Mid-Year Meeting 2004

June 14-18, 2004 - Portland, Oregon
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AALS Conference on Property Law
Teaching Property Law for the 21st Century
  Why, Who, When   Schedule   Fees  

Why Attend?

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, property law is in flux. This flux may be seen in the dramatic expansion of intellectual property rights on the internet as well as in an increasing array of informational goods from genes to databases to significant changes in domestic takings and international expropriation doctrine. From concerns about environmental justice affecting communities of color to distributive issues regarding housing supply, property law has been subject to deep and constitutive tensions and pressures. In areas from common interest communities to expanded definitions of marriage and family, theoretical and practical challenges have been raised to traditional notions of public and private, property and propriety, exclusion and inclusion.

More than ever, property issues also take place at the intersections of state and federal law; constitutional, statutory, regulatory and common law; and substantive environmental, administrative, and remedial law. Property law professors increasingly must come to terms with these intersections, and consider how to incorporate their insights about these subjects into the teaching of property. This conference will engender discussion and analysis that will interest practitioners, judges and law teachers with a wide range of practical and scholarly interests.

Because of these factors, the property law teacher faces the problem of explaining an increasing complex system that appears to be undergoing profound changes to bewildered law students, often in a course with reduced hours. Many of us also confront the challenge of mapping out a scholarly agenda in a world with multiple and competing perspectives and analyses. Consider the possibilities for gaining insight: empiricism, history, critical race theory, feminist thought, law and economics, international law, comparative law, political science, anthropology, sociology, critical legal studies, law and literature, dispute resolution, etc. And, like our students, we need to know the doctrine itself. We are teachers. So pedagogy needs to be added to the list of relevant perspectives.

This conference for property law professors, our first in over a decade, is designed to provide multiple perspectives on contemporary property law, exploring our current predicament from a variety of theoretical and practical viewpoints. We intend to take a fresh look at such foundational topics as housing, nuisance and common interest communities, while also exploring the impact of international and environmental law on our field. In conjunction with environmental law professors, who will simultaneously be holding their conference at the same location, we will examine issues of takings in comparative and international contexts. In smaller groups, we will discuss different ways of teaching the substantive topics we have examined in plenary sessions.

This is a conference designed to benefit property law teachers at all levels of experience. Our speakers and group leaders will include many of the most prominent and established people in the field, and also a substantial number of newer voices. At this critical juncture in the evolution of property law, each of us has a stake in teaching ourselves and our students, and in learning from one another.

Who Should Attend?

Teachers of Property Law, Natural Resources, Indian Nations and Indigenous Peoples, Agricultural Law, Law and Anthropology, Law and Economics.


The conference will begin on Tuesday, June 15, with registration at 5:00 p.m., followed by three days of plenary sessions. The conference will conclude at 4:00 p.m. on Friday,
June 18. In addition to the program sessions, a reception will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings and luncheons will be held each day.

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