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Innovation:
Exploring tomorrow's legal world

24-28 August 2021
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François Barré
President of AIJA 2020/2021

Welcome AIJA friends!

2021 will be a momentous year for the legal profession and the practice of law, as we continue to push forward through the challenges brought globally by the pandemic. There is no better moment to prioritise innovation and understand how to modernise our practice and the legal profession.

Innovation is now high on everyone’s agenda.

But as exciting as they are, innovations aren’t innovative if we don’t know how to use them or how to embed them within our internal structures. And technology by itself won’t help to positively transform and evolve the legal profession without a better understanding from lawyers on how they can benefit from innovation and adapt. True ingenuity calls for rethinking and reinventing law firm processes to improve efficiency and increase value we bring to our clients; thus, technology is just one of many tools to support change to improve competitiveness and better serve them.

Innovation will take centre stage at the 59th International Young Lawyers’ Congress in Zurich, from 24 to 28 August 2021. We will focus on developing new tools and skills for innovation to address continuous change in the sector and the ability to innovate our law firms for our clients and society. Titled “Innovation: Exploring tomorrow’s legal world”, the Congress will be a fantastic resource for all international lawyers searching for new ideas and models to shape the future of their practice.

I am honoured to be working with a highly ambitious and energetic team of local and international AIJA members to plan and organise the 59th Congress in Zurich, one of the most important hotspots for innovation in the world. The Organising Committee will ensure you get to have a genuine local experience during your stay in this wonderful city. The Academic Coordinators and AIJA’s Commissions will offer an enriching academic programme, with a diverse range of topics which will be presented in interactive formats to inspire and boost your creativity.

I look forward to seeing you in Zurich.

Moritz Maurer
Chair of the Organising Committee

See you in Zurich!

It is a great pleasure to invite you to my hometown of Zurich for the 59th International Young Lawyers’ Congress.

Culturally vibrant, efficiently run and charming – Zurich is one of the world’s most liveable cities, one of central Europe’s hippest destinations with the highest density of clubs in Europe and Switzerland’s centre of economic life. Located in the heart of Europe, Zurich offers all the modern amenities of a cosmopolitan metropolis, without sacrificing its natural side. In particular, Zurich’s surrounding nature and mountains are breathtaking. Zurich is a boutique city offering everything which that implies, albeit in small and exquisite format.

The 59th International Young Lawyers’ Congress will bring together AIJA delegates and friends from all over the world for the largest international event dedicated to international young lawyers, providing business and networking opportunities, while visiting one of the most fascinating cities in the world.

In organising this Congress, we would like to give back to AIJA for what AIJA has given to us over the years: the opportunity to develop an international professional network on the one hand, and the opportunity to make friends for life on the other. Together with my Organising Committee, we have made every effort to introduce you to Zurich as a friend would to a friend. You will discover the city’s hidden treasures, take part in a high-quality academic programme on the theme of “innovation”, and have the opportunity to (further) develop your professional network – all within the particularly warm and friendly atmosphere that characterises AIJA. 

The Organising Committee will make sure that you will enjoy and benefit from a genuine local experience during your stay in Zurich, starting with welcome drinks in a castle, an opening ceremony in a theater at the lake of Zurich, home hospitality dinners with friends, a day out in the mountains and, finally, a gala dinner in a chocolate factory.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Zurich in August 2020 for what will certainly be unforgettable event and, possibly, one of the biggest ever annual Congresses.

Academic coordinators

Sjoerd Mol
Benvalor
Michaela Pelinka
bpv Hügel
Jens Uwe Rügenhagen
GSK Stockmann
Beatrice Stange
Heuking

Innovation: Exploring tommorrow's legal world

The power of innovation has become a crucial factor for success in most industries, legal services is one of them. This has become even more clear during the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies have to adapt fast to stay relevant. Yet, mere adaptation may not be enough to stay ahead of the game when disruptive business models have the potential to change it completely. Competitive advantage can only be achieved through innovation. For law firms this doesn’t only mean understanding and keeping up with their clients’ businesses, acting innovatively can also enhance their own business models and bring new services to the legal market. New products through digital tools, easier access to justice – law firms have not only the opportunity to renovate the way they work, but also a responsibility to shape tomorrow’s society.

AIJA’s 59th International Young Lawyers’ Congress will embrace innovation as a driver for a more comprehensive and thus better business and society, as well as a better law.

From 24 to 28 August 2021, we will look at how to introduce and incorporate innovation across various industries for the benefit of business, society and the law.

  • Through a series of interactive workshops and working sessions, including discussions in a TED talk style, we will examine how innovation works in various industries and how it should be treated under the law. This will enable innovation but also meet its challenges and regulate the power of data.
  • We will discuss public interest and ethics, and the roles they do or should play when it comes to innovation: can we ensure an improvement of social inclusion and cohesion or even transformation? Will it be easier to achieve sustainability and diversity objectives?
  • We will identify best practice examples and investigate how successful changes in management, workflows and processes could be implemented in the legal sector. We will discuss the opportunities, i.e. how innovation can help the legal profession to achieve better business decisions and obtain better results and client satisfaction. As well as how we can start to implement the practical ideas into law firms.

The 59th Annual Congress invites private practice lawyers, in-house counsel, corporate entrepreneurs, academics, policymakers and business development executives from around the world to start conversations about the innovation needed to remain competitive in today’s digitalised and globalised world. The congress will be an excellent platform to exchange ideas, best practice and to meet the young and innovative game changers in the legal sector.

At the heart of innovation is the people, who envisage transformation and have the courage and determination to shape it. At the 59th Annual Congress, we will create a culture of ambition, inviting participants to strive for the best and positively influence change and innovation. For their own business – and beyond.

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