2024 AALS Annual Meeting

Defending Democracy 

January 3-6 | Washington, DC 

Welcome Back to Washington! 

What better location to gather than Washington, DC this January as we discuss AALS President Mark Alexander’s theme of Defending Democracy. Please note that all sessions and events will take place in person; there are no virtual or hybrid options for attendance. 

What’s New 


Defending Democracy 

Mark Alexander speaking at a podium with Erwin Chemerinsky sitting to the side
AALS President Mark Alexander, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law 

We live in a great country. But there are real threats to it. Three-quarters of all voters – left, right, center – believe our democracy is in peril. Extremism, anti-Semitism, racism, violence against LGBTQ people, and political violence persist. It is part of the reason I chose “Defending Democracy” as the theme for my tenure as AALS President. 

Law schools can play a critical role in the future of our country and our democracy. The legal profession has never had a higher profile and greater exposure than over the last few years. Lawyers are everywhere in places of prominence, power, and policy. Lawyers have shaped and will continue to shape our democracy. 

What, then, is our responsibility as educators of future lawyers? What role do we play in helping to ensure that our democracy endures? Our work begins with three pillars that define every law school: curriculum, scholarship, and culture. We are teaching the courses, writing the scholarship, and shaping the cultures that propel legal education. 

When we raise our collective voice, people listen. Defending democracy is not about politics. It’s about what we can do together. Throughout the next year and beyond, I look forward to working with all of you to advance this ever-important work. 

Be a Speaker 

If you would like to propose a program or be a speaker at the Annual Meeting, here are some ways to participate. Visit am.aals.org/program/proposals for more information. 

Propose a Hot Topic program. These AALS programs are selected by a committee from a call for proposals. Hot Topics are traditional-format scholarly sessions about topics that arose too late in the year to be included in other types of programs. 

Answer a section call for papers. Many AALS Sections identify their panelists via a call for papers. Deadlines vary, but may be as late as October. 


There are plenty of opportunities for you to connect with colleagues new and old throughout the meeting. 

General networking 

Attend the opening reception in the Marriott Marquis Ballroom and roam the Exhibit Hall offerings, arrange meetings during the extended coffee breaks each day of the meeting, and check out law school receptions each night. 

For new faculty 

Your first stop should be the session for first-time meeting attendees on Wednesday, January 3, followed immediately that evening by the reception for new law school teachers. 

For pre-tenure teachers of color 

The annual Workshop for Pretenured Law School Teachers of Color will take place on Friday, January 5.