PLANC 8th Quadrennial Conference:
New Orleans, June 10-13, 2024
CONFERENCE FUNDING IDEAS
The information below may not be applicable to everyone, but hopefully it may be helpful to at least some. If you have questions, are in need of other ideas, suggestions, etc., or have your own to share with others, please follow-up using the PLANC Google Group listserv!
If full funding is not directly available from your unit’s revenue or a Dean who is willing to fully fund conference participation in the name of professional development, below are some suggestions for where to look for additional funds.
Pre-law advisors who are applying for APLA Scholarships/Subsidies may be required to first attempt to secure institutional sources of funding in order to be eligible.
Academic Enhancement Funds
Academic enhancement funds that are not attached to a particular course or service. Funds that may be available for the purpose of benefiting students/education but are not exclusively reserved for direct student-use. Check with academic departments, a Provost’s office, or other units that are part of your school’s Academic Affairs, Undergraduate Education, etc.
Many colleges and universities have faculty and staff grants to support professional enrichment or development opportunities such as professional association conferences. These may be available through a Dean’s office, a Staff Advisory Board/Council, or other unit you are a part of.
Support from Other Units
Support from other units with which you already collaborate or could collaborate in the future. If you can’t get 100% of the funding you need from your own unit, can you piece together funding from multiple units? Some possibilities:
Alumni Development may be willing to contribute now, knowing that they’ll want to talk with your students years later. If not their office directly, do they know of an alum who is a practicing attorney who would like to see increased support for pre-law students?
An Office of Diversity and Inclusion or Multicultural Center may be interested in supporting professional development that includes learning about DEI initiatives in pre-law, implementing programming back on campus, and ultimately improving students’ access to legal education.
If you are not based in Career Services at your school, consider reaching out and asking if they would support your efforts. You are both working to prepare students for what comes after college plus you could potentially be a resource for their office as well.
Must be a pre-law advisor
LSAC offers subsidies (up to $600) to assist prelaw advisors working at Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) with the cost of attending PLANC and regional APLA conferences. These subsidies were designed to financially facilitate professional development while equipping prelaw advisors at MSIs with the knowledge, skills, and innovative strategies they need to guide, support, and positively impact diverse students’ legal education journeys. Learn more about subsidy eligibility.
ADVOCATING FOR CONFERENCES
If funds or grants are available at your school, be sure to watch for deadlines, co-funding (do they require a partial buy-in from your department/unit before they will commit funds?), after-action reports (will you be required to present on what you learned/experienced?) or other requirements. If the funds are from outside your unit, a statement of support from your chair/director/dean may be necessary.
If a grant is an option, it may include a rubric that explains what is expected and how your proposal will be reviewed. If it doesn’t, consider the following:
Strength of the Proposal
Provide thorough details (not vague statements) which make a compelling argument about the importance of attending.
Clearly outline and explain how the conference aligns with departmental goals/objectives as well as the mission of your college/university.
Discuss your desired outcome and how this conference will achieve that outcome.
Benefits of Attending
Provide a detailed explanation of how attending PLANC 2024 will benefit you, your unit, and your school. Consider both short-term as well as long-term benefits.
Be ready to provide full information for all expenses including specific estimates (refer to the PLANC 2024 Budget Calculator). For expenses that may change (i.e. airfare) be as accurate as possible for now – what is the airfare for comparable dates (day of the week, season, etc.)?
Include attachments or at minimum links to websites to document and support your estimates
If the grant requires a conference schedule or program, depending on the deadline to submit your proposal you may need to inquire about including this in an after-action report. A skeleton conference schedule will be available in Autumn; the full conference program will not be available until sometime in Spring of 2024.
LANGUAGE FOR GRANTS/PROPOSALS
The following may be helpful as prompts as you discuss goals and objectives:
To learn about best practices, changes in testing and admission procedures, trends in legal education and employment/hiring, new DEI efforts.
To network with law schools in your region and others around the country which you might not otherwise connect with regularly (particularly helpful if your school is not within reach of an LSAC Forum nor hosts its own Law Fair). This is a two-way street – in addition to learning about law schools and what they can offer students, you can build relationships with law schools which can lead to those schools gaining a better sense of who your students are.
To network with other Pre-Law Advisors around the country, hearing what they do and brainstorming ideas in a dynamic in-person environment.
Two Conferences in one Fiscal Year
If you attended a WAPLA, NAPLA, or PCAPLA conference in 2023, those were all prior to June 30 and so took place in Fiscal Year 2023. These APLAs will not have an annual conference in FY24.
If you attended a SWAPLA, MAPLA, or SAPLA conference in 2023, those occurred after July 1 and so took place during FY24, the same fiscal year as PLANC 2024 this coming June. These APLAs will not have an annual conference in FY25.
Getting funding for one conference can be challenging enough - getting funding for two in the same fiscal year can be even more difficult. If your situation means you will be attending two conferences in FY24 but none in FY25, consider talking with your Chair, Dean, etc. about how things will “even out”. Though you are asking for 2x conference funding in FY24 would they agree if they know it means you are not asking for conference funding in FY25? Are there other expenditures that can be traded off – supplies, swag items, or other purchases that can be deferred to the year you’re not attending a conference?