Guidelines for Moderators and Speakers

Session Room Facilities | Before the Meeting | Registration and Housing | Posting of Speaker Materials | Frequently Asked Questions

Please read these guidelines for moderating and speaking at AALS Annual Meeting sessions. This information should be helpful in the lead up to the meeting and onsite in order to have a successful session. You’ll also find a list of frequently asked questions which we hope will also be helpful.

Session Room Facilities

Meeting Room setup

The standard meeting room set up for a session includes:

  • Theatre seating (rows of chairs facing front of room with center aisle)
  • Head table and podium
  • Tent cards with names of moderator and each of the presenters

For Works-In-Progress sessions, the room set up includes:

  • Round tables set for 10 persons each
  • One standing podium

For Discussion Groups, the room set up includes:

  • Conference table seating (one table where with seats around all sides) for the number of Discussion Group participants
  • Tent cards with names of Discussion Group moderator and each of the Discussion Group participants
  • Limited perimeter seating for audience members to observe the discussion on a first-come, first-served basis

For day-long programs, the room set up includes:

  • Schoolroom seating (rows of narrow tables for notetaking with chairs facing front of a room with center aisle)
  • Head table and podium
  • Tent cards with names of moderator and each of the presenters

A/V setup

Each session meeting room (except for Works-In-Progress and Discussion Groups) is equipped with the following:

  • LCD projector/screen. Please read blow on connection issues.
  • Audio patch to connect to house sound for video or music presentations.
  • Complimentary hotel WiFi. If you are planning an internet-based presentation, we recommend you download your presentation in advance. A high volume of users at the meeting may cause a slow connection on the hotel WiFi.
  • Microphones on head table and podium for appropriate number of speakers
  • One standing microphone on the floor in center aisle for audience Q&A

Laptops are NOT provided at the meeting. You must bring your own device or arrange to share one with another presenter. Please note that Macs, Surfaces, and Tablets all require an adaptor to connect to the meeting projector which is VGA. You are responsible for bringing a VGA adaptor compatible with your device. PC laptops do not require adaptors. If you are not bringing a PC laptop and do not own an appropriate adaptor, we recommend checking with your school’s library or IT team to find out if there is one available to borrow or where you can purchase one.

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Before the Meeting

Coordinating with other presenters

We recommend that moderators and presenters follow this basic timeline in order to have the most successful and organized program possible at the Annual Meeting. Please be sure to keep AALS informed of the addition or cancellation of presenters.

At least 6 weeks before the Annual Meeting Moderators should

  • Contact and introduce yourself to your fellow presenters
  • Request a paper or electronic copy of each presentation; and
  • 2-3 sentence biographical sketch for introductions

At least 2 weeks before the Annual Meeting Moderators should

  • Arrange for presenters to upload their PowerPoint presentations onto one speaker’s designated laptop. As a reminder, AALS does not provide laptops.

  • Determine the order of the presentations.
  • Ask presenters to arrive 15 minutes prior to the session start time.
  • Ask them to be available to attendees following the session to continue answering questions outside the meeting room.

When you are at the meeting,

  • All presenters should meet with your fellow presenters at least 15 minutes before the session begins.

  • The moderator(s) should brief everyone on the format of the session and how it will be conducted, including whether they plan to use timer cards or simply stand up to the side of the presenter in order to signal when it is time to conclude.

During the session

Please be sure to plan time to visit AALS Registration to pick up your name badge and program materials before you attend or speak at your session.

Time management

Managing time (and speakers) during a session can be challenging. To help moderators stay on track, consider the following:

Most sessions are 95 minutes in length. We recommend that you plan for five minutes of brief introductions, 15 minutes of Q&A at the end, and 15 minutes if holding a business meeting to elect officers. This gives four presenters about 15 minutes each for their presentations.

If the length of your session or the number of presenters is different from this example, adjust the timing of presentations accordingly. Timer cards will be provided at the head table for moderators to signal when five, two, and one minutes are left, and when time is up. Moderators may also want to consider designating another person as the time keeper.

Taking questions

We recommend waiting until the end of the session to do a combined Q&A with all presenters. Moderators should be ready with a few questions for each presenter to encourage audience participation, if necessary. For the benefit of all attendees and for the audio recording, please:

  • Use the microphone
  • Repeat questions posed from the floor

Concluding the session

We encourage moderators to provide a brief summary of the session at its conclusion and thank the speakers for presenting. Encourage attendees to evaluate the session on the Mobile App.


Your session will be recorded. AALS makes a digital audio recording of every session; after the meeting they will be available to download as free podcasts. If you want to decline to be recorded, please sign and return the “Recording Opt-Out” form before the meeting and email to

Assistance inside the room

Each session is assigned a law student monitor. The monitor will also provide the name tent cards along with pen and paper for any last minute presenter changes. You will find an announcement script at the podium; we ask moderators to use it during your session introduction.

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Registration and Housing

Registering for the Annual Meeting

The easiest way to register for the Annual Meeting is through our secure online registration system. You will receive an email confirmation of your registration. Please contact or visit the registration FAQs if you have any questions.

We recommend that you register as soon as possible. If you register on or before November 17, you will receive an early bird discount on your rate.

Hotel Reservations

For information regarding housing and hotel reservations at the Annual Meeting, visit the Housing FAQs. Please contact if you have any questions.

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Posting of Speaker Materials

AALS is pleased to post speaker presentation materials/handouts on the AALS website and ensure that all visitors will be able to access them. Microsoft offers advice to you on how to do this for Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Search Google for “make your Word documents accessible” to learn more. In addition, Adobe provides details on how to make PDF documents accessible at To have your presentation materials/handouts posted, please email those to AALS Manager of Section Services, Patrick Riley at Please include “Presenter Materials” in the subject of the email. The Annual Meeting website now has a tab dedicated for the posting of all speaker presentation materials, it is available at

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Frequently Asked Questions

If I am a moderator/presenter and I am attending only the session I am participating in, do I need to pay the registration fee?

Yes, all law faculty and professional staff who attend need to pay the registration fee. To register, please visit

What if I have technical difficulties during my session?

Each session is assigned a law student monitor who is there to troubleshoot most technical problems and is available to seek hotel assistance for any setup, sound, and heating/cooling issues. If you encounter technical difficulties, first ask your student monitor, and send them for expert assistance if needed.

Where can I prepare onsite before my session?

There is a speaker ready room at the Hilton Hotel. The location will be listed in the final program. The room will be set with an LCD projector and screen for you to test PowerPoint presentations and your laptop with the projector. The ready room will also have a printer.

Who can assist me with questions about my presentation topic and length?

We recommend that you contact the law school faculty member who invited you to speak to discuss your presentation topic. Please see the online live program to view the description of your session and the other speakers presenting.

Once you open the link, click on “live program”, then type Ctrl F to open the search box and type the name of the session, then click on the hyperlink to open the session and see participants and the description.

What is the AALS accessibility policy?

AALS is committed to making our meetings and events accessible to all of our speakers and attendees. Visit and click on “Accessibility” for more information. Please contact the AALS at so that we may assist you with services that you need.

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