Professional Development Workshops

The Association sponsors two workshops: a Graduate Student Workshop (GSW) designed for students in mid-to-late stages of their graduate educations, and an Early Career Workshop (ECW), designed for faculty in their first three years of employment in academic careers. Both are held in the two days prior to, and in the same location as, the LSA Annual Meeting. Both workshops have competitive applications and provide some financial support for those selected to participate.

Graduate Student Workshop

See the 2016 Graduate Student Workshop theme and agenda (pdf)

The program will consist of panel presentations, seminar sessions, and informal discussions over shared meals. The goals are to build intellectual community among the next generation of Law and Society scholars, to foster collegial networks between graduate students and leading faculty in the field, and to promote constructive dialogue among graduate students and faculty participants about students’ individual research projects.  Note that an individual student may only participate in two GSWs during his/her graduate career.

gsw“The Graduate Student Workshop was inspirational! Participants selected for the GSW shared a solid research background. I learnt so much from their presentations and had a great time discussing with them on the topics of common interest. Different from other conferences I participated, professors were invited to join each session of the GSW. They attentively shared their ideas on the issues concerned and guided the presenters to the directions of further research. My academic life is truly reborn by joining the GSW!” ~ WEI Shuai

"The Graduate Student Workshop was a fantastic way to meet colleagues, who are broadly interested in studying similar issues about law." ~ Stephan S.

“Attending the Graduate Student Workshop allowed me to expand my network and meet scholars that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to meet.” ~ Kristen H.

Needed for application:

  1. Application form, available upon submission
  2. Current CV,
  3. 1-2 page letter describing the applicant’s dissertation or other research interests, the current status in graduate school, and how attending the Workshop will benefit the applicant.

Early Career Workshop

See the 2016 Early Career Workshop theme and agenda (pdf)

The Early Career Workshop encourages new faculty to move their research and writing toward law-and-society topics, and to further develop their awareness of the field and the scholars working in those areas. The Workshop is structured to focus on methodological approaches to law-related areas of inquiry.  The workshop will also highlight the LSA's Collaborative Research Networks (CRNs)—of which there are more than 30—to introduce participants to networks where they may find opportunities and intellectual allies.


“The Early Career Workshop was a wonderful way to meet others in a friendly yet committed environment. It stimulated in-depth discussions about work-in-progress and helped improving projects. It was also something of a support group for young people entering legal academia and interested in law and society, and as such it had offered some mentorship by senior scholars, lots of good advice and indispensable information.” ~ Sharon S.

“Our small group discussions were definitely the highlight for me. Our facilitator was superb, giving us all insightful comments on our work and prodding us to develop our thinking in ways we had not envisioned, but also keeping a very open space for discussion within the group, making sure we all participated and felt able to do so. All in all, it was a wonderful experience in every way.” ~ J.R.

“In the hectic first years of one's career, the ECW is like a professional booster shot. The EWC was a golden opportunity to interact with other junior faculty with a passion for law and society scholarship. I am still in touch with the colleagues from my group and we continue to exchange feedback on article drafts.” ~ Annie H.

The workshop will invite participants to consider the kinds of sociolegal research projects members of the Law and Society Association are involved in.  For those trained as lawyers, social science may seem a bit daunting.  For those trained in one social science, methodologies from other fields may seem foreign.  But for all concerned, seeing how these various methods are used by socio-legal scholars will be edifying and productive.  The sessions will be animated by intellectually broad questions such as: 

Workshops will also offer insight into particular empirical research methodologies and will allow participants to learn about methods that they may not have tried before:

Needed for application:

  1. Application form, available upon submission
  2. Current CV,
  3. 1-2 page letter describing the applicant’s research and teaching interests, and
  4. 2 page description of a current research project.