Call for Papers: Seventh Applied Legal Storytelling Conference



Event Date: 

07/9/19 to 07/11/19

Location name: 

Boulder, Colorado


University of Colorado School of Law, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and University of Wyoming School of Law, and coordinated by the Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Scholarship Group

Call for Proposals
Seventh Biennial Conference on Applied Legal Storytelling
Boulder, Colorado, July 9–11 2019
Hosted by the University of Colorado School of Law,
University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and University of Wyoming School of Law, and coordinated by the Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Scholarship Group

This is the call for proposals for the seventh biennial conference on Applied Legal Storytelling. We are offering two deadlines for submitting proposals: January 21, 2019 (priority deadline) and March 11, 2019 (extended deadline).

About the Conference

The Applied Legal Storytelling Conference brings together academics, judges, and practitioners. The conference has previously convened in 2007 (London), 2009 (Portland), 2011 (Denver), 2013 (London), Seattle (2015), and Washington D.C. (2017). We are very excited to bring it back to the Mountain West (Boulder) in July 2019.
Applied Legal Storytelling (AppLS) examines the use of stories—and of storytelling or narrative elements—in law practice, legal education, and the law.

This definition is intentionally broad in order to allow people creativity in the way they think and present on the topic. Such topics may include: the ways in which fiction-writing techniques or narrative theory can inform legal storytelling; stories in the law, or law as stories; legal storytelling and metaphor; client story advocacy; legal storytelling and cognitive science; and ethical considerations in legal storytelling.

In an effort to continue the storytelling conversation for this seventh conference, and to welcome new attendees, we are providing resources for those interested in submitting a proposal and who wish to generate ideas or respond to others’. The first is a list of topics from past conferences, available at The second is a link to a bibliography on AppLS, including articles that have emerged from previous storytelling conferences, available at We are also happy to answer questions and offer you suggestions—if you are a newcomer and interested in becoming involved, please reach out.

Presentation Formats

The conference will include 60-minute and 30-minute time slots. For the 60-minute time slots, we welcome interactive, panel or roundtable presentation proposals, as well as other format types. For the 30-minute time slots, we envision presenters adopting something like the 14–18 minute ted-style format of rehearsed presentations that center on one idea conveyed through narrative, with reserved time for audience questions. On the proposal form, please indicate either a preference for a particular format or your willingness that we accept your proposal in any of the formats and time constraints.

Submitting a Proposal

Complete the Proposal Form found here:


To allow greater flexibility for those interested in submitting a proposal, the Program Committee has established two submission deadlines:

• The Priority Deadline for submissions is January 21, 2019. The Program Committee will review all proposals received by this date by the third week of February.

• The Committee will also consider proposals submitted by the Extended Deadline, March 11, 2019, and will review these proposals by the first week of April.

Proposal format

Please use the format provided at the end of this proposal. We ask for a short summary of fewer than 60 words for use in the conference app, as well as a narrative description of your proposal for selection purposes (500 words, maximum).
Selection process

The Program Committee will review the proposals and respond according to the submission date. Those who submitted proposals by the Priority Deadline (Jan. 21) will be notified by the end of February if their proposal has been accepted. Those who submitted their proposal by the Extended Deadline (Mar. 11), will be notified by mid- April.
Conference Structure and Registration

The conference will take place from July 9 to July 11, 2019, at the University of Colorado School of Law in Boulder, Colorado. Like previous AppLS conferences, this conference will be collegial, inclusive, and supportive of your work.
The 2019 conference will begin with registration and a reception early in the evening of July 9 at the law school. The next two days, July 10 and 11 will be devoted to a plenary session and presentations given in concurrent sessions. The conference will close with a dinner at the end of the day on July 11. The dinner is part of the conference itself—designed to be a signature event that facilitates ongoing conversations.

We will send out registration and hotel information early in 2019. The host school contact for the conference is Amy Griffin (Co-Chair), Updates will appear on the conference website, here:


If you have questions, please feel free to contact any member of the conference planning committee:
Nantiya Ruan (Conference Co-Chair & Chair of Planning Committee)
Deb Cantrell
Ken Chestek
Derek Kiernan-Johnson
Robert McPeake
Jason Palmer
Ruth Anne Robbins
Beth Schwartz