5 Reasons To Go To The IBA Annual Bar Conference 2017

IBA Annual bar Conference 2017

The IBA Annual Bar Conference 2017 is taking place in Sydney on the 8-13 October!

So with that in mind here are 5 reasons why I think students should attend.  These are in no particular order:

Be a law geek

I am a massive law geek, and attending the conference was actually a bit of a challenge! I always find that when you go to events like this, seminars you like the sound of, are always on at the same time!  So I had to pick the ones I really wanted to go to.  In an ideal world, they would record all of the seminars so you could catch the ones you didn’t get to attend!


Oh my, the stuff you can learn at these events is ridiculous! From legal updates, legal news, new legislation, international law, marketing and more.  Plus there are loads of companies there with new products, books, resources (and tons of freebies!).

My favourite seminar that I went to was on Virtual and Augmented Reality, and not only was it an interesting topic, the panel was amazing! There were legal representatives from all the big players in AR/VR. Rachel from Google even brought lots of google cardboards with her, so I was fortunate enough to get 3 (and give 2 to my little sisters).  The discussions on the subject were amazing, hearing about what is coming for the future, how they have to change legislation.  Warnings that are needed off the back of the Pokemon situation (people jumping off buses, night time, trespassing) etc.  It was fascinating!

Networking (day time)

Now you all know how much I hate the word networking, and in this post I have used it twice (sorry!).

There are so many opportunities to meet people during the day at the IBA Annual Conference.  From walking around the exhibition areas, to attending talks and seminars.  I found everyone to be very welcoming an social and even managed to make friends with some British lawyers in the lobby of the hotel on the first day.

Networking (night time)

I will be perfectly honest when I say that I did not expect to go to many of the parties and drinks receptions, despite hearing how amazing some of them were.  I ended up going out every night to more than one party, and had a great time! Some of the drinks receptions are in amazing venues, with stunning views.  Lawyers like to have a lot of fun, so they are well worth attending!  Plus you never know who you might meet! I was fortunate enough to spend an entire party with one of my favourite chambers in London, 7 Bedford Row.

Enhancing Skills 

Attending events like these is a great way to enhance or develop your skill set. If you aren’t so confident you can feel a little out of your comfort zone.  However, you need to make the most of these types of events, so fake it, ’til you make it, confidence wise.  Speak to people if they speak to you, or go and sit in a row with someone else already there.  They are bound to say hi! Go and chat to people in the exhibition! Get on twitter and see who is tweeting with the #IBASydney hashtag and start chatting to people and engaging with them. Make the most of the opportunities whilst you are there.

For more information on the conference click here.  Don’t forget early bid prices close on Friday 21st July 2017.

Now please don’t get me wrong, I know that for most people (and in particular law students) it is very impractical to suggest going all of the way to Sydney for the IBA Annual Bar Conference 2017! However, if you live in Australia and can get there then I do highly recommend it.

If you are in Australia (or not) then your universities might be able to sponsor your ticket, or perhaps law firms that you have worked with, even Bar Council’s and Law Societies (around the world) assist their students in attending events such as these. So definitely ask and see if it is possible!

Plus the IBA offer some sponsorship themselves, so check that out.  They did have a number of sponsored places for last year, so I am sure they will be running that again for the IBA Annual Bar Conference 2017.

Last year I attended the IBA Annual Bar Conference in Washington DC and did a series of posts on it, you can check one of them out here.  I would love to know if you are attending the IBA Annual Bar Conference 2017 in Sydney!

Rebecca x

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