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IBA - ILSA Conference


len & Overy’s London office, addressed many of the challenges facing students and young pro- fessionals hoping to pursue a career in interna- tional law.


Panelists shared there own career paths with delegates, and repeatedly stressed a firmly held belief that there is no single “correct” career path. Many of the panelists emphasized that they now held, or had held, jobs that they had not envisioned themselves in during their legal education.


Rasheed opened the panel by stating that he believed international law was comprised of five main areas: private, international organizations, non-governmental, governmental, and academic. The panelists, who bring experience from many of these areas of international law, embarked on a 90 minute discussion with delegates about how best to pursue careers in international law generally, and how to pursue careers in particu- lar areas of international law.


Birtwistle, who now focuses on international employment law, with a particular emphasis on discrimination issues, highlighted the role peo- ple play in the legal practice. After all, according to Birtwistle, law is a human practice, making networking one of the most important tools available to a young lawyer. Birtwistle also used this moment to caution students against burning bridges, citing the likelihood that you would run across people from your past.


Richards, who previously served as Legal Adviser to the Liberian Minister of Finance, encouraged students to use their hearts, heads, and guts in their pursuit of the legal practice. According to Richards, this, in addition to getting exposure to issues outside of your general interests, is a sure way to build a successful legal career. Like Richards, Rasheed also stressed the importance of getting involved with work you are passionate about.


Rasheed highlighted the important role the Jes- sup competition had played in his own legal ca- reer development. According to Rasheed, as a junior associate on the Kosovo case before the International Court of Justice, he was introduced to the client as the junior associate who had “done really, really well at Jessup.”


Theclosing panel of the ILSA-IBA conference was the Moot Court and Advocacy Panel, Dag- mar Butte of Parker, Butte & Lane’s Portland of- fice, Andrew Holmes of 42 Bedford Rowe, and Claire van Overdijk of No5 Chambers, addressed an excited conference delegation about the chal- lenges and excitement that comes with partici- pating in moot court competitions. All three pan- elists have extensive experience participating in moot court competitions, most notably Jessup, in addition to coaching and/or judging Jessup rounds.


The panelists stressed that teams did not need a coach to do well at Jessup, and shared stories of the many diverse teams they had encountered in their experiences participating in and coaching Jessup. Finally, the panelists stressed the impor- tance of treating moot court competitions as a discussion, stating that while the judges might be in charge, the competitors are the teachers.


Personally, I know I left the ILSA-IBA Conference energized not only by the high-quality panelists, but also by my fellow delegates. It is clear the delegates were energized by the advice and mentorship offered to them by the many pan- elists, and equally clear many of the delegates will someday be giving the same advice as pan- elists.


ILSA would like to thank the IBA for all the sup- port in partnering on such a wonderful event. Mostly, however, ILSA would like to thank the participants for their enthusiasm and engage- ment, and say that we look forward to seeing you at International Law Weekend in New York in October.


. ILSA Quarterly » volume 22 » issue 1 » October 2013 35


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