@chapman.edu, no later than September 8, 2017.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions for the general session and the junior scholars works-in-progress.


Sections on Real Estate Transactions and Commercial and Related Consumer Law

The Sections on Real Estate Transactions and Commercial and Related Consumer Law are pleased to announce a Call for Papers for “Exploring New Frontiers in Real Estate Development.” Recent years have seen specific legal developments regarding the Fair Housing Act, an uptick in municipal bankruptcy filings, and, more generally, an evolving economic and regulatory landscape. This panel brings together scholars working in the wide-ranging area of real estate development to discuss emerging issues from a variety of legal perspectives, including real estate finance, commercial law, bankruptcy and restructuring, and fair housing and related consumer protection laws.

Submission length: There is no formal requirement, though preference will be given to papers that are substantially complete.

Deadline: Email submission, in Word or PDF format, to Kristen Barnes (barnes6@uakron.edu) by September 15.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Sections on Graduate Programs for Non-U.S. Lawyers

The AALS Section on Graduate Programs for Non-U.S. Lawyers is seeking proposals for two sessions at the 2018 AALS Annual Meeting: “Focus on the Facts: Teaching Civil-Law Trained Lawyers to Work with Facts in U.S. Legal Writing,” cosponsored by the Sections on International Legal Exchange and North American Cooperation, and “Added Value: Programming for International LL.M. Professional and Personal Development,” cosponsored by the Sections on International Legal Exchange and North American Cooperation. In the first, the section seeks to form a panel of presenters who will discuss what they do to help their international law students develop the skill of writing fact-based U.S. legal analysis, including giving instruction, exercises, and feedback on pre-writing, planning, writing, and editing. In the second, the section seeks panelists to discuss their law school’s programming in areas including professional identity, English, international network development, and personal development.

Submission length: One- to two-paragraph summary of your topic.

Deadline: Submit proposals by email to John Thornton, Section Chair, at j-thornton@law.northwestern.edu by 11:59 p.m. on July 15.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions for both “Focus on the Facts” and “Added Value.”


Section on Legislation & Law of the Political Process

The section will select one or two presenters for their program “Congressional Procedure, Politics, and Power.” In a time of a polarized politics, congressional procedure has become ever more important and contested, often shaping policy outcomes on a fundamental level. This panel will examine recent developments and dynamics in the legislative process.

Submission length: No specific requirements, but drafts should be in the range of 30 – 60 pages.

Deadline: Submit papers to Rebeca Kysar (rebecca.kysar@brooklaw.edu) by Friday, August 25.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section on Legislation & Law of the Political Process

The section will host a “New Voices in Legislation” program open to full-time faculty at AALS member schools who are untenured or have been tenured for two or fewer years. This works-in-progress program will bring together junior and senior scholars in the field of legislation for the purpose of providing the junior scholars with feedback and guidance on their draft articles.

Submission length: Drafts should be near completion and not exceed 30,000 words.

Deadline:Email a copy of the paper and abstract to Evan Zoldan (evan.zoldan@utoledo.edu by Sunday, October 1.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section on Intellectual Property

The Section on Intellectual Property will select five presenters for their program “InternationalIP Law in a Post-TTP/TTIP, Post-Brexit World.” Where is international IP law headed as many international institutions are under great strain, as hostility toward trade agreements rises, and nations reconsider how they relate to international bodies.

Submission length: Abstract of 500 words or less.

Deadline: Submit a PDF to ip.aals.2018@gmail.com by 5 pm Eastern on July 28.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section on Law and Sports

The Section on Law and Sports seeks an additional speaker for their program “Legal Implications of Social and Political Activism in Sports,” which will examine both public and private law issues that arise whenever individuals and organizations among the complex network of relationships that define the sports industry try to make socially responsible choices or engage in social or political activism.

Submission length: Draft paper or abstract.

Deadline: Email your submission to Professor Ettie Ward, Chair of the Section on Law and Sports, at warde@stjohns.edu by Monday, August 21.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section on Evidence

The Section on Evidence will select one or two presenters for their program “Daubert @ 25: A Prospective Look at the Next Great Challenges in Expert Reliability,” discussing the significant issues we can anticipate with the interaction of scientific reliability and litigation.

Submission length: Papers in progress or recently published, in essay or article form.

Deadline: Papers should be submitted to Andrew Jurs at andrew.jurs@drake.edu, by August 31.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section on Balance in Legal Education

The Section on Balance in Legal Education seeks at least one additional panelist for their Pedagogy Program for New Law teachers, titled “Applying Positive Psychology and Strengths-Oriented Approaches in Teaching.” Panelists will provide concrete teaching suggestions and techniques for new faculty in designing and implementing courses that promote, among other things, students’ compassion, confidence, creativity, emotional intelligence, autonomy, and self-awareness.

Submission length: Submit a proposal including a synopsis of 750 words or fewer.

Deadline: Proposals should be submitted electronically to Program Committee Co-Chair, Jarrod Reich (jarrod.reich@georgetown.edu), by Friday, July 2.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research

The Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research (LWRR) is seeks three participants for a “New Scholars Showcase.” Each new scholar, defined as anyone who teaches legal writing and has been in the legal academy for seven years or fewer or anyone who teaches legal writing and whose position has changed within the last seven years to require publication, will present their works-in-progress or recently completed articles.

Submission length: Abstract and current draft.

Deadline: Please submit your application by email to Scott Fraley, Program Committee Co-Chair, at scott_fraley@baylor.edu by 11:59 pm Central on September 1.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section on International Legal Exchange

The Section on International Legal Exchange seeks two presenters for their panel “A Global Guide to International Legal Exchange: Practical Secrets of Success and What to Do When Things Go Horribly Wrong.” This program will review recent changes to the ABA standards that make it easier to send U.S. law students on overseas programs sponsored by their own schools, followed by a survey of successful international exchange programs, including an objective assessment of the value these exchanges should have for law students.

Submission length: A brief discussion of what you would contribute to the conversation.

Deadline: Send an email to Professor Mark E. Wojcik at lmwojcik@jmls.edu by Tuesday, September 12.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.