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CFP: AALS 2024 Annual Meeting Program

Association of American Law Schools (AALS)

Call for Proposals – AALS 2024 Annual Meeting Program

Section on Poverty Law

The AALS Section on Poverty Law is pleased to announce a Call for Proposals for the
2024 Annual Meeting. The 2024 meeting will be from January 3-6, 2024, in Washington,
DC. The program descriptions for each of the (I) Main program (500-word proposal), (II)
Pedagogy panel (300-word presentation summary), and (III) New Voices program
(500-word abstract) are provided below.

Proposals for the main program (500 words) and presentation summaries for the
pedagogy program (300 words) are due June 30, 2023. Abstracts for the new voices
works-in-progress program (500 words) are due September 1, 2023. All submissions
will be accepted via the same google form:
By submitting a proposal for consideration, you agree to attend the 2024 AALS Annual
Meeting Poverty Law Session should your idea be selected for presentation. Presenters
will be responsible for paying their own registration fee for the annual meeting and all
other associated expenses.

Title: Structural Barriers and Systemic Interventions for Economic and Social Mobility
Co-sponsored by: Property Law Section; Clinical Legal Education Section; Section on
Critical Theories; Pro Bono & Access to Justice Section; Women in Legal Education


Co-moderators: Verónica C. Gonzales-Zamora & Tomar Pierson-Brown
The American Dream is not a dream. With the crises in national and global economies
over the last two decades, social and economic mobility has become stagnant. The cost
of housing and higher education in the U.S. has made the traditional routes to economic
stability and social mobility unfeasible for many. Student debt and predatory lending
continue to stifle the economic prosperity and transfers of wealth for people of color.
Systemic factors contributing to inter-generational poverty are largely ignored by

The American mythology of a meritocracy has perpetuated a narrative that people in
lower socio-economic classes are less deserving of government support. Law and
policy play a role in perpetuating the myth of “pulling oneself up by their bootstraps.”
Biases, attitudes, and prejudices are embedded in policies that promote narratives of
self-sufficiency and equal opportunity. Although the pandemic prompted some
innovative programs that supported people across classes, for decades there has been
little attention paid to creating more sustainable robust social safety nets.

Meritocratic assumptions, that people should only have the things they earn, continue to
find their way into law and policy around the globe. This program is designed to solicit
presenters who can share insights into how law has been both a contributing factor to
cyclical poverty and a tool for mitigating economic and social inequality. We are looking
for both critical theorists and subject matter experts to lead interactive presentations on
why these narratives and the structural barriers they reinforce are so persistent, as well
as strategies for sustainable, structural change. Areas of expertise on this theme may
include, but are not limited to the following disciplines:

● Sociology, social work (e.g., vulnerability theory)
● Education
● Healthcare, health law, health justice
● Housing
● Economics
● Elder law
● Public benefits law
● Family law/foster care
● Critical legal theory
● Intersectionality

We invite proposals of 500 words or less from individuals or panels of up to 3. The
proposal should describe the content, desired format of the presentation, and include
the name(s) and contact information of the presenters. Preference will be given to
proposals that include at least one person from a non-profit or community space (not
just lawyers/law professors) and/or interdisciplinary groups of speakers. We welcome
proposals from faculty with diverse experiences and backgrounds.

Please submit proposals by July 15, 2023, here: Any questions about the main program can be
directed to Verónica C. Gonzales ( and Tomar Pierson-Brown


Co-moderators: Lauren Katz Smith & Jenna Prochaska
As successful constitutional litigation feels further out of reach, national government
funding for legal services decreases, and legislative protections for the poor are limited,
law students must be trained and supported in ways that are reflective of the current
conditions of poverty law practice. Many who practice and teach in this space,
recognize that meaningful legal strategy must be collaborative in nature and approach
and designed as partnerships with community organizations and movements. This
session will showcase the creative ways that law faculty are responding to the
opportunity to innovate and inspire the next generation of collaborative social justice

We seek proposals discussing systemic advocacy, intersectional poverty law, and
supporting sustainable movements. Submissions should be brief presentation
summaries (no more than 300 words) of a technique, assignment, or project that you
use to teach collaboration and/or innovation in Poverty Law. Show us the ways that you
are innovating in and/or beyond your classroom walls. Each potential speaker may
submit only one presentation summary for consideration.

Please submit proposals by July 15, 2023, here: Any questions about the pedagogy program
can be directed to Lauren Katz Smith ( and Jenna Prochaska


Co-moderators: Emily Suski, Mira Edmonds, & Jason Parkin
This works-in-progress program will give junior scholars writing in the area of poverty
law, broadly defined, an opportunity to showcase their work and receive feedback from
the community. Scholars at AALS member law schools who have been writing in the
field of poverty law for 8 years or less are eligible; clinical and research faculty alike are
encouraged to apply.

The format of the session will include brief (7-10 minute) presentations of papers,
followed by Q&A with the audience. Priority will be given to papers that have not yet
been accepted for publication. More details will be provided to selected presenters.
Please submit a 500-word abstract for your work-in-progress by September 1, 2023,
here: Any questions about the new voices
program can be directed to Emily Suski (, Mira Edmonds
(, and Jason Parkin (



About the Legal Scholarship Blog
The Legal Scholarship Blog features law-related Calls for Papers, Conferences, and Workshops as well as general legal scholarship resources. If you would like to have an event posted, please contact us at

About the Author
Mary Seitz – Barco Law Library, University of Pittsburgh School of Law



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