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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Those Glossy Brochures

I frequently receive glossy brochures or postcards about a conference in legal academia a few days before the conference begins (and sometimes a few days after).  Schools do these mailings, not to attract attendance, but rather to advertise the interesting speakers they have assembled.  Perhaps they hope to influence reputational scores for U.S. News voters.   In a world where information has become increasingly easy to spread, however, it seems decidely out of line with good academic values to widely publicize a conference only after it is too late for most academics to attend.

I think the issue is particularly pertinent to new law professors (see Dan Markel's recent post on advice for new prawfs).  When you first get started in academia, it can take a while to discover the interesting conferences and academic societies in one's field.  This is particularly true in law where a given subject matter may be covered at a school by only one or two faculty members (if it's covered at all).  So, I suppose I'd add the following to Dan's advice: Ask someone in your field (at your school or elsewhere) about the important recurring and non-recurring conferences that are going on in your field, along with the publications, blogs, and learned societies that you need to connect to in order to stay in the loop.

Posted by Adam Kolber on March 23, 2006 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

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