Join us for ELA's 2021 "Hybrid" Annual Conference!

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67th Annual Conference: October 20-23, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas and virtually

This year ELA will hold its first "hybrid" event, to be held in-person in San Antonio, Texas, and online. The in-person event will be organized in accordance with health and safety guidelines -- and whatever you may have read about COVID preparedness in Texas as a whole, local governments are setting guidelines, and San Antonio's are protective. The virtual option will build on ELA's successful experience with our 2020 virtual conference.

ELA's Annual Conference attracts scholars and practitioners in the field from all over the U.S. and Canada and a number of other countries. This uniquely diverse gathering draws attorneys, professors, education leaders and administrators, graduate and law students, teachers, public officials, consultants, reporters, and other stakeholders from the worlds of PreK-12 and higher education; public, private, and charter sectors; colleges of education and law schools; plaintiff- and defense-side; labor and management; and more. It's an extraordinarily welcoming and collegial gathering that offers the richness of programming made possible by ELA's diversity. Virtual participants will be able to view featured programming in real time and recordings of concurrent sessions according to their own scheduling convenience.

You can get a sense of the ELA Annual Conference by checking out the program from our 2020 virtual conference.  


walsh markELA is delighted to announce that one of keynote speakers will be Mark Walsh, education law reporter for Education Week as well as other news sources including SCOTUSblog and the American Bar Association's ABA Journal. Mark will once again present the ELA conference's annual Supreme Court Update. Few reporters combine Mr. Walsh's knowledge of K-12 education with his knowledge and experience covering the courts, and fewer -- if any -- have education law as their assigned "beat." Mark's always informative and entertaining review of the past year, with a look forward to coming legal events, has been one of the most popular highlights of ELA conferences in recent years.


ELA's Annual Conference features an array of panel discussions, breakout sessions, round tables, and poster sessions on a wide range of substantive topics as well as on the teaching, study, and practice of education law. General session topics this year will be include two landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions from Texas and their legacies and outlook: 

  • The 1973 case of San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, on K-12 school funding; and
  • The 2013 and 2016 case of Fisher v. University of Texas, on affirmative action in higher education.

In addition, the program will include eight featured panel discussions on the following topics:

  • Social Justice and Education Law
  • Hot Topics on the First Amendment's Religion Clauses
  • Hot Topics in School Finance Litigation
  • Hot Topics in the Law of School Safety
  • Hot Topics in Charter School Law
  • Hot Topics in Higher Education Law
  • Hot Topics in K-12 Education Law
  • Hot Topics in Special Education Law

On Wednesday, October 20, ELA will offer stand-alone preconferences, which are deeper dives available for a separate fee (see below) that can be taken in addition to, or without registering for, the rest of the conference. The preconferences are not available virtually but only in-person. This year's lineup includes:

  • Education Law Workshop for Texas School Administrators (full-day)
  • Ethics in the Practice of Education Law (ethics CLE for attorneys) (half-day)
  • Unconscious Bias in the Legal Profession (ethics CLE for attorneys)) (half-day)
  • Best Practices and New Ideas in the Teaching of Education Law (half-day)
  • An Introduction to Education Law (both K-12 & Higher Education) (half-day)
  • Introduction to Education Law for Law Students (both K-12 & Higher Education) (half-day)

In addition, the ELA Annual Conference provides ample opportunities for networking, socializing, small discussions about shared interests, special opportunities for students and for first-time Annual Conference attendees, and recognition for excellence in different dimensions of the field through the bestowing of our five annual awards. 


ELA is soliciting proposals for a variety of presentations on education law topics, from preK-12 through higher education. For this hybrid event, all presenters of concurrent sessions will present by video recording, even if they also will be presenting in person in San Antonio. Both to showcase ELA's organizational distinctiveness as well as to accommodate scheduling constraints of a hybrid conference, ELA strongly encourages proposals for joint presentations with co-presenters that showcase ELA's diversity, professional and otherwise.

See the Call for Proposals, and access the online proposal form, here.  


While conference registration is not yet live, for your budgeting purposes here are the registration fees:

  • In-person member attendance (non-student): $350
  • Virtual member attendance (non-student): $200
    • Discount off above prices for first-time (non-student) member attendees: -$50
  • Student in-person attendance: $150 (includes 12 months of student membership in ELA)
  • Student virtual attendance: $100 (includes 12 months of student membership in ELA)
  • Non-member in-person: $550
  • Non-member virtual: $350

To learn about ELA memberships and join ELA, click here.

This year's preconferences all are priced at $50, except for the all-day Education Law Workshop for Texas School Administrators, which is $100. Registrants for the Texas Administrators' preconference are eligible to register for virtual participation in the main conference for the discounted price of $100.


The in-person event will convene at the historic Sheraton Gunter Hotel San Antonio which is within walking distance of the River Walk and the Alamo. The special group rate for the ELA conference is $179 per night for a standard room and can be booked for any duration of stay between October 16 and 26, 2021. The last day to book your stay at the conference rate will be September 20, 2021. ELA strongly encourages attendees to book their stay at the conference hotel, which is important to the success of our conference. Click here to book your hotel stay at the conference rate.


Please check back here as more information on the program and online conference registration become available.

You also may email inquiries to ELA at  or call us at 833-ELA-1954.

We look forward to seeing you this year!