Junior lawyers

International Weekend 2018 - a review

The JLD committee reflect on this year’s International Weekend.

September saw the return of the International Weekend, an annual event where the Junior Lawyers Division joins forces with the European Young Bar Association, the Young Barristers committee of the Bar Council and the London Young Lawyers Group to host junior lawyers from around the world here in the UK.

The weekend kicked off on the evening of 27 September with a drinks reception hosted by the London Young Lawyers Group. This allowed delegates travelling from around the world - some as far as Hong Kong - to get to know each other in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

Friday saw a packed schedule with informative and topical sessions in the morning presented by experts in their fields. Topics included:

  • sexual harassment in the workplace - a thought-provoking session saw delegates given various scenarios and asked to determine if the facts amounted to sexual harassment
  • developing an international presence - an informative presentation with tips for how legal professionals can expand overseas
  • wellbeing and work-life balance - a science-backed workshop to equip delegates with the tools to manage their personal wellbeing and maintain a healthy balance between their professional and personal lives

Delegates took a breach for lunch at the incredible and impressive Middle Temple Hall followed by a further session on fake news. This highly topical session was well attended, with the panel discussing the impact of fake news and the ways it can be combated.

The day ended with an informative tour of the Royal Courts of Justice followed by a walking tour of the Inns of Court for those who had the stamina.

Friday evening gave delegates the chance to let their hair down at a pub quiz hilariously compered by our very our committee double act Adam Hattersley and Rick Thomas. To the victors, a collection of Law Society gifts and bottles of fizz.   

Saturday started with the European Young Bar Association holding their general meeting. This was an opportunity for them to provide an update to their members on the Association’s finances, administrative items and action points for the forthcoming year.

The rest of the morning continued with presentations on two of the topics on everyone’s minds: the new wave of legal technology, followed by e-privacy and GDPR. Delegates were keen to find out how these issues affect their jobs and careers.

The afternoon started with a presentation on how to let confidence be your business card. Delegates picked up hints and tips on how junior lawyers can build their personal brand to win business.

This was followed by a presentation from TM Lewin on how to dress to impress. Dress suit or trouser suit, fitted or relaxed shirts? We were given tips and tricks on it all.

The day ended with the International Oratory competition when delegates battled it out over a five minute presentation each on topics that ranged from ‘Socks and sandals are okay’ to ‘Stop carrot cruelty’, ‘Media has spoiled our eating habits’ to ‘Why did the chicken cross the road?’.   

The competition was deservedly won by JLD committee member Rick Thomas, who walked away with a voucher kindly presented by TM Lewin.

In true International Weekend style, the weeked drew to a close at a gala dinner hosted at the Law Society in the magnificent Common Room. There was dancing aplenty into the early hours of the morning with a great time had by all.   

The weekend was a huge success and a great opportunity to network with junior lawyers from around the world - something that has never been more important in the wake of Brexit.

A huge tank you to all of the speakers who gave up their valuable time and shared their insights and expertise. International Weekend wouldn’t have been possible without them.


Manda Banerji, Rick Thomas and Adam Hattersley are members of the JLD executive committee 2017/18.

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