December 30, 2011
How to make the most of AALS (for new ASPer's)
This is a follow-up to our previous posts on how to make the most of conferences. AALS is a little different than LSAC conferences, and while my overall advice is the same, I am modifying slightly to adjust for the differences.
1) Don't be shy, and don't take it personally. ASPer's are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet, in any profession. Speak up and introduce yourself. If someone is not open and friendly, keep in mind that they may be jet-lagged (East Coast conferences are hard for West Coast people), overwhelmed (especially if they are on multiple executive boards and committees), or just shy themselves.
2) Attend as many sessions as you can.Be active and engaged. This is important not just for the ASP community, but for members of your law school community. I know a number of people cannot make it to this years meeting because of budget cuts at their school. By being active at AALS, you are showing your school you are worth the investment.
3) Join committees. Volunteer. Be vocal. If you want to be a leader within ASP, we have to hear from you. The ASP section is always looking for people to serve on committees; volunteer. It is not a major time commitment (but it is a commitment), and it helps people get to know you. Don't hide your light under a bushel; speak up in committees. So many times I hear from new ASPer's that they do not want to say much because they do not have enough experience. However, new voices keep the profession fresh and engaged.
4) If you have something you want to see in the blog, come talk to me or Amy. This is not an official part of the conference, but it is important to us. Amy and I have been at this blog for a while. We know there are many things that people want to hear about, but we may not necessarily think of when we are drafting posts. So tell us what you want to know more about! And if you are confident enough and have something to say, offer to draft a guest column for the blog.
5) Get up for the breakfasts; they are great networking opportunities. Okay, so many people aren't thrilled about 7am new law professor or legal writing breakfasts (thankfully, ASP is having a lunch this year). Get yourself up anyway; these are excellent networking opportunities. Yes, the food is usually terrible and expensive. Go anyway. It is your chance to talk to people you would not ordinarily meet.
I am looking forward to AALS this year, and I will be there the entire conference. Say hi. (RCF)
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