The Association of American Law Schools 2009 Annual Meeting to Feature Three Presidential...

Tue Jan 6, 2009 1:00pm EST

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The Association of American Law Schools 2009 Annual Meeting to Feature Three
Presidential Programs
Presidential Programs entitled Institutional Pluralism, Religiously Affiliated
Law Schools and Associational Pluralism.

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Three Presidential programs
will take place at the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Annual
Meeting from 2:15 to 4:00 p.m. Each session will further explore the Annual
Meeting's theme of Institutional Pluralism. The Annual Meeting will take place
January 6-10, 2009, in San Diego.
    The first Presidential program, Institutional Pluralism, is designed to
explore the virtues of institutional pluralism, the costs of pursuing that
ideal, and the impediments to realizing it. The panelists, who come from a
variety of types of law schools, will begin a conversation about how
institutional differences affect faculty and students, how they contribute to
our intellectual life, and what effects they have on the other values our
schools cultivate.  Kenneth W. Starr (Pepperdine) will serve as the moderator
and speaker for this session and joining him will be: Heather K. Gerken
(Yale); R. Kent Greenawalt (Columbia); Alice Gresham (Howard); Sanford
Levinson (Texas); Daniel D. Polsby (George Mason).
    The second Presidential program, Religiously Affiliated Law Schools,
brings to the forefront the AALS' 49 religiously affiliated law schools, which
is about one quarter of all of AALS' 200 member and fee-paid schools. Are
these 49 religiously affiliated law schools different from their secular
counterparts? What effect might the religious commitments and beliefs of the
sponsoring faiths have on subject matter, perspective, student life, academic
freedom, admissions, hiring, and other issues? What do religiously affiliated
law schools contribute to the legal academy and broader legal community?
Patricia A. O'Hara (Notre Dame) will serve as the moderator and speaker for
this session.  Joining her will be Michael Herz (Yeshiva); Mark A. Sargent
(Villanova); Bradley J.B. Toben (Baylor); and James D. Gordon (Brigham Young).
    The third Presidential Program, Associational Pluralism, addresses the
flourishing culture of parallel organizations we have seen in recent years,
including the Federalist Society, the Society of American Law Teachers, the
National Association of Scholars, the Law Professors Christian Fellowship, and
the American Constitution Society. Does this phenomenon signal that the AALS
is not representing these points of view? Should the AALS try to assimilate
these groups, or make more of an effort to accommodate them (without digesting
them) in its own framework, or live with the status quo? Gail Heriot
(University of San Diego and National Association of Scholars) will serve as
moderator and speaker for this session.  Joining her will be Margaret Martin
Barry (Catholic University and Society of American Law Teachers); Michael
Brintnall (Executive Director, American Political Science Association,
Washington D.C.); Goodwin Liu (University of California, Berkeley and American
Constitution Society); and John O. McGinnis (Northwestern University and The
Federalist Society).
    All three Presidential Programs will occur on Thursday, January 8, from
2:15 - 4:00 p.m. at the San Diego Marriott and Marina.
    The entire AALS 2009 Annual Meeting program can be found on the
Association's Web site at www.aals.org/am2009/. Members of the press are
invited to attend free of charge. Those interested in attending are asked to
notify Deborah Quick from January 6-10, 2009 at 619-645-6955. Press also may
register on-site at the AALS office located in the Manchester Room on the
North Tower/Lobby Level of the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina beginning
Tuesday after 6 p.m.January 6, 2009, and continuing through Saturday, January
10, 2009.
    The Association of American Law Schools is a resource for the improvement
of the quality of legal education by networking law school faculty,
professional staff and deans to information and resources. AALS is the
principal representative of legal education to the federal government, other
national higher education organizations, learned societies and international
law schools.
SOURCE  Association of American Law Schools

David A. Brennen of the Association of American Law Schools, +1- 619-645-6955
(January 6-10, 2009)
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