I recently attended the Emory Transactional Law conference (which was excellent, as always). The conference is held every two years; this was their fifth. Earlier in the spring semester, while I was putting together my talk (on What Law School Curriculum Committees Can Learn From Architecture Schools) I noticed that the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning 2016 conference would be going on at the same time, as well as the Third National Symposium on Experiential Learning in Law.
There are differences in emphasis among the three conferences. But it’s fair to say that most, if not all, of the attendees at all three events are in what might be termed the “reform wing” of legal education. While the ideas being circulated at all three conferences may be familiar to most readers of this blog, and while those ideas are being incorporated into law school curriculums throughout the country, the reform movement (broadly construed) still does not command a majority position in legal education. So I have to ask – why would three such conferences be scheduled at the same time? I know there is no commissioner or czar of legal education, let alone a single leader of each of the various components of the reform movement. I also know that with the limited travel budgets many professors have, attending more than one conference in a year might be out of reach. But I wonder if there isn’t some way to better coordinate scheduling of such conferences for those who would want to attend more than one of them. I don’t know who put their marker down first, and I don’t know if any of the players knew of what the others were planning. But perhaps more coordination, and more deference to others, might have been in order.
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