Find the current due dates on Program Proposals.

Hot Topic programs focus on topics that emerged too late in the year to be included in other types of programs. Time slots assigned to the selected programs cannot be changed to accommodate speakers due to scheduling constraints.

Hot Topic organizers should check the preliminary Annual Meeting program at to ensure there is no direct conflict between the proposed topic and a program already on the schedule. The Committee will narrowly construe this requirement and will try to avoid disqualifying proposals due to conflict with an existing program.

Program guidelines

Who may propose a program:

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.

Proposal contents:

  • The program title.
  • The names and contact information of the program organizers.
  • A detailed description of the proposed program, including (a) the format of the proposed program, (b) an explanation of the overall goal of the program, (c) a description of how diversity is achieved by the program’s speakers, content, and/or structure, and (d) if applicable, an indication that one or more speakers will be selected from a call for participants.
  • A description of why the topic is timely.
  • Names of speakers to be invited including their full names and schools with links to or copies of their curricula vitae. The number of speakers should be limited to three (or a maximum of four) plus one moderator and should include a diversity of law schools, viewpoint, gender, race, and years of experience.
  • If applicable, name the journal or edited volume that will be publishing the program.
  • An explanation of (1) why the topic is “hot” and (2) why it was not possible to make the proposal in one of the other program categories with an earlier deadline.

Program organizers should take the AALS core value of diversity into account when developing their proposals and identifying speakers. Relevant diversity considerations include but are not limited to speakers’ gender; race; years of teaching experience; faculty status (i.e., junior/senior faculty, tenured/tenure-track/clinical/non-tenure-track faculty); type of law school; geographic location; and viewpoint. To further viewpoint diversity in programming in particular, proposals should include speakers who will represent a range of philosophical, ideological, doctrinal, and methodological perspectives on the program topic as framed.

Selection criteria

In reviewing Hot Topic proposals, the Committee will consider the overall quality of the program, including whether:

  • The program is likely to be of interest to Annual Meeting attendees;
  • The proposal is well written and thoughtfully constructed; and
  • It includes presenters who further the diversity goals described above.
  • The proposal adequately explains its hot topic deadline.
  • The proposal’s topic substantially replicates an Annual Meeting program already on the schedule.

Submission dates and the submission form will be posted on the Annual Meeting website by February. Questions may be directed to AALS Hot Topics.