Although I used to attend them regularly, I don't go to the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools very often any more. Why? Because they suck, as does the organization itself:
It's not a learned society. Instead, it's basically an association of left-liberal busybodies who care mostly about two things; to wit, (1) maintaining their cartel and (2) politically correct, multicultural identity politics.
In that post, I detail at great length my problems with the AALS as an organization and document that "I'm not the only curmudgeon who thinks the AALS is driven by left-liberal ideology."
As for the annual meeting, in another post I wrote that:
I haven't been to every AALS annual meeting since I joined the profession back in 1988, but I've been to a lot ... and can count the number of "informative and engaging" panels I've seen on the fingers of one hand.
That post goes on to quote such diverse voices as Brian Leiter and Orin Kerr on the vacuity of AALS meetings.
The 2011 AALS annual will be held in San Francisco and Professor William Jacobson notes that this is creating some problems for the AALS:
... a variety of unions are planning a strike and other labor action against various San Francisco hotels, including two of the three hosting the AALS annual meeting, which will mean the law professors will have to cross the picket line to attend. Needless to say, in the slightly left of center (hah!) law professor community, there are calls to move the meeting, cancel the hotel arrangements, etc. ....
AALS ... is choosing contractual obligation over [political] principles. AALS has circulated a letter, in pertinent part as follows:
AALS is not in any way commenting on the labor dispute in San Francisco. We regard our decision as the best among the bad choices we face. It is both painful and disappointing to anticipate the impact of an unresolved dispute on the conduct of our meeting, should that come to pass.
The letter provides the reasoning -- namely that contractual obligations must be honored -- and continues that there will be attempts at "amelioration" by relocating some activities to a non-union hotel.
So the net result is that there is a significant likelihood that law professors attending the AALS annual meeting will be crossing a picket line in San Francisco.
OTOH, the "we're all good liberals here" tone of the letter is, indeed, annoying. OTOH, even the politically correct get it right occasionally. If I were going to the annual meeting, which I'm not, I would try very hard to avoid crossing the picket line. Why? I explained that preference in a very early post, which summarized the argument as follows:
First, I come from a long line of union members. Second, Catholic Social Teaching emphasizes that workers have a natural right both to form unions and to strike. As I read the relevant encyclicals and pastoral letters, this teaching is not a matter of prudential judgment, but rather an authoritative teaching to which faithful Catholics must give religious assent. Finally, unions potentially are an important way of minimizing transaction costs.
The post goes on to develop the final argument at some length. It also explains why a rule of thumb of not crossing any picket line is a useful decision-making heuristic: It saves me the time and effort necessary to figure out whether a given strike is morally and economically justified.
The bottom line is that I find myself agreeing with the left-liberal busybodies. I hate when that happens.