Plan now for ELA's 2020 Annual Conference!

ELA Hilton Buena Vista

Nov. 4-7, 2020 – Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, Orlando, Florida – and Virtual! 

As of May 1, 2020, Education Law Association (ELA) plans to return this year to a familiar and popular Annual Conference venue, with convenient airline access and in a walkable area. But we also will make virtual participation an option. And if COVID-19 considerations force us to go to an all-virtual conference, we will deliver the kind of engaging, insightful, and fun experience ELA attendees have come to expect over many years!

ELA's Annual Conference attracts hundreds of scholars and practitioners in the field from all over the United States and Canada and a number of other countries. This uniquely diverse gathering draws attorneys, professors, education leaders and administrators, graduate and law students, educators, public officials, consultants, reporters, and other stakeholders from the worlds of PK-12 and higher education; public, private, and charter sectors; colleges of education and law schools; plaintiff- and defense-side; labor and management; and more! It's an extraordinarily welcoming and collegial gathering that offers the richness and variety of programming that ELA's diversity and cross-fertilization make possible.

Here is the Call for Proposals for conference presentations, including round table and poster sessions. Proposals for breakout sessions, previously due by March 31, 2020, now are due by June 30, 2020. Proposals for round tables and poster sessions are due July 15, 2020. Because we have pushed these deadlines so far back, we ask that prospective presenters take a couple of minutes now to indicate your interest and your preliminary ideas using this short form. Your responses are not binding, but they still will help ELA plan and keep in touch with you as things develop.

The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, across the street from Disney Springs, was such a successful venue for ELA in 2016 that we hope to return this year. If so, reservations at ELA's discounted conference rate will be available to conference attendees until October 15.

Check back here soon information on stand-alone preconference sessions, keynote speakers, and conference registration!

Here's what one 2019 first-time ELA Annual Conference attendee said about her experience:

Attending the Education Law Association Conference was professionally a transformative experience. Colleagues were incredibly welcoming, providing valuable feedback on my research and insightful suggestions on how to improve projects moving forward. The conference gave me the opportunity to get further connected within the education law community, and multiple professional opportunities have emerged as a result. -Paula Chan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Teacher Education, Cleveland State University

Conference registration soon will be available on this page. We understand that many ELA attendees face uncertainty about travel this year. ELA will provide pricing, payment, and cancellation options that work for people during these uncertain times. Stay tuned, and keep your hearts hopeful and your calendars marked!

If you are new to ELA and/or its Annual Conference, you can get good sense of the rich program, the speakers and sessions, and the overall experience from reviewing the materials from our most recent conference, below:

2019 Annual Conference Information

November 13-16, 2019, Norfolk Waterside Marriott, Norfolk, Virginia 

Click here to see the full 2019 Annual Conference Program

ELA's 65th Annual Conference in Norfolk was a huge success during a challenging year. It featured celebrated keynote speakers, four preconferences, and over 50 break-out sessions. Especially exciting was the presence of so many first-time attendees.

driver justin headshotKeynote speaker: Justin Driver
Professor of Law
Yale Law School

In his acclaimed book, The Schoolhouse Gate: Public Education, the Supreme Court, and the Battle for the American Mind, Professor Driver argues that "the public school has served as the single most significant site of constitutional interpretation within the nation’s history." He has written for SlateThe AtlanticThe New York TimesThe Washington Post, and The New Republic and served as a law clerk for Judge Merrick B. Garland of the D.C. Circuit and for Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Sandra Day O’Connor. Professor Driver delivered provocative remarks and insights into cases that were new even to an audience that was deeply familiar with them.

walsh mark

Keynote speaker: Mark Walsh
Supreme Court Reporter
Education Week, ABA Journal, SCOTUS Blog

A freelance writer, Mr. Walsh has covered legal issues in education for a variety of publications for more than 20 years and has appeared as a commentator for C-SPAN, Court TV, Fox News, NPR, and BBC Radio. He is co-author with Michael Edwards of More Than a Lawyer: Robert Chanin, the National Education Association, and the Fight for Public Education, Employee Rights, and Social Justice. Mr. Walsh returned to ELA to deliver the Supreme Court Update with his characteristic insight and humor.

The conference program featured a remarkable lineup of presenters in over 50 break-out sessions, as well as roundtable discussions, and poster sessions. On Wednesday, four special, stand-alone preconferences were offered:

The video below also helped show prospective attendees some what they could expect:

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65th ELA Annual Conference


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