Many thanks to Dan for the welcome, and to all the Concurring Opinion permabloggers for inviting me to visit. As a long-time reader, I’m glad to make my first – and hopefully not last – foray into the blogosphere here.
In posts preceding the recently concluded Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting, Brian Leiter and Orin Kerr respectively questioned the intellectual content, and suggested the underwhelming quality, of AALS conference programming – or at least that part of the “programming” that occurs in the hotel’s ballrooms, as opposed to its lobby and various hallways, and at an array of nearby restaurants and bars. This critique is hardly unique to them, moreover. Rather, it seems to constitute the conventional wisdom.
Having spent almost three days last week not simply “at AALS” in the abstract, but actually at the conference site (I’m close enough to the City not to have devoted time to shopping and sightseeing), I thought I would devote my first post to offering a modest dissent from the Leiter, Kerr, et al. critique.
Of course, there is the standard defense of the AALS annual meeting as an occasion for systematic schmoozing – a species of speed dating for law professors. (On this count, I might note that this year’s venue – the Hilton New York – had some real strengths. One could basically set oneself on an infinite loop up and down the escalators at either end of the second and third floor (see the 3-D tour) – where most of the schmoozing took place – for the entire weekend.) But a defense of schmoozing would be too easy: What’s not to like about it? Instead, I want to suggest that AALS may have merit of the intellectual variety, notwithstanding Brian and Orin’s critique.