Approximately 2,500 law faculty, deans, administrators, and scholars will gather in San Diego from January 3-6, 2018, for the 112th AALS Annual Meeting. Under the theme of “Access to Justice,” the meeting is an opportunity to connect and collaborate with colleagues, discuss critical and emerging legal issues, and attend programs focused on fresh perspectives on law and legal education.
The meeting will feature more than 800 moderators, speakers, and discussion leaders at over 250 sessions planned and chosen by the Annual Meeting Program Committee and the association’s 102 sections. In addition, attendees can connect and share ideas at more than 50 networking events and opportunities. The Exhibit Hall gives attendees the chance to meet with representatives from a diverse group of exhibitors and publishers as well as explore new products and services available for the law school community.
Programming will take place at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, a newly-renovated hotel on the waterfront of San Diego Bay, and at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Situated just steps from the Gaslamp Quarter, the hotels are an ideal location from which to explore all San Diego has to offer.
Access to justice is at the core of our constitutional society. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell once wrote, “Equal justice under law is not merely a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building; it is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society.”
For a long time, many law schools recognized the importance of training students to work for this fundamental ideal. While much has been done, clearly the needs remain great. In the criminal justice area, a dearth of lawyers results in criminal defendants being deprived of their constitutional right to counsel. The difficulties on the civil side are just as troubling: for every client served by a legal aid group, one person who seeks help is turned down because of insufficient resources.
The story of the admirable efforts by law faculty members and students to meet these great needs is not well-publicized. But our story, as members of AALS, is all about dedicated students and faculty members across the United States who diligently pursue the goal of equal justice for all by providing sorely needed legal representation.
It is an exciting story of the recent explosion, in number and variety, of legal clinics at our member schools. These clinics focus on an enormously broad set of legal issues involving disabilities, Native American concerns, low income taxpayers, special education, social security, elder law, civil rights, domestic violence, criminal defense, and consumer issues among many other fields. Most recently, we have seen the tremendous efforts of law students and faculty members across the nation to assist in the lawful immigration process of many seeking to come to—or remain in—the United States.
Our story is what we are bound to do. As written by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, “We educated, privileged lawyers have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society, to ensure that justice exists for all, both legal and economic justice.”
This larger story of what we as legal educators can do, and what we and our students are doing, to assure fairness in law for our less fortunate citizens is an exhilarating and uplifting story.
The 102 AALS Sections and the Annual Meeting Program Committee have organized a vibrant schedule of programs for the Annual Meeting, ranging in topic from discipline-specific hot topics to teaching and pedagogy. You will find sessions of interest for deans, faculty members both new and established, and administrators at any level of their careers. Browse the live program to view full descriptions and speakers. Please visit www.aals.org/am2018 for the most up-to-date information on the Annual Meeting.
Some highlights of this year’s program include:
Want to learn more about the types of programs offered at the meeting? Check the FAQ page.
New law school teachers are the future of the legal academy. To encourage legal educators to take advantage of the networking and professional development opportunities at the 2018 AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego, AALS is again offering a 50 percent discounted registration rate for law school faculty in their first three years of teaching.
There are many sessions focusing on the issues and concerns shared by new law faculty. Several AALS sections have planned special programs that bring together junior and senior law faculty to help newer faculty develop their scholarship and teaching skills and connect with their more experienced colleagues. Other sessions at the meeting will consider how new law teachers can get the most out of becoming involved in AALS and succeed at each phase of their career.
Wednesday, January 3
3:30 pm – 5:15 pm
New Law Professors – Enhancing Your Teaching Skills before, During, and After Class
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
A Session for First Time Meeting Attendees – What is AALS and Why Does It Matter for My Career? And How do I get the Most Out of the Annual Meeting?
Thursday, January 4
1:30 pm – 3:15 pm
AALS Arc of Career Program – So You Want to Publish a Book
3:30 pm – 4:45 pm
Administrative Law – New Voices in Administrative Law
Labor Relations and Employment Law, Co-Sponsored by Employment Discrimination Law – New and Emerging Voices in Workplace Law
Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research – New Scholars’ Showcase
Legislation and Law of the Political Process – New Voices in Legislation
Minority Groups – Strategies and Support for Persons of Color in New Law Teaching
Securities Regulation – Emerging Voices in Securities Regulation
Socio-Economics – Teaching and Scholarship in a Polarized Society: A Roundtable for New Law Teachers
Saturday, January 6
8:45 am – 4 pm
AALS Workshop for Pretenured Law School Teachers of Color
1:30 pm – 3:15 pm
Women in Legal Education – Speed Mentoring
3:30 pm – 5:15 pm
Criminal Justice – Criminal Law and Procedure Works in Progress
Immigration Law – Immigration Law Works in Progress
Law, Medicine, and Health Care – Works in Progress Session for New Law and Medicine Scholars
National Security Law – New Voices in National Security Scholarship Works-in-Progress
Professional Responsibility – Professional Responsibility Works in Progress for Junior Professors
Property Law – New Voices in Property Law: Junior Scholars Works-in-Progress Panel
AALS seeks proposals and papers Hot Topic sessions, which focus on topics that emerged too late to be included in other types of programs. Proposals are due October 20 for Hot Topic sessions—we encourage submissions to consider the meeting’s theme of “Access to Justice” in framing your proposal.
Program organizers should allow time for audience participation in the proposals. The selection committee also welcomes proposals for 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. Hot Topic programs that are selected by the committee will be scheduled by the AALS staff for 1¾ hour sessions.
For more information and to submit a proposal, visit www.aals.org/am2018/call-for-papers.
Many AALS Sections are also accepting proposals for their programs at the Annual Meeting. Topics and deadlines vary.
To see all calls for papers that are still accepting proposals, visit www.aals.org/am2018/call-for-proposals/.