Over the past year Professor Meera Deo has been working to organize and formalize a new professional organization of law professors, South Asian Legal Academics (SALA). The mission of SALA is to create and sustain a supportive space within which South Asian legal academics can learn and grow to achieve their maximum potential. The inaugural SALA Workshop was held on August 1, 2014. It was generously hosted by UC Irvine School of Law on their campus and attended by South Asian law professors from around California and as far away as Philadelphia.
“It was a pleasure to organize the meeting and especially to share the day with such incredible South Asian legal scholars,” says Meera Deo, founder of the group and organizer of the inaugural SALA Workshop. "The group is small and growing. We hope the Workshop will be remembered as just the first of many opportunities for members to present research, discuss their scholarly agendas and teaching interests, and interact socially in an informal setting.”
This first SALA Workshop meeting featured both academic presentations and interactive sessions. Four law professors shared works-in-progress with the group; separate discussants offered commentary following each presentation, then opened the floor to further discussion from all attendees. Paper topics ranged from activism in Indian courts to “mansplaining” in legal academia; from a theoretical understanding of learning by doing, to the judicial drama associated with current stop and frisk litigation.
In addition to the academic presentations, the Workshop featured interactive sessions where attendees discussed personal and professional trajectories, pedagogical approaches to substantive areas of the law, research agendas, and work/life balance. The 2nd SALA Workshop has been tentatively scheduled for July 31, 2015 at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.