Category: Conferences

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Good news and bad news

With regards to the scheduling of the AALS session on blogging and scholarship tomorrow today, I see both good news and bad news.

The good news is that it doesn’t conflict with either Dan’s privacy panel or Gordon and Scott’s Wal-Mart panel. Whew! (It does, alas, clash with the “12 Angry Men” panel, meaning that 8:30 is the hour of “Solum or Solan — pick your favorite Lawrence.”)

The bad news is that the session starts at 8:30 . . .

. . . in the morning. Yikes!

Who forgot to tell the organizers that we bloggers need our sleep? (Markel? Didn’t we task that one to you?) Does no one realize that bloggers like to party ’til the wee hours of the morning? Or that any attempt to extract information from a blogger in the early morning is likely to result in gibberish or worse? I’m not making this up — note that one recent attempt to get information from a blogger in the early morning resulted in a cherry-picked list of bad puns. Alas, I suppose I have no choice but to bite the bullet and attend the panel — and then to blog mercilessly about any evidence of panelists in pajamas, snores among the audience (I realize, these are not limited to the 8:30 sessions), or bad puns.

Oh, and Miriam, you should definitely remember to attend the privacy panel later on. You will So-Love what those speakers have to say.

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Ideas on Sharing Ideas

Last weekend, Seton Hall Law School hosted its first annual Employment and Labor Law Scholars’ Forum. My sense (hopefully not over-influenced by optimism bias, one of the many topics discussed) is that the participants found it to be a great success. Part of this is attributable to the terrific and diverse working papers presented by Elizabeth Emens, Julie Chi-hye Suk, Noah Zatz, and Matthew Bodie. But I think the format and size also worked well. There were fourteen participants (including the authors) who collectively covered the waterfront of the labor and employment law fields. Each author presented for about fifteen minutes, with two commentators giving their thoughts for about ten minutes apiece. This set the stage for what was a terrific informal interchange for about an hour for each paper. Everyone learned a lot, in large part because the conversation began on such a high level, everybody had read the papers in advance, and the size of the group permitted all of us to participate in a meaningful way with each paper. Kudos to our colleague Kathleen Boozang for suggesting this kind of forum as a result of her participation in something similar in the health law area at St. Louis University.

Needless to say, despite the rise of electronic media and the seemingly endless number of ways for members of the academy to share information and ideas, sometimes there is no substitute for getting together to talk about scholarship. And, of course, it can be fun too.

So, I thought perhaps sharing ideas on how to share ideas might be a useful exercise. I am wondering what types of formats – whether characterized as a forum, workshop, roundtable, or conference – others have found to be particularly useful as a presenter, commenter, or participant. I am concerned here just about the beneficial exchange of ideas rather than other ways in which one might benefit from attendance (and I realize there are plenty of the latter). What, in your experience, has worked well? If anyone can speak to the “science” of this, that would also be helpful.

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Call For Papers: National Security Leak Prosecutions

The Association of American Law Schools Section on National Security Law is sponsoring a competition for papers on the topic of national security leak prosecutions in connection with its program at AALS in January. The winning piece will be published in the Journal of National Security Law and Policy and the author will be included on the panel itself. Three page abstracts are due September 5. The competition appears to be open only to law faculty. The Call for Papers is posted at:

http://www.wfu.edu/%7Echesner/NationalSecurityLaw/CallForPapers.pdf.

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Law and Society Ass’n. Conf. Next Week

I hope many of you are planning on attending the Law and Society Ass’n. Annual Meeting in Baltimore next week.

I will be there, and I hope to meet as many readers and bloggers as possible. To that end, Prawfs/Glom are organizing a happy hour for bloggers/readers.

I am lucky enough to be presenting a Director Liability paper on a Corp./Secs. panel on Thursday, at 8:15 a.m., and Jayne Barnard and Erica Beecher-Monas will also be presenting papers at that panel session (I have seen Jayne’s paper, and it is incredibly interesting – a bit of a profile on the secs. fraudster). Usha Rodrigues (such a superstar!) will be the discussant, Barbara Black will be the panel chair, and Joan Heminway is the organizer. I am anticipating a great session.

Though I am busily finishing my paper and preparing my presentation, a bigger, more pressing issue looms. To wit, should I run in the 5K Fred Dubow Memorial Fun Run on Sunday? I don’t suppose any readers/bloggers are planning to run?. . . . You see, it is one thing for me to be willing to put my academic thoughts out there and risk people saying “Nowicki has no idea what she is talking about.” It is entirely another thing to be willing to risk having people walk away from the conference saying “Not only are Nowicki’s ideas moronic, she is a painfully slow runner. So slow it hurts to watch.” To that end, who are the runners among us, and what sorts of times do you anticipate? . . .

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Live from the AALS Conference on New Ideas for Law School Teachers: Teaching Intentionally

Today is the first day of the AALS Midyear Conference on New Ideas for Law Teachers. Before commenting more substantively on the Conference itself, I want to ask this preliminary question: why are so few law professors from “elite” schools participating in the conference? There are approximately 150 professors registered for the Conference. By my count, only about 3 percent of those registered teach at law schools ranked within the “top 10″ according to US News & World Report (I am aware of the controversy associated with US News rankings, but have referenced them here for the sake of convenience.) Similarly, only about another 10 percent of the participants teach at law schools ranked within the “top 25″ according to the same US News ranking.

