All committee members other than members of the Board and Executive Committee are appointed by the President. Most "standing committees" have six members. Other committees do not have a fixed number of members, although there usually are five or six, and there may be overlap from year to year. The responsibilities of each committee are summarized below. Most committees are established in the Bylaws, but the President has broad latitude in the "charge" given to the committee, and in addition may appoint ad hoc committees.
People who are interested in serving on a committee should review the committee list and express their interest in a particular committee or in committee work in general to the President. Most Committee appointments are made in the Spring, with service to begin at the close of the annual meeting; when possible, the committees meet during the annual meeting to plan their work for the coming year. Fortunately for the Association, even though there are over 50 committee appointments, there usually are more people who want to serve than there are slots, but this means that requests can't always be granted.
The Board of Trustees is the governing body of the Association. It includes twenty-four people elected as Trustees, eight of whom are elected each year and constitute a "class;" each class serves for three years. The President, Past President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Editor of the Law & Society Review and Book Reviews Editor also serve as Trustees. The Board of Trustees meets all day on the day prior to the start of the annual meeting.
The Executive Committee is comprised of the President, Past President or President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, Editor of the Law & Society Review, and the "class representatives" - the Trustee in each class who received the highest number of votes. The Executive Committee has any power delegated to it by the Board of Trustees and acts in emergencies that arise between the annual meetings of the Board. The Executive Committee meets in an all day meeting in January.
The Diversity Committee is charged with implementing the Association's policy on diversity, which focuses on systematic and sustained efforts to develop greater diversity in the Association.
The International Activities Committee is responsible for developing programs that attend to the needs of members of the Association from outside the United States and that promote greater awareness of comparative and transnational scholarship.
The Membership and Professional Issues Committee focuses on recruitment of members and on the enhancement of the membership community.
The Nominations Committee nominates a slate of candidates to run for the offices of the Association and for membership on the Board of Trustees, in competitive elections held in the fall. The slate of nominees is finalized by the Board of Trustees.
The Publications Committee considers and recommends programs and policies for the publications of the Association including the Law & Society Review. The general editor is a member of the Committee, but the Committee is separate from the Editorial Board of the Review.
The Budget and Finance Committee advises the President and Trustees on issues related to finances, budget, and investments. This function includes budget planning; preparation and reporting; on investment policy and strategies; and on other financial matters referred to it by the President or the Executive Officer.
The Audit Committee oversees the annual audit of the Association's finances.
Annual Meeting Committee
The Program Committee is responsible for all substantive aspects of the program for the annual meeting. (The Executive Office, with the assistance of the Local Arrangements Committee, handles all the logistical arrangements.) The work of the Committee starts at the close of the previous year's annual meeting; members stay an extra day to begin planning for next meeting. The Committee develops the plenary theme for the meeting, develops plans to enhance the substantive offerings and attract participants, creates panels from individually submitted proposals, and solicits chairs and discussants to serve on those panels.
The Graduate Student Workshop Committee (also a standing committee) is responsible for planning and conducting the Graduate Student Workshop, including establishing a theme and curriculum, recruiting faculty and students, and evaluating the event. The GSW is held at the site of the annual meeting, one and a half days preceding the annual meeting.
The Early Career Workshop Committee (also a standing committee) is responsible for planning and conducting the Early Career Workshop which meets one and a half days preceding the annual meeting at the venue of the annual meeting.
Ad Hoc Committees
The Association organizes ad-hoc committees to address specific projects important to LSA members. These committees have a short, usually one year, term.
The Harry J. Kalven, Jr. Prize is awarded annually (biennially prior to 1999) for "empirical scholarship that has contributed most effectively to the advancement of research in law and society." It is not a book prize, but is given in recognition of a body of scholarly work.
The James Willard Hurst Prize is awarded annually (biennially prior to 2002) for the best work in sociolegal history - broadly defined - published in the previous year.
The Herbert Jacob Book Prize annual competition is open to books from all fields of, and approaches to, law and society scholarship-excluding only works of legal history, which are considered for the Hurst Prize-published in the previous year.
The Stan Wheeler Mentorship is awarded each year to a member of the Law and Society community who is regarded by his or her peers and students as an outstanding mentor for graduate, professional or undergraduate students who are working on issues of law and society.
The John Hope Franklin Prize is awarded annually by the Law and Society Association to recognize exceptional scholarship in the field of Race, Racism and the Law.
The Law and Society Association Article Prize annually recognizes exceptional scholarship in the field of sociolegal studies for an article published (in English) in the previous two years.
The Law and Society Association International Prize is awarded annually to a scholar, normally resident outside the United States, in recognition of scholarship that has contributed significantly to the advancement of knowledge in the field of law and society. It is not a book prize, but is given in recognition of a body of scholarly work.
The LSA Student Paper Prizes are awarded annually to an undergraduate student and a graduate or law student whose nominated papers, written within 18 months of the prize year, best represent outstanding law and society research.
The LSA Dissertation Prize is awarded annually to a dissertation written within 12 months of the prize year that best represents outstanding law and society scholarship.