Connections in Legal Education Fest: Call for Papers

Celebrating Connections in Legal Education (CLE)

Connecting Legal Education (CLE) is an international network of legal educators and legal practitioners co-ordinated by Professor Lydia Bleasdale (University of Leeds), Professor Michael Doherty (Lancaster University) and Dr Verona Ni Drisceoil (University of Sussex). Running since March 2020, its initial purposes were to provide an online platform for legal educators to share conference papers cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to share best practices in student education more broadly. CLE has since developed into an international community of practice in law and legal education, and will now – for the first time, after over 60 online sessions – host an in-person event. The event will be entirely in-person, but with some funding available to help with travel costs. 

In the spirit and ethos of everything we love and value about the Connecting Legal Education community, the theme and focus for the free CLE Fest is celebrating connections. In true festival spirit, we invite you to celebrate connection – whether through connection and collaboration with each other, with your students, through joyful learning experiences or indeed with the wider world.  

Connection, in this respect, should be broadly defined. We welcome contributions that highlight and celebrate community, the importance of connection for wellbeing, connection in the classroom and outside, through course and module design, through assessment, and with each other as a community of practice and in solidarity. 

Whilst acknowledging that working in Higher Education can be a challenge, and can often lead to disconnection, there is also much to celebrate, and we want this Fest to be a space to do just that. We want to emphasise positivity and joy, and the importance of connection for us all. Think sun shining, and your favourite band rocking out your favourite tunes with your favourite people. 

Paper formats 

Just like Glastonbury, or any Festival of your choosing, we have a number of ‘Festival Tents’ and invite a range of ‘acts’ to the stage (with a strict ‘curfew’ on timings – any aspiring Lana Del Reys, take heed). 

In-person case study/research paper  

  • Duration: 10 minutes presentation + 5 minutes for questions.  

  • Content: Share a specific example or piece of research related to the conference themes. Focus on goals, outcomes, implications, and recommendations.  

Pre-session recording, with discussion at the Fest  

  •  Duration: Up to 5 minutes.  

  •  Content: Share your celebrating connection idea, issue, or experience in video format.  

  • Types: Talking head (human or AI avatar), voice over, animations, etc.  

  •  Deadline: Videos will be shared with delegates in advance of the Fest 

  •  Presentation at the Fest: Discussion, with a focus on Q&A. 

Lightning Talks  

  • Duration: 5 minutes max.  

  • Content: Provoke the audience with inspirations, changes, or impactful actions related to celebrating connection. 

  • Presentation: three slides (max!) 

Submitting a proposal 

The deadline for proposals to be submitted is 4 March 2024, 17.00 (GMT). Please submit your proposal to 

We do not need full written papers for the Fest, but please outline in your proposal what you want to discuss / explore and how you will engage the audience with that issue. 


We are very happy to answer any questions about the event: please contact Lydia Bleasdale, Michael Doherty or Verona Ni Drisceoil at 


Although this event is free of charge, we know those presenting and attending will most likely incur travel costs and we don’t want these to be a barrier to anyone who would like to come. We have some funding available to help with travel costs. Our thanks go to the Society of Legal Scholars and the School of Law for their financial assistance. If you would like to attend but do not have institutional financial support, please email us at