Standing Committees and other committees established by action of the Executive Committee are appointed by the president and provide reports, program content, and policy advice to the Association.

Every spring the president-elect begins work on committee appointments for the subsequent year and appoints members of the following standing committees for three-year terms and the following special committees and planning committee for one-year terms.

Standing Committees

Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (CAFT)

This committee serves as a resource for member schools that request an assessment of their procedures for protecting academic freedom or tenure. Requests from individual faculty members are referred to the Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure, & Governance of the American Association of University Professors.

Arc of Career Programs

First established in 2015 as a task force, this standing committee solicits and selects proposals for programs at the Annual Meeting that focus on the different stages of careers in legal education rather than on substantive fields of law. The committee also organizes a session for first-time meeting attendees. The committee meets at the prior Annual Meeting to review arc of career programs presented.

Clinical Legal Education

This committee advises the Executive Committee on matters concerning clinical legal education. The committee meets at the AALS Clinical Conference.

Journal of Legal Education Editorial Board

The Editorial Board assists the Coordinating Editors of the Journal in reviewing manuscripts presented for possible publication in the Journal and provides general policy guidance. The Journal is a quarterly publication devoted to issues confronting legal educators, including curriculum development and legal scholarship. It also serves as an outlet for emerging areas of scholarship and teaching.

Membership Review Committee (MRC)

The Membership Review Committee reviews law school applications for membership in the Association, sabbatical site evaluation reports on member law schools, and progress reports from member schools asked to report on issues of noncompliance with AALS membership guidelines. The committee meets twice a year, at least once at the AALS office in Washington, D.C., to evaluate schools up for sabbatical review and to make recommendations to the Executive Committee on the actions it should take.

Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Teachers and Students

This committee is charged with recommending to the Executive Committee how the Association can better assist member and fee-paid schools in the recruitment and retention of minority law teachers and students.

Sections Committee

The Sections Committee mission is to improve the operation of Sections throughout the year, as well as their programming for the Annual Meeting. Each committee member serves as liaison to at least one Section. The committee meets at the Annual Meeting.

Steering Committee of the AALS Deans Forum

The mission of the Steering Committee is to identify issues affecting legal education and to develop strategies to assist law school deans in building great law schools and improving legal education. All members of the committee must be sitting deans at Member Law Schools. The committee meets twice a year, at the Annual Meeting and at the spring Deans Workshop.

AALS 2018 Special Committees

Nominating Committee for 2019 Officers and Members of the Executive Committee

The Nominating Committee has the task of nominating faculty from member law schools to serve on the AALS Executive Committee in the following year. The committee reviews nominations solicited by the AALS, and recommends to the AALS House of Representatives two nominees for the Executive Committee and the 2019 President-Elect. The Committee meets in Washington, D.C. in September.

Program Committee for the 2019 Annual Meeting

This committee solicits and selects proposals for “open submission” programs for the Annual Meeting that do not come from Sections. There are four types of “open submission” programs: symposium programs, small discussion groups, open source programs not sponsored by a Section, and hot topics. The Committee meets at the prior Annual Meeting to review and critique all “open submission” programs and to plan for the new year.

Scholarly Papers for the 2019 Annual Meeting

This committee oversees the Scholarly Papers Competition that is open to faculty at AALS Member and Fee Paid schools who have been in teaching for five years or less. The winning paper(s) is/are presented at a special session at the Annual Meeting. The Committee meets by conference call in October or November to select the awardee(s) after a winnowing process that begins in August.

Planning Committees for 2019 Workshops and Conferences

Planning committees are responsible for organizing a workshop or conference. They typically meet once at AALS headquarters to begin the planning process and the appointments are for one year term.

  • 2019 Clinical Conference
  • 2019 Deans Forum Workshop (All committee members must be sitting deans.)
  • 2019 Workshop for New Law Teachers
  • 2019 Workshop for Pretenured Law School Teachers of Color

Submit Recommendations for Committee Appointments

AALS President-Elect Wendy Perdue now invites recommendations for new members for any of the committees with openings. You may recommend any full-time faculty or staff member at an AALS member school, including yourself, by Friday, June 23, 2017. Please include your insights into the person’s strengths in the context of the service you propose. You may direct recommendations and questions to 18Committees@aals.org.