The JLD held their very successful 20011 Annual Conference on 7th May at the Law Society, Chancery Lane.
After a formal opening from JLD Chair Jude Perkins, Law Society Vice – President John Wotton spoke very eloquently about the Law Society Diversity Access Scheme (http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/aboutlawsociety/charity/das.page ) and introduced a short film that illustrated the good work that the scheme does, providing financial support to promising entrants to the profession who also face exceptional social, educational, financial or personal obstacles to qualification.
Keynote speaker was Colonel James Durant, Immediate Past Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) GP Solo Division and Board Member of the ABA’s Rule of Law Initiative. Colonel Durant is the senior lawyer in the US Armed Forces stationed in the UK, covering some 20,000 US servicemen and their families. He spoke about Leadership, talking from his extensive personal experience, but building this into a very inspirational speech which was the talk of the attending delegates for the rest of the day.
There were a succession of high profile speakers for the rest of the day, with a emphasis on practical legal skills from Chrissie Lightfoot and Kevin Poulter on using Social Networking sites to best advantage. I also delivered a session on Networking Skills. Given I was speaking at almost 3pm on Saturday afternoon I kept the session deliberately light – hearted, delivering some hints and tips on useful phrases to use when networking in a room full of people where you do not know anyone else that is attending. I haven’t seen the formal written feedback yet, but given by the number of people who approached me with positive comments during the rest of the Conference and the ensuing ball in the evening, most of the delegates found the session useful.
The day finished with a Black – Tie Ball at the Intercontinental Hotel on Park Lane, which sure enough gave me the opportunity to try some of the networking skills that I had been talking about just a few hours before.