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Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals

AALS Section on Contracts

New Approaches to Teaching Contracts: A “Teach-In”

2010 AALS Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana

The Section on Contracts solicits proposals for its Annual Meeting program, New Approaches to Teaching Contracts: A “Teach-In, scheduled for Friday, January 8, 2010, at 10:30 a.m., and for a planned print symposium to follow.

The Topic: Responding to profound changes in the practice of law and in our larger culture, many Contracts professors strive to update their methods and materials.  In the spirit of the Annual Meeting’s transformative theme, our program will explore a variety of new approaches that contracts professors have begun to introduce in the classroom and in teaching materials to address both changes in the structure of practice that require new lawyers to hit the ground running and ways that wired students synthesize material and acquire skills.  We hope that the program, as a whole, will motivate experienced contracts professors to de-laminate their notes and inspire newer professors to move beyond their own professors in developing new ways to convey the beauty, complexity, and occasional imperfections of contract law.

The Program: The roundtable discussion will feature professors demonstrating a variety of pedagogical approaches.  Invited presenters include: Douglas Baird (Chicago), on the Langdellian method centering on classic cases; Scott Burhnam (Montana), on using drafting exercises to develop both skills and doctrinal understanding; Carol Chomsky (Minnesota) or Christina Kunz (William Mitchell), on their contribution to West’s Interactive Casebook Series, Contracts: A Contemporary Approach (West forthcoming 2009); and Emily Kadens (Texas) on adapting the problem-based method more commonly used in upper-level commercial law courses to the first-year Contracts course.  We seek two more presenters on innovative approaches to teaching Contracts.  Presentations should demonstrate (rather than merely describe) teaching methods, perhaps distributing or illustrating any relevant materials through PowerPoint or other means.  Each presentation should last 10-15 minutes, though we realize it will likely be taken from a larger work or set of materials.

The Symposium: We are working to identify a journal that will provide the best outlet in which to publish papers from our presenters, as well as additional contributions from those who respond to this call for proposals.  We have begun discussions with the Journal of Legal Education and welcome your suggestions about other venues for the print symposium.

How to Submit a Proposal: Please submit a title, brief description, and any supporting materials no later than SEPTEMBER 1, 2009 to the Planning Subcommittee: Martha Ertman (Maryland), Lisa Bernstein (Chicago), and Keith Rowley (UNLV).  Please direct your submission to all three of our email addresses: mertman@law.umaryland.edu, lbernst621@aol.com, and keith.rowley@unlv.edu, respectively.  We will select two proposals for the Annual Meeting program from those submitted and notify their authors by October 1, 2009.  Once we secure a publication commitment, we will begin contacting additional proposal authors to discuss contributing to the print symposium.

[Keith A. Rowley]

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