Sunday, March 28, 2010

ABA Section of International Law Spring Meeting in New York

ABA Intlaw Of the most important international law events held each year, I rank near the very top the Spring and Fall Meetings of the American Bar Association Section of International Law.  These simply are amazing gatherings that should not be missed by any international law practitioner (or someone who aspires to practice international law).  And these meetings are extremely rich for the substantive content that drives international law scholarship in new directions.

The next such meeting will be April 13-17, 2010 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.  It simply one of the world’s most important gatherings of international lawyers.  (To give you an idea of how many people agree, the section's last meeting in New York in 2008 attracted almost 1400 attendees from 49 countries.)

Hendrix, Glenn So here's some information about the meeting from Glenn Hendrix, Chair of the ABA Section of International Law.  This 2010 Spring Meeting promises to be even bigger than ever with over 70 substantive programs.  Click here to see the full list of programs and speakers.

The meeting will kick off on Tuesday, April 13th, with a full slate of programming, including a day-long series of “Fundamentals” programs on the nuts and bolts of handling cross-border matters.  Those sessions are organized in cooperation with the International Section of the New York State Bar Association and will qualify for “bridge the gap” CLE credit.  The day’s programming will be capped by the ever-popular “speed networking” event (where the section guarantees that you will walk away with new friends and a fist full of business cards) and the opening reception at the Grand Hyatt. 

The programming shifts into high gear on Wednesday, April 14, with five concurrent sessions per time slot.  The overwhelming offering is divided into useful program tracks (twelve consecutive programs over the course of three days) that help you decide which sessions to attend.  Some of these program tracks are dedicated exclusively to dispute resolution, business/transactional, corporate counsel, regulatory, and public international law/rule of law.  In addition, there will be a series of “mini-tracks” – a clustering of programs over the course of one or two days – on customs/trade law, antitrust, employment/human resources, and cross-border real estate.  Our single-day registration rates should be very attractive to practitioners in the fields covered by these mini-tracks. 

Building on the successful “Managing Partner Roundtable” at the Fall Meeting in Miami, the section will present its first-ever full-day “Managing Partner Summit” on Wednesday, April 14.  Leaders of more than twenty law firms – representing not only some of the world’s largest multinationals, but also top regional and niche practice market leaders – will share their insights on a series of panels on the following topics:  “Law Firm Strategy after the Recession”, “Managing an International Law Firm -- The Opportunities & Challenges of Operating in Multiple Jurisdictions”, and “The Secrets of Attracting and Leading the Best People”.  Paradigms are changing in the legal industry, and these sessions will provide a fresh perspective on where things are headed.

Here are some of the other programs of broader interest for international law practitioners and professors:

  • Legal Process Outsourcing -- A Reality Check: [How] Has It Affected Your Practice?
  • CEDAW Turns 30:  Much Accomplished and More to Come
  • Legal Issues in the Creation of a Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Are They and How Can They Be Resolved?
  • A New World Order for Corporate Governance?  Issues, Trends and the Creeping Role of Government in the Boardrooms of the World
  • Is "Buy American" Best for America?  The Rise of Protectionism and Its Effects. PPPs (Public Private Partnerships) in a Turbulent Market: Views from around the world
  • Global and Cross-Border Pro Bono Service:  Opportunities and Models for Feasible Participation
  • Harmonization of Law:  North America, Europe, and Latin America -- Developments and Future Prospects
  • Seventh Annual “What's New In International Commercial Dispute Resolution?”
  • Renewable Energy – Legal Framework Comparison: U.S. versus the Rest of the World
  • Executive Compensation in the Wake of the Financial Crisis:  What Next?
  • Libel Tourism:  Should the U.S. Be Exporting the First Amendment?

If getting a year’s worth of cutting edge CLE credit weren’t enough, attendees will enjoy unparalleled opportunities to network at such venues as Astor Hall in the New York Public Library (the term “breathtaking grandeur” is often used in describing the space), Charlie Palmer’s Metrazur (a quintessentially New York space overlooking Grand Central), and the historic Yale Club of New York

The Spring Meeting will also showcase an exhibition with the title, “Lawyers Without Rights”.  Mounted by the German Federal Bar, the exhibition features detailed and poignant accounts of the lives and fates of Jewish lawyers who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.  Extensive photographic material is used to present lively biographies of the subjects.  “Lawyers Without Rights” demonstrates what can happen when the rule of law is trampled by the state.

There will also be numerous opportunities to become more engaged in the activities of the Section.  Most of the Section’s 60 committees will be holding business meetings and a committee dinner at the Yale Club.  These sessions represent the ultimate networking opportunity – face time with your peers from around the world who share your area of interest.   Sitting across the table from your colleagues in a committee business meeting discussing upcoming plans for programs, publications, policy initiatives, and projects can be a great way to break the ice.  More importantly, committee involvement represents an opportunity to effect change in the legal sphere.  Most of the “big ABA’s” initiatives bubble up from the committee-level.   Getting involved in one or more committees gives you a chance to become part of the action.

The pre-Registration Final Deadline is March 31, 2010.  You will still be able to register on-site, but it is really much better to have your name listed among the attendees.  

  • Click here to see the full program agenda for the Spring Meeting.  You'll notice some pretty cool stuff in there -- like having lunch with Harold Koh, the Legal Advisor of the U.S. State Department.

    If you have questions about the meeting, you can click here to see a list of frequently asked questions (and, of course, the answers!)

    And to register for the meeting, click here.  See you in New York!   

    Mark E. Wojcik (mew)

    Hat tip to Jenny Abreau.

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