International Bar Association’s 2013 Conference Brings International BU Law Community Back to Boston
BU Law hosts events to connect international alumni, students, faculty and staff
In October 2013, the International Bar Association held its Annual Conference at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. The week-long event brought together 5,500 delegates from 134 countries—including BU Law alumni and faculty—to discuss the most pressing legal issues facing today’s international legal community. BU Law was one of the conference’s official sponsors.
Madeleine Albright, chair of Albright Stonebridge Group and former secretary of state, gave the keynote address, while over 222 panels covered a full range of international law topics, including the IBA’s Arbitration Committee’s panel, “Pacta sunt servanda in international arbitration,” featuring BU Law Professor William “Rusty” Park.
Throughout the week, BU Law held myriad events both on- and off-campus, allowing students, faculty, staff and alumni from across the globe to connect. One highlight was the alumni reception BU Law hosted at the Boston offices of Holland & Knight: J.D. and LL.M. graduates from 44 countries and 31 class years—ranging from 1958 to 2013—attended.
“The Annual Conference was the perfect opportunity to welcome back to Boston our foreign-trained LL.M. graduates and to connect them with J.D. alumni,” says Assistant Dean for Graduate and International Programs John Riccardi, who updated attendees on BU Law’s international portfolio and new building project.
Conference attendee Edoardo Calcaterra (LL.M. in American Law ’09), who participated in many BU Law events during his week in Boston, says, “It was a great pleasure to take part in BU's initiatives during the IBA annual conference. BU demonstrated once again that it is not only an American university offering LL.M. programs to foreign candidates, but a real international university that is part of the international legal community.”
Current students had multiple opportunities to interact with international alumni through a series of on-campus networking events facilitated by Sara Marshall, associate director for professional development, and the professional development staff.
A “Fireside Chat,” coordinated with the help of Jieling Guan (LL.M. Banking and Financial Law ’13), allowed current LL.M. students to meet with Alex Yong Hao, a partner at Jun He Law Office in New York, to discuss various international business law topics. Mr. Hao shared his experience and observations and spoke about the challenges young international lawyers face at the start of their careers.
At another event, lawyers from the IBA’s Law Firm Management Committee presented case studies of real-life law firm assignments and discussed how they approach their work, providing valuable insight to J.D. and LL.M. students interested in international legal careers.
The Office of Professional Development also orchestrated a career panel featuring seven LL.M. alumni who discussed cross-border and U.S. law practice: Edoardo Calcaterra (LL.M. in American Law ’09), Manav Raheja (LL.M. in Banking and Financial Law ’09), Erinna Brodsky (LL.M. in American Law ’01), Adejumoke Ajala (LL.M. in Banking and Financial Law ’08), Fabio Moreira de Albuquerque Nonô (LL.M. in American Law ’99), Jieling Guan (LL.M. in Banking and Financial Law ’13), and Samuel Mirkin (LL.M. in Banking and Financial Law ’06).
"The networking events and mentoring initiatives during the IBA annual conference strongly indicated BU Law’s commitment to its students and global alumni,” says panel participant Manav Raheja. “BU Law sent a strong message to the IBA legal fraternity that besides holding top rankings, it can offer students international opportunities through its supportive network of global alumni. I believe that, for a recent graduate, the advantages of being connected to the BU Law alumni network will fructify in the years to come."
BU Law’s sponsorship of the conference came with the opportunity to exhibit its range of LL.M. programs and Legal English offerings, all of which are open to foreign-trained lawyers. During the week, staff members of BU Law’s graduate programs manned the BU Law booth at the convention center’s exhibition hall, speaking with conference attendees about the School’s offerings, reconnecting with alumni, and serving as ambassadors for BU Law to the international legal community. “Each year, roughly 85 percent of BU Law’s LL.M. students are foreign-trained practitioners,” says Assistant Dean Riccardi. “The conference was an ideal setting for us to showcase the school’s commitment to preparing lawyers for cross-border careers.”
Reported January 6, 2014