Faculty engagement is at the heart of the AALS Annual Meeting. The Association is committed to ensuring the active engagement of diverse faculty, on a wide range of topics, using a variety of methods. This page provides a summary of the main ways that faculty members can engage in the meeting.

There are two primary ways to participate: submitting proposals through an AALS Section (who organize 75 percent of Annual Meeting programs), or submitting proposals as an individual faculty member. Each type of programming is detailed below.

If you have lingering questions, we encourage you to contact AALS staff.

 


 

Programming Sponsored by AALS Sections

Sections play a critical role in developing the Annual Meeting: 75 percent of Annual Meeting programs are organized by Sections. Each Section has the discretion to design a program that meets the needs of its members, and may have unique requirements for participation. The best way to get involved is to be an active member of a section. Joining is simple: just click here.

Sample programming offered by sections

  • Panels: This format involves 3 or 4 speakers presenting work on a common theme. A Section’s leaders may issue a call for papers to select speakers. Contact section leadership if you have an idea for a panel. The leaders of each Section are easy to find on the aals.org section page.
  • Works-in-Progress: This format provides the opportunity for junior scholars to present their drafts and to obtain feedback from their colleagues. Sections are free to determine the manner in which these sessions are structured. Some opt for a more traditional panel format; others provide a number of round tables hosting one junior scholar and a number of others who have volunteered to read and offer feedback on their work. Each section has discretion to choose the format it prefers.
  • Pedagogy/Alternative formats: Sections may choose other formats for the annual meeting. For example, sessions on pedagogy often follow a format in which hypotheticals are posed to the audience with 3 or 4 panelists whose role is to guide the discussion.

General guidelines

All section programs are allotted 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Program organizers should take the AALS core value of diversity into account, and include junior faculty and participants who provide viewpoint diversity appropriate to the program, and reflect a variety of law schools.

AALS encourages sections to consider jointly sponsoring a program with one or more other sections, as one of the most valuable features of the Annual Meeting is the ability to engage multiple constituencies on a common topic. Joint programs tend to be the most well-attended.

 


 

Individual Faculty Programming Submissions

Outside of Sections, faculty can engage in the Annual Meeting via open submission programs and Arc of Career Programs. Both are discussed in more detail below.

Programs may be proposed by full-time faculty members or administrators at AALS Member or Fee-Paid law schools. International faculty, visiting faculty (who do not retain a permanent affiliation at another law school), graduate students, and non-law school faculty are not eligible to submit proposals but may serve as presenters.

Program organizers should take the AALS core value of diversity into account, and include junior faculty and participants who provide viewpoint diversity appropriate to the program, and reflect a variety of law schools.

Open Submission Programs

There are four types of open submission programs:

  1. Open Source
  2. Discussion Groups
  3. Symposium
  4. Hot Topics

Option 1: Open Source

These are traditional scholarly programs. Diverse topics are encouraged. For example: programming on a specific body of work, such as “Author Meets Reader” to discuss a significant new book; a “Living Legend” program that focuses on the overall work of an established scholarly figure; etc.

The AALS Program Committee solicits open source program topics early in February via a request for proposals. Faculty respond by completing the submission form found on the AALS website.

General guidelines

  • Format: There is no set format for open source programming. While some use a traditional panel-style presentation, others have opted to use more interactive models, such as a roundtable program in which participants answer a series of questions posed by the moderator and the audience. AALS encourages faculty to be innovative in their proposals.
  • Length: Each program is allotted 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Find more detailed information about Open Source Programs, program requirements, the selection process, and submission deadlines.

 

Option 2: Discussion Groups

Discussion groups are informal seminars with a small group of invited faculty discussing a topic proposed by the organizer. There are no subject matter limitations.

The AALS Program Committee solicits open source program topics early in February via a request for proposals. Faculty respond by completing the submission form found on the AALS website.

General guidelines

  • Format: A discussion group features no fewer than 8 and no more than 15 invited participants; 12 invited is the preferred maximum. The organizer should include in the proposal 2/3 of the participants, with the balance to be invited from an additional “open call for participants” after the proposal is accepted.
  • Length: Each program is allotted 1 hour and 45 minutes

Find more detailed information about Discussion Groups, program requirements, the selection process, and submission deadlines.

 

Option 3: Symposium

Symposia are extended sessions, either half-day or full-day, that focus on in-depth scholarly exploration of a topic of academic interest.

The AALS Program Committee solicits open source program topics early in February via a request for proposals. Faculty respond by completing the submission form found on the AALS website.

General guidelines

  • Format: There is no set format for symposium programs, although most are structured as a traditional panel with 4- 5 presenters followed by a question and answer period. AALS encourages faculty to be innovative in their proposals and to consider formats that are more interactive than the panel model.
  • Length: One half day or full day

Find more detailed information about Symposia, program requirements, the selection process, and submission deadlines.

 

Option 4: Hot Topics

These are programs that focus on topics that emerged too late in the year to be included in other types of programs. The call for submissions is sent in October.

General guidelines

  • Format: There is no set format for Hot Topic programs, although most are structured as a traditional panel with 4- 5 presenters followed by a question and answer period. AALS encourages faculty to be innovative in their proposals and to consider formats that are more interactive than the panel model.
  • Length: Each program is allotted 1 hour and 45 minutes

Find more detailed information about Hot Topics, program requirements, selection process, and submission deadlines.

 


 

Arc of Career Programming

AALS Arc of Career Committee organizes programming at the Annual Meeting to address a broad spectrum of issues related to the professional careers of law faculty and administrators. Prior topics include sessions on joining law school administration, career issues for post-tenured faculty, building and sustaining academic communities, preparing for life beyond the legal academy, and retirement.

The AALS Arc of Career Committee issues a call for proposals in February. For more detailed information about Arc of Career program requirements, selection process, and submission deadlines, click here.

General guidelines

  • Format: There is no set format for Arc of Career programs, although most are structured as a traditional panel with 4- 5 presenters followed by a question and answer period. AALS encourages faculty to be innovative in their proposals and to consider formats that are more interactive than the panel model.
  • Length: Each program is allotted 1 hour and 45 minutes