As current Chair, I would like to welcome everyone to join the Section on International Human Rights of the Association of American Law Schools. We now have more than 450 members, and we are very enthusiastic about finding ways to:
► Support both new members as well as returning members; and
► Help members connect with and learn from and support one another.
Let me introduce this year’s Executive Board. In addition to myself, the officers are William Dunlap (Chair-Elect) of Quinnipiac, Michèle Alexandre (Secretary) of Mississippi, and Stuart Ford (Treasurer) of John Marshall. In addition, Immediate Past Chair Sarah Paoletti (Pennsylvania), Robert Blitt (University of Tennessee), and John Cerone (New England) are serving on the Executive Board.
I’d also like to draw your attention to a few things we have been working on so far.
► 1. New Voices. Because it has been so successful in the past -- see my last post -- we are continuing the tradition of hosting a “New Voices” panel at AALS' annual conference, to be held January 4-8, 2012, in Washington, D.C. This is an excellent way to learn about the many diverse areas in which section members are working, and to give newer faculty the opportunity to share their work and to get exposure and feedback, for the benefit of both new scholars and veterans. Later in the year, we will be sending out the call for papers, so watch for it. Also, if you think your law school’s journal would be interested in publishing the papers, please let me know, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
► 2. Newsletter. During the summer, we will be putting out an electronic newsletter, which will include at least the three following elements:
►► Relevant news from section members;
►► Notice of upcoming conferences, symposia, or other events to which you would like to invite section members; and
►► Abstracts of recent articles that section members have published in relevant areas.
Please e-mail any information you would like to include in the newsletter to me.
► 3. Mentoring. We are still working on the communications platform that the AALS sets up. We would like to add more content, such as teaching materials like syllabi, edited cases, and sample exam questions, as well as other resources that members might find useful. Please let me know if you are interested in participating in this. In particular, if you would like to opt in to the list-serv, please follow the instructions provided by the AALS. (If you find those bewildering, please email me).
► 4. The Section is launching a mentoring program, which will offer opportunities for faculty members who are new to teaching and writing in the area of international human rights to connect with others who have more experience. Mentors and mentees might share thoughts about scholarship and teaching, exchange teaching materials, and discuss externship or work opportunities for students, as well as for themselves. We hope that through this program, you can meet colleagues at other schools who will be friends and resources, for your mutual benefit.
This program is open to anyone in the section, and there is no restriction on experience for either mentors or mentees: regardless of your years of teaching in the academy, you can be a mentor if you feel you have advice and experience to share, and you can be a mentee if you feel you would benefit from the advice and experience of others.
If you are interested in participating in this program, email either Robert Blitt at email@example.com or me to obtain an application form. We will match mentors and mentees to the best of our ability and help get you started.
We thank you very much for your interest, hope that section can serve you well in the coming year, and welcome any questions or comments or suggestions you might have about how we can improve the section.