Friday, January 14, 2005
At the Section Meeting at the AALS Annual Meeting, incoming Chair David Snyder (no relation), delivered an open letter to Section members, outlining his thoughts about the coming year. To read it, click below.
January 8, 2005
I am honored to serve as chair of the Section for 2005. As we look forward to a new year, I would like to highlight some of our activities and to share a few of my thoughts. Rather than providing the details here, I will send out a more elaborate version of this letter via the listserv so the information will be available more conveniently. If you are not on the listserv and would like a copy, please let me know. There are many opportunities to be involved, and I hope you will take advantage of them.
To begin, let me thank everyone who has served the Section so well, particularly Juliet Kostritsky, our chair for the last year, and Hazel Glenn Beh, our past chair. I would also like to thank Carol Chomsky for running our listserv and Frank Snyder, who edits our outstanding newsletter and who has now taken over our web presence from Scott Burnham, who has given us many years of service. Let me also thank those who will continue to serve with me on the executive committee in the coming year. I hope you will feel free to contact any of us:
I hope that the coming year will bring more chances to become involved in the section, to meet colleagues, and to explore the law of contracts. There are several possibilities to pursue.
Informal gatherings. Gathering for panels and presentations is an academic pleasure, a privilege of being a professor. Aside from these more formal occasions, though, many would like to spend more time talking about contracts-learning from each other. Because the presentations often allow little time for those not presenting, I hope that informal gatherings will provide more opportunity for interaction. Our first one will be today [January 8] from 5:30 to 6:30 or 7:00. We will meet for drinks and will have a chance to follow up the topics from today's presentations, to discuss opportunities for involvement in the Section, and to let the discussion range where it may. I am sure we can find a chance for similar gatherings at the mid-year meeting this summer, as well as at the annual meeting next January.
Mentoring and scholarly review. The Section can help provide new teachers, and teachers new to contracts, with a mentor. While there have been some efforts along these lines in the past, I am not sure how widely (or if) the idea was implemented. This year I hope that this program can provide some guidance to anyone who would like it. In addition, we can try to link those working on particular articles with others who are interested in reading drafts. If you would like a mentor or would like to serve as one, please let me know. If you would like to find a reviewer for an article, or would like to review one, again, let me know.
On-going and Upcoming Activities
The listserv. The listserv is home to contracts discussion of extraordinary quality. Some of our most distinguished teachers and scholars not only contribute but sometimes have saved the threads for use in the classroom or even publication (with permission of the email authors). The threads range from in-depth discussions of controversial points to quick help for an upcoming class. Participants include senior scholars, total newbies, and everyone in between.
The web. Our web presence in the last year has shifted from a largely archival web site to a web page with a touch of the blog to it. It is still evolving, but it is always filled with new information, from updates on scholarship to humorous tidbits. If you are interested in being a part of the effort, contact Frank Snyder.
The Newsletter. The newsletter features articles on teaching, summaries of new scholarship, contracts-related current events that will likely be of interest to students as well as teachers, and round-ups of upcoming conferences and similar happenings, among other things. There are many opportunities to be involved; contact Frank Snyder if you are interested.
The Mid-year Meeting. This year the AALS is sponsoring one of the relatively rare conferences on Contracts. These events are the source of both scholarly ferment and fond memory. I wish I had been there when Grant Gilmore conceded that Contract might be alive. The meeting this June in Montreal looks very promising, and I hope many of us can attend.
The Annual Meeting. Planning for the next annual meeting, incredibly, begins now. Please let me know if you want to share ideas for the meeting in 2006.
Serving as chair is a great privilege. I hope you will contact me with any ideas, suggestions, comments, or questions. I look forward to working with all of you.
Yours very truly,
David V. Snyder