Teaching Work Law – Long Beach, CA

A planning committee requests proposals for the AALS mid-year labor and employment workshop, Harnessing The Interdisciplinary Nature of Work Law. The workshop will be June 10-12, 2009. The deadline for proposals is Nov. 1, 2009.

Association of American Law Schools
June 2, 2008


To: Law School Professors

From: Planning Committee for the 2009 Workshop on Work Law

Anthony Baldwin, Mercer University
Catherine L. Fisk, Duke University
Ruben J. Garcia, California Western School of Law, Chair
Harry G. Hutchison, George Mason University
Kevin R. Johnson, University of California at Davis
Michael L. Selmi, The George Washington University
Jay Tidmarsh, Notre Dame Law School

Subject:  Request for proposals for Presentations on Teaching Work Law: The Challenges of Integrating Theory and Practice.

We are presently planning an AALS Workshop on Labor and Employment Law, entitled Harnessing The Interdisciplinary Nature of Work Law.  The workshop will be held at the AALS Mid-Year Meeting on June 10-12, 2009, at the Westin Hotel in Long Beach, California. The workshop will include a time period where we have scheduled presentations based on responses to this request for proposals.  To this end, we are soliciting proposals from law faculty who wish to participate in the conference on the topic described below.  Ideally, we would like to offer workshop attendees a menu of topics from which to choose.

Many law faculty members spend a great deal of time thinking about and working on their teaching, and yet most of their colleagues are unaware of their work.  In order to open the workshop to a wide array of ideas about teaching, we are encouraging faculty who would like to share their work and ideas with a larger audience to submit a proposal for a brief 15-20 minute presentation at the workshop.

In January 2007, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching released a report on the state of legal education, entitled Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law (“the Report”) available at http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/.  The Report challenged the ways that law schools, particularly in first year courses, divorce the reality of legal practice and skills from theory and doctrine.  The Report concluded that law schools must develop in students “practical lawyering skills and understandings of ethical and moral considerations.”   The questions raised by the Carnegie Report continue to reverberate throughout the academy, including in the fields that comprise work law.

The subjects that traditionally comprise work law, including labor law, employment law, and employment discrimination, are a thriving practice area.  Many teachers find it challenging to adapt the curriculum and the pedagogy of these law school courses to the practice of work law.  Thus, we seek proposals addressing how work law teachers are responding to the ideas raised in the Carnegie Report, through teaching techniques, changes in course coverage, or other methods.  Some work law teachers have used their classes as a vehicle to simulate the power dynamics in the workplace. Others might question whether the Report goes far enough in proposing reforms of curriculum or pedagogy.  Others might believe the Report overstates the dichotomy between theory and practice.  All of these perspectives are welcome.

One purpose for seeking proposals is to make widely available the pedagogical work and wisdom of law faculty, we will make available all proposals on this workshop’s website unless you request that we not do so.

Selection of presentations by the Planning Committee: Interested faculty should submit a written description of the proposed presentation of about one single-spaced page.  Please submit these materials by e-mail to worklaw [at] aals.org by November 1, 2009.  The Planning Committee will make selections shortly thereafter.  The faculty members chosen must register for the Conference and will be responsible for their own travel and other expenses.  Any questions about the proposals should be directed to Professor Ruben Garcia, California Western School of Law, at rgarcia [at] cwsl.edu.

Reminder: please take the Legal Scholarship Blog survey.