Applied Storytelling in Law – Portland, OR

Once Upon a Legal Time, Chapter Two: Applied Storytelling in Law – Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, Oregon, July 22-24, 2009. The call for papers deadline is Dec. 8, 2008.


We are pleased to issue this Call for Proposals for the second biennial international Applied Storytelling Conference. The deadline is December 8, 2008. Building on the success of the first conference, held in London in 2007, this conference seeks to foster collaboration and dialogue about the skill of storytelling in law and about teaching storytelling and other skills to law
students and practitioners. This conference will bring together academics, judges, and practitioners to explore the role of narrative in legal practice and curricular strategies that will prepare students to use story and narrative as they enter the practice of law.

Potential topics on the role of narrative in the practice of law may include (but please, feel free to be creative):

  • using storytelling in litigation or transactional work or in legislative processes;
  • the process of creating compelling legal stories as part of best practices;
  • examining current models used to teach storytelling skills in education and/or practice;
  • narrative and negotiation;
  • the place of storytelling in legal reasoning;
  • differentiating between stories and narratives and the uses of each;
  • comparative storytelling in legal systems
  • the ethical limits of storytelling, whether with clients lawyers or judges.

Selected papers from the 2007 conference were published in two journals: 43 The Law Teacher (Thomson, 2007); and 14 Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute (LexisNexis, 2008). Volume 14 of Legal Writing is available on-line at


The conference will include 45-60 minute presentations as well as roundtable discussions. Proposals may indicate a preference for format. We also encourage people to present works in progress for feedback.

Proposal Submissions

The deadline for submissions is December 8, 2008. Submissions should be made on the attached Submission Form and should be sent, preferably electronically, to:
Prof. Steve Johansen, Lewis & Clark Law School, tvj [at]
10015 SW Terwilliger Blvd., Portland, OR 97219

Logistical Details

Proposal Format: Please include a cover sheet, the form of which appears at the end of this document, plus a description or narrative. Proposal narratives can be as short as a few paragraphs but please do not exceed 2-3 pages of text including whatever partial or full bibliography you include.

Please make sure that your contact email address is included in the body of the proposal. That is how we will be communicating with you.

Selection Process: After all proposals are received, the Conference Program Committee will review all proposals. Submitters of proposals will be notified if their proposal has been accepted by January 15, 2009.

When and Where: The conference will take place from Wednesday, July 22 (opening reception) to Friday, July 24, 2007 (closing dinner) at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. The School is a short ride from downtown Portland, nestled on the edge of Tryon Creek State Park.
Transportation to and from the conference hotel will be provided.

Costs to Participants: Final conference costs have not been finalized. We anticipate the conference fee to be approximately $350.

Housing: We have reserved blocks of rooms at the Heathman Hotel ($179/night), and the Downtown Marriott Hotel ($149/night). Both hotels are in the heart of pedestrian-friendly downtown Portland. For more details on the hotels, please visit their websites:

This conference is made possible through the generous support of the Legal Writing Institute and Lewis and Clark Law School.