A causal observer might argue that the relative lack of participation by professors at “elite” law schools signals a lack of interest in teaching. Or an observer might say that professors at “elite” law schools already know how to teach well and therefore are unlikely to register for such a conference. But I think both of these arguments are far too facile. I believe that law professors at highly ranked law schools care deeply about teaching; and teachers at all levels can always benefit from sharing best practices. Instead, one arguent is that the difference in registration rates can be explained by the differing markets for law students. Arguably, schools in the “middle range” are incented to constantly improve and refine teaching methods because they compete against other schools in the same range directly on that basis. Upper tier schools, by contrast, are largely competing against each other in terms of branding and prestige of the institution.

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Labor and Employment Law Conference

Marquette University Law School will host the 2006 Colloquium on Current Scholarship in Labor and Employment Law on Friday, October 27, 2006. From the conference website:

The Colloquium offers an opportunity for labor and employment law scholars from around the country to present their works in progress or recent scholarship, to get feedback from their colleagues, and to have a chance to meet and interact with those who are also teaching and researching in the labor and employment law area. Although all participants are encouraged to present their scholarship, one need not present in order to attend.

More here, or to register, click here. The conference, interestingly, is the result of a blog post by Scott Moss (Marquette) and responses to that blog post from Paul Secunda (Ole Miss) and Joe Slater (U. Toledo).

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Empirical Studies at ALEA

Bill Henderson (at the ELS Blog) has a very useful round-up of empirical papers presented at the recent ALEA conference. Blog-traveller Kate Litvak comes in for special praise:

Kate Litvak [presented] “The Effect of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on Non-US Companies Listed in the U.S.,” which was an extremely well-done event study that used a natural experiment approach to capture the market reaction to SOX (it was generally negative). In the last couple of years, Kate, who does not have a PhD, has spent a lot of time learning sophisticated econometric techniques. It really showed. Very impressive (and easy to follow) presentation.

To be frank, I’ve been quite skeptical of studies showing a negative relationship between SOX and equity prices, on several grounds: (1) my practice experience managing the creation of event studies that dealt with changing legal regimes suggested that results are rarely as robust as one might hope; (2)) the passage and eventual implementation of SOX were so attenuated that event studies would seem hard to perform; and (3) the debate is quite politicized, with folks already disposed to dislike federalization of corporate law leading the charge on the empirical front as well. But, having read Kate’s paper, I’m inclined to rethink my position. It is well-worth a read.

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The Harvard Bloggership Conference in a Nutshell

harvardlawschool.jpgI have returned from the bloggership conference at Harvard Law School. This conference has already been blogged about (big surprise), with Ann Althouse and Larry Solum live-blogging it and Michael Froomkin, in grand meta fashion, blogging about those blogging about the conference.

I thought I’d contribute to all this blogging by translating the conference into “blog” (the punchy to-the-point language of blogging). You can get everything you need to know about the conference from this post — absolutely free of charge. It’s as if you had gone to the conference yourself — only better, because I’ve saved you hours of time and engaged in extensive analysis to bring you the key points. [Warning: The summaries below are caricatures. Plenty of more serious commentary about the conference has already been done -- see the links above and below.]

INTRODUCTION:

Paul Caron: “Who are we? Why are we here?” Answer: we’re bloggers, and we’re great. [And we're here because of the free grub at Harvard.]

PANEL 1:

Doug Berman: Blogging brings us to the people; it is less hierarchical than normal scholarship — and it’s fun.

Larry Solum: Blogs are short, open source, and without mediation.

Kate Litvak: Blogging is akin to a “bugged water cooler” conversation; we should get a grip because blogging ain’t that revolutionary.

Paul Butler: The blog “is slapping legal scholarship in the face” and it brings power to the people.

Jim Lindgren: Why should we want to know whether blogging is scholarship?

Ellen Podgor: Everybody is right.

PANEL 2:

Gail Heriot: Blogging is fun and makes the academy less cloistered; 40% of law review articles never get cited — not even by their own authors — ouch!

Orin Kerr: The problem with blogs is tyranny — yes, tyranny — which is the result of the fact blogs are in reverse chronological order rather than focused around the best and most lasting posts.

Gordon Smith: Blogs connect you into the network.

Randy Barnett: Blogging can seduce you away from scholarship [don't be seduced to the dark side young Skywalker], but blogging can help advertise your stuff.

Michael Froomkin: We should blog more about law review articles we like. [But can we find enough?]

More below the fold.

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Harvard Bloggership Conference

harvardlawschool.jpgI’m very excited to be participating next week in the conference Bloggership: How Blogs Are Transforming Legal Scholarship at Harvard Law School.

Paul Caron (law, Ohio State) of TaxProf Blog (and king of the Caron blogging empire) has put together a terrific array of speakers, including well-known bloggers such as Eugene Volokh, Glenn Reynolds, Ann Althouse, Orin Kerr, Larry Ribstein, Michael Froomkin, Christine Hurt, Larry Solum, Ellen Podgor, Doug Berman, Howard Bashman, Paul Butler, and many more.

The conference is on Friday, April 28th at Harvard Law School from 8:30 AM to 5:15 PM.

I’m on a panel which includes Glenn Reynolds, Eugene Volokh, Eric Goldman, and Betsy Malloy. I’m fairly certain I’ll come up with something to disagree with them about!

I’ll also be among a group of bloggers hanging around for the bloggers-meet-readers event that Eugene Volokh is organizing for Thursday, April 27th at 9PM. Eugene Volokh has the details here, along with a list of bloggers who plan to attend.