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Monday, November 09, 2009

Self-Promotion #1: Build a Blog-Built Conference

I want to continue in a tradition I have had as a guest blogger at various blogs in the past: the serialization of posts on a topic of what is hopefully of mutual interest to a large segment of the blog readership.  Last time I did this was almost two years ago on that other blog (with the initials C.O.) and I wrote about my law school lateral market experiences.

This time I want to take on a somewhat related topic - self-promotion in the legal academy.  This interest stems from a great panel on self-promotion I heard at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) annual meeting this past August, featuring Jennifer Collins (Wake Forest), Erica Hashimoto (Georgia), and this blog's Paul Horwitz (Alabama).  At that panel, I jotted down a number of ways I thought that especially less senior law faculty could go about getting themselves "known" in the larger academy (hopefully for the good and not the bad).  Of course, being "known" in the legal academy is one way to get yourself out there on the lateral market and thus, the connection to my last series of posts on this type of topic.

Today, let me start by making a suggestion that is well within the scope of what junior law profs can hope to accomplish, at least in some fields.  A number of years ago on this blog, Scott Moss (Colorado), Joe Slater (Toledo) and I were bemoaning the fact that there were never ever any good labor and employment law conferences.  So what did we do? We started a colloquium of our own.  About to be in its fifth year next year, the Annual Colloquium on Current Scholarship in Labor and Employment Law has criss-crossed the country (from Milwaukee to Colorado to San Diego to Newark) and has involved literally hundreds of professors, practitioners, and students in a supportive dialogue on research and developments in labor and employment law. I think I can speak for my co-founders when I say that none of us had any idea of how successful this endeavor would, and continues to, be.

Now granted that this type of self-promotion is not available for those of you in fields that already have such subject-specific conferences, like in IP and ADR.  But my point is that there is still many disciplines that do not have any such programs and your colleagues in these disciplines are just waiting for someone to take the bull by the horns and start a colloquium.  It goes without saying that you quickly become known by those in your field and it is the type of enterprise that you can continue to be involved with over the years.  Because it is such a large undertaking, I would suggest, however, trying the create-a-colloquium approach with one or two other people in your field with whom you work well.

Next time: twitter, blogs, and social networking.

Paul Secunda

Posted by Workplace Prof on November 9, 2009 at 01:37 PM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink


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I am working on an article about meshing the use of social media with PR and professionalism, so I am especially interested in the next post.



Posted by: Kelly Anders | Nov 9, 2009 1:49:59 PM

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