Call for Proposals: Legal Writing Institute 2022 Biennial Conference



Event Date: 

07/20/22 to 07/23/22

Location name: 

Georgetown University Law Center


Legal Writing Institute

Call for Proposals:

20th Biennial Conference

“Punctuated Equilibrium”

July 20-23, 2022

Georgetown University Law Center

Washington, D.C.

Proposals Due: 11:59 p.m. (EST)  August 2, 2021 (new due date!)


Please join us for the 2022 Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute, where colleagues will have the opportunity to meet, reconnect, and share ideas about teaching, scholarship, and professional growth.


The 2022 conference theme is “Punctuated Equilibrium.” While we hope to inspire you with the “Punctuated Equilibrium” conference theme, the Program Committee welcomes proposals on any subject of interest to the legal writing community. We want to showcase a variety of voices and perspectives, especially because our community hasn’t been able to gather in person for so long. With that in mind, we encourage presentation proposals from everyone, especially you. If you’re new to the legal writing community or to giving conference presentations, a Program Committee mentor can help you.


Presentation Formats

To create an inclusive and engaging conference program, we’re mixing in some new presentation formats with familiar ones:


  • Poster Presentation. A poster presentation has two parts—(1) a poster that can be displayed on its own and (2) a 5-10 minute talk about the poster’s contents. Conference posters will be on display for the entire conference. There will also be a designated time when presenters sit or stand by their posters and discuss them. LWI will supply tack boards to display posters. Here are some tips on poster presentations. The Program Committee will work with poster presenters on size limits and other technical requirements.


  • Pre-Recorded Loop Presentation (10 minutes). Imagine a small theater playing a continuous loop of short legal writing presentations. Attendees will wander in at any time to watch the presentations, have a snack, and decompress. Loop presentations can be on any topic that can be presented in a pre-recorded video of 10 minutes or less, including scholarship published in the past three years.


Because the loop presentations are pre-recorded, presenters are not required to attend the conference in person. The Program Committee will work with loop presenters on technical requirements for submissions.


  • Flash Presentation (20 minutes). A flash presentation covers a single, focused idea. For example, a flash presentation could describe a class exercise, deconstruct a #legalwriting twitter thread, summarize a research project, or challenge a legal writing convention. Think of a flash presentation as a blog post or TED Talk. Presenters can lecture or mix lecture with audience interaction and Q&A.


  • Traditional Presentation (45 minutes). This presentation format includes lecture plus Q&A at the end or a mix of lecture and audience participation throughout. If you are proposing an interactive presentation with audience participation beyond Q&A, your proposal should describe your plans for audience interaction and how much time the interaction will take.


  • Panel Presentation (45 minutes). Panels should have a topic for discussion and three or more panelists. Panel styles range from free-flowing discussion to discrete presentations by each panelist. Each panel must have a moderator, who may or may not be a panelist. The moderator should ensure (1) equal time for each panelist to speak and (2) sufficient time for Q&A.


  • Panel Presentation (75 minutes). We will have a limited number of 75-minute panel presentations. Panels should have a topic for discussion and five or more panelists. For 75-minute panels, at least 30 minutes should be spent in free- flowing discussion among panelists and the audience. Each panel must have a moderator, who may or may not be a panelist. The moderator should ensure (1) equal time for each panelist to speak, (2) manage the free-flowing discussion between panelists, (3) call on audience members as appropriate, and (4) ensure that at least 30 minutes is spent in free-flowing discussion among panelists and the audience.


  • Scholarship Workshop (45 minutes). These sessions foster discussion about scholarship in our community or related to our community and help scholars improve their works in progress—which can include everything from well- researched brainstorming to near-finished projects. At the beginning of each scholarship workshop, the presenter(s) will describe a work in progress for about 20 minutes. During the rest of the workshop the audience will ask questions or offer suggestions. For example, audience members could suggest additional


articles that might enrich the work in progress. When possible, the work in progress or an excerpt will be available to read before the workshop.


The Program Committee recognizes that it’s hard to know now what scholarly projects you might have underway in the summer of 2022. Given this, we will send a second Call for Proposals for works in progress closer to the conference date. This should not, however, dissuade anyone from submitting a proposal now for a presentation in this category.


What to Write in Your Proposal

Your proposal must include the elements listed below, which we suggest you write in your own document before pasting them into the proposal form described in the next section.


  1. Name, title, email, and institutional affiliation for each designated presenter, panelist, and moderator.
  2. A biography for each presenter, panelist, or moderator (300-characters maximum). Because your name, title, and institutional affiliation will appear with your biography, you do not need to include such information in this section of your proposal.
  3. Title of your presentation.
  4. A description of your presentation’s objective (300-characters maximum). Here are some examples:
    1. “Teach the audience how to incorporate blog posts into their 1L courses.”
    2. “Convince professors to teach their students to read citations before writing them.”
    3. “Provide a space for audience members to share mindfulness techniques.”
    4. “Demonstrate TED-talk techniques that make presentations more engaging.”
  5. A description of your presentation that includes what kind of interaction, if any, your audience should expect. The description is limited to 1000 characters.
  6. Your preferred presentation format and any other formats that you would consider.
  7. Anticipated technology needs. For example, “large screen to display slides,” “white board and markers,” “live internet connection,” or “microphone.”


The Program Committee will separately contact LWI committees to determine those committees’ presentation needs. If you are an LWI committee chair, you do not need to submit a proposal for your committee. We will come to you.


How to Submit Your Proposal

All proposals must be submitted using an online submission form available here.


If you submit a proposal with more than one presenter for your session, please also submit the names of any co-presenter(s) and, if relevant, moderator(s). In determining how many presenters to include, please make sure that each person will have sufficient time to fully discuss their topic.


Limit on Number of Presentations and Proposals

To ensure that the maximum number of individuals may present at the conference, you will be limited to one conference presentation, with the following exception: You may participate in two presentations if one of the presentations will be a loop presentation, poster presentation, or panel presentation. LWI committee-sponsored presentations are considered separately and do not count towards the presentation limit.


Although you will be limited to one or two presentations at the conference, you can be listed as a presenter for up to three presentation proposals. You do not need to rank your presentation proposals in order of preference. If more than one of your presentations is selected for the conference program, you will be asked to choose only one.


Selection Notification

By October 1, 2021, you will be notified about the status of your proposal(s). If your proposal is selected, we will ask that you provide a photograph of yourself to accompany your biography on the conference app. You will also be able to edit your biography and presentation description.


Marketing Prohibited

Although the committee welcomes proposals on any topic of interest to faculty who teach legal writing, a proposal will not be accepted if it appears to be a means to market a textbook or other for-pay product.


Mentors for Submissions and Presentations

If you are a first-time submitter or presenter and would like to talk through the process with an experienced presenter, please contact the following Program Committee Members:


Questions about Proposals and Submission

If you have any questions about the proposal process, please contact both Program Committee Co-Chairs: