The AALS Committee on Sections has selected the AALS Section on Pre-Law Education and Admission to Law School and the AALS Section on Technology, Law, and Legal Education as Sections of the Year. The annual award recognizes excellence in member support and other activities that promote AALS core values. Such activities include: community/pro bono service; expanding membership and member engagement; supporting faculty scholarship; providing mentorship and teaching support; and developing impactful programming.
“The winners of the Sections of the Year Award were chosen due to their notable engagement with their members through the year. Each of the sections created significant opportunities for their members to collaborate, engage in mentoring, and consider critical issues in their respective fields.” said Carol Needham, chair of the AALS Committee on Sections and Professor at Saint Louis University School of Law.
The AALS Section on Pre-Law Education and Admission to Law School engaged members and allied organizations in several initiatives. The section partnered with the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) to create a program on the changing landscape of law student demographics that was hosted at the 2023 AALS Annual Meeting. This past spring, the leadership held two webinars on the use of the GRE in law school admissions following changes in ABA standards. The section also expanded its executive committee to allow more voices from section to be heard.
“The Section for Prelaw Education and Admission to Law School is honored to receive this award” said Section Chair Matthew Kerns, Associate Dean at Widener University Commonwealth Law School. “Our section recognizes the immense transformations occurring throughout legal education. We believe many of these changes must begin before a student steps foot on campus. AALS provides a space to candidly discuss structural improvements to how law schools recruit, admit, and retain students. As the gateway into the legal profession, the impact of the section’s work extends beyond our professional careers because today’s law school candidates become the lawyers, judges, professors, and deans who lead the profession tomorrow. We are humbled by the association’s recognition of the programming, leadership, and service of the section’s members.”
The AALS Section on Technology, Law, and Legal Education engaged with members by hosting a summer webinar series with 11 sessions covering topics including artificial intelligence, classroom tools and technology, cybersecurity law, teaching hybrid classes, and virtual reality. The leadership also held an open discussion forum where members were able to share and learn about innovative projects led by fellow section members.
“The Section on Technology, Law, and Legal Education is honored to be a recipient of the AALS Section of the Year Award,” said Section Chair April Dawson, Associate Dean at North Carolina Central University School of Law. “This year’s recognition is built on the work of visionary leadership and member effort since the creation of the section in 2015. As technology continues to disrupt, influence, and impact the way lawyers practice and what lawyers practice, law schools need to more rapidly adjust law school curricula to ensure law students receive the necessary legal tech training in the form of both law practice technology courses and technology law courses. The work of this section is vital. This year, the section continued to increase member engagement, provide teaching support to the entire academy, support technology-related legal scholarship, and lead and support efforts to improve legal education.”
AALS sections provide opportunities for law school faculty and staff to connect on issues of shared interest. Each of the association’s 106 sections are focused on a different academic discipline, affinity group, or administrative area. For a full list of sections, visit www.aals.org/sections.