Call for Papers: University of Michigan Law School Junior Scholars Conference 2024

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The University of Michigan Law School is pleased to invite junior scholars to attend the 10th Annual Junior Scholars Conference, which will take place in-person on April 12-13, 2024, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

Call for Papers: Deadline January 5, 2024

About the University of Michigan Law School Junior Scholars Conference

The Conference provides junior scholars with a platform to present and discuss their work with peers and receive feedback from prominent members of the Michigan Law faculty. The Conference aims to promote fruitful collaboration between participants and to encourage their integration into a community of legal scholars. The Junior Scholars Conference invites papers in response to the 2024 theme (below) or under the general call for papers in law and related disciplines. We welcome applications from graduate students, SJD/PhD candidates, postdoctoral researchers, lecturers, teaching fellows, and assistant professors (pre-tenure) who have not held an academic position for more than four years are welcome. We particularly invite submissions from scholars working on or located in the Global South and scholars from groups traditionally under-represented in academia.

The origin of the public/private divide in law can be traced back to the classical division between ‘public’ and ‘private’ law. The former referring to the relationship between citizens and the state, the latter to the relationship between citizens. This distinction between the state arena, in which political prerogatives prevail, and the private sphere, in which autonomous persons interact according to their own preferences, creates a separation between the public sphere and the private sphere that permeates the division of legal disciplines and court competences. However, recent social changes like the rise of the multinational corporation, public-private partnerships, private security companies, outsourcing of key welfare state functions, and private intelligence, in addition to the quickly changing expectations and experiences of digital media have led to developments in legal doctrine (like the government function test, horizontally applicable rights et al) which challenge this neat distinction. Researchers around the world, whether they are working on private or public law, at the national, supranational, or international level, have increasingly been arguing that the dividing legal line between the public sphere and private sphere is increasingly being blurred- or vanishing. 

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If the public/private divide is indeed vanishing – where is it vanishing to? Does this call for us to envision a new kind of legal order? What does a legal order with no distinction between the public and the private look like? What are the implications of this change in various fields of law? Or is this merely academic speculation? Does this divide still serve a purpose in law?

We invite submissions from a theoretical or applied perspective that tackle the changing dimensions of the public-private divide in law. Submissions in various legal disciplines like international law, constitutional law, securities law, law and technology, corporate and tax law, law and history, and jurisprudence, amongst others, are welcome. Interdisciplinary projects, empirical studies, and jointly authored papers are welcome and encouraged. Submissions within this theme shall be considered for publication.

General (Non-Theme) Submissions

We recognize the immense value of a general conference which encourages a greater number of junior scholars to submit diverse works and receive feedback from Michigan Law faculty on the same. Hence, junior scholars are welcome to submit works that do not conform to the theme for presentation at the conference. All such submissions shall receive due consideration for presentation at the conference but will not be considered for publication.


To apply to the Conference, please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words reflecting the unpublished work you wish to present and a copy of your CV through this online submission form by January 5, 2024

Please submit all files as Microsoft Word documents. Please name the documents using the following format: Last name – First name – The nature of the document you are submitting (whether it be an abstract, CV, or funding request). For example, the name of the abstract you are submitting would be: DOE – JANE – ABSTRACT. Selection will be based on the quality and originality of the abstract as well as its capacity to engage with other proposals and foster a collaborative dialogue. Decisions will be communicated no later than January 31, 2024. Selected participants will be required to submit final papers by March 1, 2024, so that they may be sent to your faculty commentator and circulated among participants in advance. 

Financial Assistance and Participation

There are no conference event fees for the Junior Scholars Conference. Michigan Law’s Center for International and Comparative Law offers sponsorship funds to help cover travel expenses and accommodation for participants without other means of funding participation in the conference. If you wish to be considered for financial assistance, please submit a separate written request through the online form specifying your city of departure, an estimate of travel costs, and other anticipated expenses for attending the Conference. This Conference will be an in-person event.


Questions may be directed to the Organizing Committee through the email address below.

Kushagr Bakshi, Erick Guapizaca Jiménez,
Junior Scholars Conference Organizing Committee
Center for International and Comparative Law
University of Michigan Law School    

[email protected]

200 Hutchins Hall
625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215

For more information, VISIT HERE

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