Women in Law’s breakout sessions

Women in Law’s breakout sessions


After the reception of the participants and the introduction to the topic in the morning, five different sessions took place in the afternoon. These sessions were entitled ‘The next generation – where do we want to be and how do we get there?’ and aimed at small groups discussing various problems and finding solutions. The participants had the opportunity to visit several of these discussions in order to gain as much insight as possible into different areas. An overview of the findings of these sessions can be found below. The articles and speakers’ profiles are also linked, as well as further information on the topics, offering a comprehensive collection of the sessions’ content.


Session A: Legal Tech and AI

Marie L’Hermite

  • Many opportunities for women in law in Legal Tech
  • Legal tech and AI provide much more flexibility for women so that they can get out of this old law firm model based on traditional stereotypes
  • Some drawbacks: Innovation is linked with risks for lawyers and clients. It can reduce the number of (young) lawyers
  • Still too early to predict the reasonable use and cost of such technologies
  • Coaching empowers proficient usage
  • Inter-generational relationship will be an asset to the young generation: Digital natives can teach the older generation
  • Focus on soft skills and creativity: Everything else can be replaced by Legal Tech
  • Incubator for legal technology in France

Session B: Millenials

Constanze Eich, Cherine Foty, Marta Glowacka, Erika Solomon Vasser

Innovation

  • What can leadership do in terms of innovation? –  They have to train the workforce to adopt innovative ways of doing your job and give them space and incentives to do so
  • Also: Make sure that there is enough diversity in the workforce
  • Employers need to be open to change, train themselves and think outside of the box

Knowledge

  • Specialism vs. generalism in the light of new technologies
  • Leadership and the young generation have to accept that new technologies can replace humans
  • They need to be prepared to face this new situation and be open to it
  • The necessity to change legal education in order to be prepared
  • Young people will have to take risks; nobody can always be successful
  • Leadership needs to think about new models of working, e.g. flexible hours, especially women in legal positions
  • Bring people together and not only focus on solving singular problems

Networking

Every successful woman should take another woman to the top
with her 

  • Sharing experiences by joining mentorships
  • Less is more
  • Don’t network for business purposes only
  • Stay in contact
  • Important skills: Listening, empathy, humility, confidence, resilience

Session C: Work-life balance

Birgit Forgo-Feldner, Laura Sanjath
Geertje Tutschka

  • What is life-work balance? Is it two opposites, or a continuum? Where do you put the parental duties, on the work or life side?
  • Involvement of legislative, employers and the bar association is necessary
  • Self-care

Session D: Diversity

Alex Storer

  • Looking beyond gender, towards diversity
  • Start: Concept of leadership
  • What is the first thing that comes to mind when somebody says the word “leader”?
  • Mission: Changing the image of “a leader”
  • Addressing the heavily masculine-dominated culture and the expectation that you need to conform with those masculine behaviors
  • Support diversity
  • Recruiting in one’s own image: Men in positions of power recruit people similar to them
  • Solution: Contextual and blind recruitment
  • Importance of visibility and role models
  • ICC change of policy: Setting the tone from the top to become a fully balanced organization

Session E: Networking & Role Models

Alexandra Pifl, Sita Mazumder, Petra Pracher-Ratnik

  • Networking is very important, but needs focus
  • Surround yourself with people from other fields
  • You have to actively contribute to create your network
  • Volunteer to help others, even without a formal mentoring program
  • How can you be a role model?

Be authentic, encourage others, follow your own inspiration

Alexandra Pifl