Do you sometimes get bored at AALS?  Here are some tips for making sure your AALS adventure is as exciting as mine tend to be.

  1. On the forced bus torture part of AALS (for the Gala), try to start a sing along.   (Sigh…this won’t work in New Orleans because there will be no bus travel).   😦  Maybe for the environmental field trip?
  2. At any author’s reception, when asked which book you wrote, explain that you wrote a children’s book on international law.  Explain that the hard part was the artwork, but you were proud that Elmo used it for the “extraordinary rendition” portion of Sesame Street.
  3. Try to talk one of the “Security” personnel (aka law students) into allowing you into the room without a name tag.  Explain that you HAVE to see Professor X give a talk but you can’t afford the AALS fee.  Explain has been your life’s ambition to see Professor X give such a talk.  Ask to borrow the security personnel’s tag to get in if he or she refuses to let you in without a tag.
  4. Interrupt any conversation/heated discourse at random and accuse both people of being wrong.  A friend of mine did this once during a very vocal argument.  He then took the time to figure out, using the Socratic Method, what they were talking about in his field of expertise.  He did convince them that they were both wrong.
  5. Keep asking where the price scanner is at the West/Foundation/Any other publisher’s kiosk.
  6. Look for any nervous, new professor huddled in a corner and ask for his or her autograph.  Chances are, they are smart and intelligent, and you’ll be glad you boosted his or her ego.
  7. If anyone proudly gushes about having met a (famous in their field) law professor, feign ignorance of the person.
  8. When someone is going on for more than 20 minutes about an article he or she wrote that is groundbreaking, have a friend ring your phone.  Answer it, and say, “Yes, Mr. President. Excuse me…”
  9. Take your laptop and work on an article at the bar.  One of my friends did this once too (same person as in #4), and he wound up with a group of people drinking with him.  And an article.
  10. Make up a field of law, and profess to teach a course in it.  For example, say you created a course called simply “Law &….”  Suggest what you have done is combine topics from Law & Religion, Law & Society, Law & Economics, Law & Culture, etc. into one exciting blockbuster course.
  11. Make up a course based upon a popular TV show.  I know people have used Law & Order and the Wire to teach courses, but really go further than that.  Sadly, in trying to come up with hilarious examples, I have discovered that people have already used them in courses.  😦  International law and Star Trek?  Done.  Lost?  Done.  Sigh.  A course on Gilligan’s Island and Coase?  How about Contract Drafting using Fantasy Island as the Client?  Divorce Law on the High Seas: The Love Boat?
  12. In any discussion, list 3 +/- one reason for anything.  For example, there are two reasons for this. One, people like the number 3.  Secondly, people don’t like four or two reasons for anything.  They aren’t so much convinced by two and four seems like too much.

Have fun, and good luck!