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2005 AALS News 1 (2005)

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February 2005                                                                        Number 2005-1

The President's Message

Empirical Scholarship:

What Should We Study

and How Should We

Study It?

By N. William Hines

                        I first attended an AALS
                        Annual Meeting at the
                        classy Edgewater Beach
                        Hotel in Chicago in
                        December 1961. Sam
                        Thurmond succeeded
                        Page Keeton as AALS
                        President at my first
                        meeting, and I remember
                        thinking: I wonder what
AALS President N. William  these charming gentlemen
Hines addresses the House had done to merit election
of Representatives at 2005  as AALS President? I
Annual Meeting          now think I know the
                        answer, based on my own
long experience. They did their best to live up to the
high standards of the legal academy throughout
their careers, toiled loyally in a variety of service
roles on behalf of the AALS, and then they got a
lucky roll of the dice in the Nominating Committee.
   The truth is that in any year there are literally
hundreds of colleagues in the legal academy who
deserve the honor that is conferred on me today. I
humbly accept the leadership responsibilities as
AALS President for 2005 in the knowledge that
there are lots of men and women in this room who
could do the job as well or better than I will.
   At this point I would be remiss not to pay tribute
to the tremendous examples of leadership set by my
immediate predecessors as 21st Century AALS
presidents. Mary Kay Kane led us in a
reexamination of our organizational mission

through which our core values were identified; Dale
Whitman Dale Whitman invited us to contemplate
the implications for our teaching and scholarship of
the rapid globalization of law and legal practice in
the 21st Century; Mark Tushnet successfully
directed our attention to the Association's unique
responsibilities and challenges as a learned society
of law scholars; and Gerald Torres extended the
emphasis on scholarship to explore the depth of our
professional engagement with the world around us.
Over the past three years I have been privileged to
work closely with this quartet of extraordinary
leaders, with an Executive Committee of
outstanding colleagues, and with a wonderfully able
AALS staff, led by the incomparable Carl Monk,
who I am delighted to report recently agreed to
extend his service as Executive Director for three
more years. Deputy Director Joyce Saltalamachia
and Associate Director Jane La Barbara have done
their best to keep us all well informed about AALS
business and to keep the organization's wheels
turning smoothly. If I am not now fully steeped in
the values of the Association and versed in its inner
workings, the fault is mine and not my terrific
mentors. I also wish to express my deep
appreciation to my Iowa faculty colleagues who
allowed me to serve as their dean for 28 years, and
thereby achieve the visibility that made today's
                                   Continued on page 2

West and Foundation Press are proud sponsors of the Association of American Law Schools
       and provide complimentary printing and mailing to AALS and its members

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