With Dan Solove, I started the Privacy Law Scholars Conference in 2008 (PLSC). The PLSC is a paper workshop for in-progress scholarship related to information privacy. The conference was based on the well-established Intellectual Property Law Scholars Conference and some ideas we borrowed from other conference: long networking breaks, all conversations, an emphasis on collegial and helpful interactions, and no panels. We also adopted the practice of having papers presented by a “commenter”—a designated discussion leader who introduced the paper and then curated the conversation amongst the group. This last innovation is key. It creates a lively dynamic where you don’t have the author droning on and on. It also helps the author understand what the reader actually learned from the paper. Many of the most important articles in the privacy law field were workshopped at PLSC.
I am no longer involved in PLSC, but am proud of what it has become, and am delighted that the model has been deployed elsewhere. There are now PLSCs in Europe, Latin America, and even regional mini-PLSCs in the US.