Harvard Law School is joining with Stanford Law School to launch the legal academy’s first international junior faculty conference. The annual conference is aimed at identifying and bringing the next generation of leaders in legal scholarship from across the world together at the Harvard and Stanford campuses.

A distinguished panel of some twenty senior legal scholars from across the world will select the papers to be presented and will serve as commentators at the conference itself. Papers may be on any legally relevant subject, and may utilize any legally relevant approach — quantitative or qualitative, sociological, anthropological, historical, or economic — on the role and function of law and legal systems in the modern world, or in the past.

“This is a milestone in the further internationalization of US legal education,” said Vice Dean for the Graduate Program and International Studies Bill Alford ’77, who with Professor Lawrence Friedman of Stanford and the strong support of Dean Elena Kagan ’86 and Larry Kramer of Stanford, developed the idea for the conference. “We are delighted to be working with our friends at Stanford in fostering the work of the best new scholars from across the world. The idea of creating more of a genuine international community of scholars and scholarship, and thereby learning from one another, is enormously appealing.”

The first conference will be held at Stanford in October of 2008. Any scholar whose home institution is outside the United States and who has held an academic position for less than seven years, as of 2008, or whose last degree was earned less than ten years earlier than 2008, is invited to submit an abstract of no more than five pages. The abstract should lay out the major argument of the paper he/she would submit, state what method the scholar will pursue to advance that argument, and indicate the paper’s potential contribution to scholarship. On the basis of these abstracts, which are due by January 4, 2008, the sponsoring schools will invite the submission of full papers by May 23, 2008.

The sponsoring schools will cover expenses of travel, including airfare, lodging, and food, for each scholar invited to present at the October conference. One copy each of the abstracts should be sent to Professor Alford and to Professor Friedman, preferably by email (alford@law.harvard.edu and lmf@stanford.edu). Questions may be directed to either professor.