Chicago 2021 Annual Meeting

Mark your calendars! Law & Society Association will host its second-straight Virtual Conference in 2021 from May 26-30. Although we prefer seeing our scholars in person, we look forward to hosting another intellectually-engaging conference online this year! Click here to enter our 2021 Virtual Conference website! If you were unable to attend a session live, head back to the Virtual Conference website and watch the recording on-demand!

LSA meetings are international in scope, hosting participants from over 60 countries across 6 continents. This conference helps to facilitate cross-national research connections and gives our scholars opportunities to expand their research perspectives. 

2021 Theme:

Crisis, Healing, Re-Imagining

Ours is an era of multiple and overlapping crises. Climate, democracy, economy and health are newly unstable throughout the world. Last summer, for the first time, the physical Law and Society conference was canceled in light of a global pandemic. In the United States, the pandemic exacerbated underlying racial inequalities that erupted in protests throughout the country, and beyond. Across the globe, these crises reveal existing social inequalities in different ways, and demand that we adapt to survive. What is the role of law, which strives for stability as well as justice, in this volatile context?

The 2021 Law and Society Association Annual Meeting was originally planned to be hosted in Chicago, a city that embodies inequality and violence but also has a long history of reform and re-imagination.

In this setting, we invite scholars in the law and society tradition to submit panels and papers that speak to the themes of law and justice in crises and disasters, but also in healing and reparations, in building sustainable systems, in reshaping social practices and imaginaries, and in creating new possibilities. An Annual Meeting focused on crisis foregrounds the present, but it also looks to the past and to the future with the themes of healing and re-imagining.

As scholars, we have a special role in re-imagining law and legal institutions to make our societies and institutions more resilient and just. We can also contribute to a multi-faceted understanding of healing, which opens new and different entry points to old problems. These themes cut across disciplines and invite creative thinking beyond law and beyond social science, to encompass the humanities, the arts, medicine, and the natural sciences.

Questions include, but are not limited to:


How has law contributed to the COVID-19 pandemic response and to the racial and economic inequities in exposure and morbidity? What might be the role for law and justice in creating a sustainable system for access to health in its wake?


The mass demonstrations against police brutality that followed the death of George Floyd in 2020 spread around the world. Can policing and the carceral state be re-imagined in response to what many now refer to as the pandemic of violence against racialized minorities? What might defunding look like in practice?


What is the role of law and legal institutions in facilitating or retarding the global erosion of democracy?


Climate change has caused many to question whether we are reaching the limits of the planet’s ability to sustain human society in its current form. What role has law played in getting us here, and what role might it play in creating an economic system that is resilient and sustainable?


The set of legal institutions that governed the expansion of trade over the past decades are being rapidly undermined. What role will law play in an economic downturn and recovery?


How has law contributed to the various crises we find ourselves in? How might legal institutions themselves be re-imagined?


Get Prepared


Future Meeting Sites


Lisbon, Portugal
July 13-16, 2022
University Institute of Lisbon


San Juan, Puerto Rico
June 1-4, 2023
Caribe Hilton


Denver, Colorado
June 6-9, 2024
Hyatt Regency


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