David C. Yamada, Academic Conferences: When Small is Beautiful (2015). Suffolk University Law Review Online, Vol. III, p. 9, 2015 ; Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 15-11. Available at SSRN
Large, impersonal academic conferences may be a necessary element toward building a career, but for many they are far from pleasant and at some point deliver more burden than benefit. This essay makes a case for organizing and hosting smaller academic conferences, workshops, and symposia that promote genuine dialogue and intellectual exchange, while moving at a slower, more contemplative pace. In addition, in offering post-program publication opportunities, we may consider packages of shorter essays as less demanding alternatives to full-length symposium issues of journals. This essay grew out of the author’s hosting of, and participation in, a small conference on therapeutic jurisprudence at Suffolk University Law School in 2014.