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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Join the CLSA/ACDS!

While the Osgoode Society is a great book club and virtual meeting place for Canadian legal history buffs from all walks of life (and everyone who reads this blog should be a member), legal historians from the Canadian academy (current and retired faculty and graduate students) have no real dedicated associational home. Many of us are members of the American Society for Legal History, an organization which is dominated by Americans but is not confined to that breed. And joining the ASLH is a great idea.

So is joining the Canadian Law and Society Association. As the name suggests, this is a group for scholars whose interests can broadly be described as socio-legal. Many teach in law schools, others hail from the disciplines of criminology, sociology, anthropology and political science. The society is a big tent; the association's board has traditionally included legal historians and their conference programmers ensure that legal history panels are included in conference agendas. The CLSA is also consciously grad student friendly. It is true that the association's journal, the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, has not been over-burdened with legal history pieces, but this is not editorial policy--there are several historians on the current editorial board (including me). This lacuna is probably due to the practice of legal historians submitting to history or legal journals in a kind of path dependence.

All of which is to say: join or renew your membership, attend the annual conferences and consider submitting your articles to the CJLS!

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