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


Discussion Groups

See below for brief descriptions of this year’s seven discussion groups, and click the links to view the complete descriptions and submission deadlines. All proposals are due August 25, 2017 and must be submitted online.

A New Era for Business Regulation?

In January 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs, which requires the elimination of two existing regulations for each new regulation adopted and mandates that they should come at no cost. This discussion group will focus on the changes in the business regulatory environment including an assessment of the consequences—good and bad—of regulatory reform affecting businesses.

A Unique Approach to Access to Justice: Training Lawyers Ready to Serve

For justice to be accessible, lawyers must be ready and able to perform their role in both a cost-effective and economically-sustainable manner, and law students must understand the nature of societal and legal problems and embrace their calling to serve those who need their professional services. This discussion group will focus on training lawyers who are ready to provide affordable, meaningful legal service to the poor and middle class through a practice-ready curriculum combining simulation, clinic experience and a philosophy of servant leadership.

Access to Justice in the Age of Technology, Television, and Trump

Numerous studies have confirmed that people living in poverty have unmet legal needs. Thanks to media interest in legal issues (think 13th, Serial, Making a Murderer) many students enter law school with a sense of where justice is lacking and with images of what it means to “do” justice. These students want to go to law school to engage swiftly and effect change. Meanwhile, President Trump’s March 2017 budget blueprint eliminates all funding to the Legal Service Corporation, the backbone of the civil justice system in the United States. This discussion group will consider how technology, television, and Trump impact our understanding of, and response to, the access to justice crisis.

Community Economic Development is Access to Justice

This discussion group invites clinicians, non-clinicians, and practitioners to identify how community economic development law school courses, experiential and other, and practice generally, increases access to justice and the kind of justice.

Foreign Interference in Elections

Investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election are currently dominating the news. Yet, foreign interference in other nations’ electoral politics is not limited to recent years, and Russia is not the only court that attempts to influence elections. In fact, the United States itself has engaged in several covert and overt attempts to influence other elections. This discussion group will explore the legal and policy issues raised by such interference from the standpoint of international, domestic and comparative law.

Professional Identity Development Tools to Help Law Students Meet the Needs of Today’s Clients

As many as 25 ABA-accredited law schools have now adopted professional identity development courses—programs that impart a broad array of skills that students traditionally have not been taught in law school that are necessary for them to develop the self-awareness, character, and perspective integral to becoming excellent counselors. This discussion group will join a diverse group of legal educators from around the U.S. to present an exercise, assignment, reading, simulation or other resource they have used to enhance their course or program and to improve student learning outcomes related to professional identity development.

What is Fraud Anyway?

Federal white collar fraud statutes in the United States have increasingly come under attack as exceedingly vague and subject to prosecutorial abuse. The legal uncertainty raises notice concerns and may also have a chilling effect on legitimate market activity. This discussion group will consider these and other concerns regarding federal fraud statutes and evaluate reforms.


Open Source Program

Innovations in Teaching Access to Justice Across the Law School Curriculum

Panel organizers seek one additional panelist to speak about a recent experiment (already completed or happening during the Fall 2017 semester) incorporating access to justice into the law school curriculum in a first-year or core course.

Submission length: To be considered as a panelist, please email a short (1-2 paragraph) statement of interest and description of your recent or upcoming effort to teach access to justice in the classroom.

Deadline: Email your application to Colleen Shanahan (colleen.shanahan@temple.edu) by September 1.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section Calls for Papers

Section Officers: If you would like to display your call for papers on this page, please email your call for papers information to sections@aals.org. Be sure to include deadline, contact information, and detailed submission instructions.

Section on Immigration Law

The AALS Section on Immigration Law seeks papers for two sessions: “Immigration Adjudication in an Era of Mass Deportation,” the main session, and a “Works-in-Progress” session. Large scale deportation has been a feature of the federal government’s immigration enforcement policy for years, but the new administration’s policies suggest even more expansive reliance on the tools associated with mass deportation. The main session will examine the implications of the current Administration’s mass deportation strategies for existing paradigms in the literature on immigration adjudication. The Works-in-Progress session aims to provide speakers the opportunity to present their work and receive feedback from commentators. Works-in-Progress session papers can be on any topic that relates to immigration and citizenship law.

Submission length: There are no formal requirements for the main session or the Works-in-Progress session.

Deadline: Submissions must be e-mailed to immprof2018@gmail.com no later than 5:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, August 31, 2017.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions for the main program.
Click here for more details and complete submission instructions for the works-in-progress session.


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.


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 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.


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 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 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.


Section on National Security Law

The AALS Section on National Security Law invites abstracts for a junior faculty works-in-progress program at the January 2018 Annual Meeting. Papers may concern any matter related to national security law. Papers must be still in progress (for example, papers may be accepted for publication, but with revisions still underway) as of the time of the Annual Meeting.

Submission length: Abstracts must be no longer than 1,000 words.

Deadline: Submit your abstract by August 31 at 5 pm EST to Professor Dakota Rudesill, at rudesill.2@osu.edu

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.


Section on Law & Mental Disability, Co-Sponsored by the AALS Sections on Disability Law, Family and Juvenile Law, and Law, Medicine, and Health Care

The above sections are pleased to announce a call for papers for “Legal Competency at the Crossroads: Mental Disability & Family Law.” Legal competency, the law’s recognition of an individual’s personhood and agency, represents a conceptual cornerstone for law and mental disability scholars.
This panel seeks to bring together legal scholars across several fields to explore emerging theory and doctrine in family law for people with mental disabilities. With its emphasis on intersectionality and cross-pollination, panelists will discuss such issues as assisted reproductive technology, parental termination, and sexual access. An explicit goal of this panel is to develop a research agenda for this emerging interdisciplinary area of legal scholarship.

Submission length: Abstract.

Deadline: Please e-mail your abstract to Jasmine E. Harris at jeharris@ucdavis.edu by Wednesday, August 23.

Click here for more details and complete submission instructions.