Call for Session Proposals - 2018 Annual Conference

Mind the Gap: The Power of Active Engagement

Atlanta, GA • July 22-26, 2018

The theme of “Mind the Gap” focuses on the practical application of mindfulness to anticipate and respond to gaps in addressing issues facing the courts.  Being mindful of these gaps can help court leaders identify ways in which we can improve our judicial system.  Court leaders, therefore, look to address gaps consciously by improving business processes, optimizing resources, building a superior workforce, and providing exceptional services.  Evidence supports that conscious awareness increases employee engagement and allows for sounder decision making so that court leaders canengage in the development of programs, services, and activities that meet the growing demands placed upon the courts while upholding the rule of law and maintaining public trust and confidence.   

When we are mindful, we bring our curiosity and openness to the present moment. We are aware of what’s going on, both inside and around us while not being overly reactive or overwhelmed.  Court professionals and judges practice mindfulness daily choosing not to react automatically—mindlessly—to an event, a thought, or an emotion, but rather to observe and choose if, and how, to respond.  Thus, the conference organizers have selected a set of topic areas that reflect the challenges facing courts today and seek presentation proposals that educate and motivate attendees to “mind the gap” and actively engage in the anticipation and response in issues facing the courts.  These topic areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Enhancing the Public Perceptions of Courts
  • Promoting Fair and Accessible Justice
  • Developing Leaders for Tomorrow's Challenges
  • Utilizing Technology to Promote Best Practices
  • Advancing Excellence in Court Management

(View Additional Conference Theme Information)

Deadline to submit proposals: Monday, February 19, 2018

Fillable PDF Form for download and submission

Proposal Guidelines

The conference will feature 5-6 plenary sessions and up to 50 breakout workshops.  The Proposal Review Committee is seeking proposals for sessions that align with the conference theme and which will provide attendees with practical takeaways that will benefit courts nationally and internationally.


Plenary sessions are 60 minutes long depending on subject and speakers and are open to all conference participants, with an expected audience size of at least 500. These sessions should explore one topic in-depth. A plenary speaker may be asked to provide a breakout session following the plenary session. All plenary sessions will be live-streamed and recorded.

Breakout Session

Breakout sessions are 60-75 minutes long and are scheduled in blocks of six. They should incorporate a participant-centered adn interactive approach. NACM will designate certain sessions to be live-streamed and recorded.

Proposal Submission, Review, and Selection

Proposals must be submitted using the fillable pdf form (LINKED HERE) and must be emailed to by February 19, 2018.  NACM’s President-Elect, chair of the Conference Development Committee, may elect to extend this deadline and/or may choose to solicit proposals from potential presenters who did not submit them. 

Proposals will be reviewed by a Proposal Review Subcommittee of NACM’s Conference Development Committee.  Each proposal will be evaluated for:

·        knowledge and experience of presenter(s);

·        alignment of topic to conference theme and the likely relevance of the topic to the audience;

·        the degree to which a realistic and achievable approach has been proposed;

·        opportunities for audience engagement; 

·        content being educational, and not commercial, in nature; and

·        the level of interest generated by the topic.

Final speaker selections will be made and sessions scheduled by NACM’s President-Elect in consultation with NACM’s Educational Consultant.


Please review the Conference Speaker Expectations, Information, and Tips prior to submitting your proposal. NACM is committed to high quality, engaging and interactive educational programs and supports its faculty to achieve this goal.


NACM supports the work of the State Justice Institute (SJI), and those submitting proposals should look for ways to advance SJI's Priority Investment Areas and area of strategic interest.

Deadline to submit proposals: Monday, February 19, 2018

Please email completed form to