Saturday, January 7, 2006
Among the materials distributed to all the attendees at the Mother Ship's Annual Meeting in D.C. is a glossy piece containing the 2005 survey results of the Law School Survey of Student Engagement. There's interesting stuff in it, including things you might not expect (part-time students are better-prepared than full-time students throughout law school), and some that you might (law school is better at teaching critical thinking than in promoting understanding among different ethnic and racial groups).
The title is a little unfortunate: The Law School Years: Probing Questions, Actionable Data. Actionable? Since my home institution is one of the participants, I hope not.
In a previous post, we described the Annual Conclave of the AALS, our parent body, as a "Bean Feed." Turns out some of you don't know what a bean feed is. It's a term used in Missouri and other parts of the Plains States to describe a kind of public event that combines good food and great companionship at a very reasonable price. Left, a typical bean feed. Right, a fund-raising bean feed.
Friday, January 6, 2006
Today is the big day for contracts types at the AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Highlights:
10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. The big gathering, of course, is the annual session of the Section on Contracts. This year's program is Empirical Research in Contract Law. Section Chair David Snyder of Tulane (left) will moderate the panel, which will also feature Stephen Choi (Cal-Berkeley), George Geis (Alabama), Mitu Gulati (Georgetown), Stewart Macaulay (Wisconsin), and Debora Threedy (Utah). The Section's annual business meeting will follow the program.
1:30-3:15 p.m. The Section on Commercial and Related Consumer Law will have one of the most interesting panels in recent memory, as they bring out Commercial Calamities, a panel dedicated to the "errors, omissions, archaisms, peculiarities, and downright stupidities" of commercial law. Each panelist will offer his or her own nominee for worst aspect of commercial law. Larry Garvin (Ohio State) will moderate. Panelists include Amy Boss (Temple), Victor Goldberg (Columbia), Bob Hillman (Cornell), Bob Scott (Virginia), and J.J. White (Michigan).
4:00-6:00 p.m. All Contracts Section members and friends can join us at Harry's Bar in the Lobby of the Marriott Wardman Park for a drink. No, the Section won't be buying, since half our annual budget is being used this morning to rent the video projector for our morning one-hour-and-45-minute session -- and we've got to save some money for the rest of the year. But I'll buy you a drink if you tell me how much you love the blog.
6:30-8:30 p.m. Get ready to pole that pirogue down the bayou! The law schools at American, Tulane, and Loyola-New Orleans are hosting A Night in Celebration of New Orleans in Support of Our Colleagues, at the AU campus (right).
Thursday, January 5, 2006
Greetings from the AALS Annual Meeting at the Godawful Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. The annual bean feed of The Official Learned Society of Legal Education has been going since Tuesday, but only the hardiest can do the entire week.
The immortal Christopher Columbus Langdell taught that law was a science, and this year's gabfest continues Langdell's vision; the theme is Empirical Scholarship: What Should We Study and How Should We Study It?
Today's schedule of events includes several things of interest to commercial law types:
8:30-10:15 a.m. One of the areas where status relationships encroach onto contractual relations is that of fiduciary duties. The Section on Agency, Partnership, LLCs and Unincorporated Associations is presenting What's Left of Fiduciary Duties? Tulsa contracts prof Barbara Bucholtz will moderate the session.
10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Insurance contracts are, well, different. The kinds of contractual protections you use to limit risks in ordinary commercial transactions may not work in situations where contracts of insurance cover risks that may be wholly unpredictable. The Section on Insurance's program, Difficult Risks, takes a broad look at contractual, governmental, economic, and policy issues involved raised by things like terrorism and seismic hazards.
12:30-2:00 p.m. On tap for the Luncheon Speaker is one of the founders of the Law & Economics movement, Judge Guido Calabresi.
2:15-4:00 p.m. The AALS Plenary Session will be a three-part concurrent exploration of Empirical Research. One track is for those who want to know how it should be evaluated and credited in law schools; one is for those who want to do it; and one is for those who don't want to do it but want to hear some especially good examples of it. Only one to a customer, though.
4:00-5:45 p.m. It's not really contracts-related, but those who are good soldiers in your school's CLE programs may be interested in Writing for Credit-Converting CLE Materials into Published Works and Vice Versa, a session sponsored jointly by the Section on CLE and the Section for New Law Professors. ContractsProf Contributing Editor Miriam Cherry will moderate the discussion.
6:30-8:30 p.m. Reception for all conference attendees at the Georgetown Law Center. Free drinks!