May 01, 2015
Call for Papers: AALS Section on Transactional Law and Skills
Posted by Gordon Smith

Transactional Lawyering and Contractual Innovation

2016 AALS Annual Meeting

New York, NY

In a world of dramatic economic, technological and legal change, there is a need for contractual innovation. Contractual innovation has traditionally been challenging for transactional lawyers due to a number of factors, including stickiness in contract terms, locked-in practices, and structural impediments to better contract design. Transformative technology and stresses on the legal profession, with a focus on reducing costs, may further affect contractual innovation. An early stage technology company, for example, can easily set itself up and generate customized legal forms through online tools that will help the company establish and run its venture with minimal up-front legal costs and little involvement from transactional lawyers. Even in more complex transactions, technology has led to automation of contract design. Panel members for this program will address a number of important questions as to how to encourage innovation by transactional lawyers in the face of these challenges: What role can and should transactional lawyers play in driving contractual innovation? To what extent can innovation in designing contracts provide transactional lawyers with new opportunities for premium work? What impact does the structure of law firms play in shaping the process of contract design and production? What roles do norms and standard practices in dealmaking play in shaping innovation in contract design? Does the process of innovation differ in one area of transactional practice from another, for example mergers and acquisitions versus venture capital financing versus establishing unincorporated entities?

The first part of our program will involve a panel of speakers who will focus their comments on the questions posed above. Panel participants include Professors John Coyle, Kevin Davis and George Triantis.

The Section on Transactional Law and Skills invites submissions from any full-time faculty member of an AALS member school who has written an unpublished paper, is working on a paper, or who is interested in writing a paper on this topic to submit a 1 or 2-page proposal to the Chair of the Section by August 31, 2015. The Executive Committee will review all submissions and select proposals for presentation as part of our AALS 2016 Section Meeting.

Please direct all submissions and questions to the Chair of the Section, Afra Afsharipour, at the address below:

Afra Afsharipour

Professor of Law & Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall Research Scholar

UC Davis School of Law, King Hall

Email: aafsharipour@ucdavis.edu

Tel: +1 530 754 0111

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