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Exactly one year ago the organization committee of today’s conference bemoaned the rareness of gatherings for professionals and academics engaged in the future of legal services. As a result, Peter Lederer, John Flood and Leo Staub decided to launch this unique conference and invited the creme de la creme of experts in this area of expertise.
Thursday – Day 1
Upon arrival, the participants first had a chance to get to know each other during a light lunch with which the international and interdisciplinary exchange on the future of legal services was initiated. Interdisciplinary, because representatives from academia, corporate and law firm practice, as well as the world of alternative legal service providers found their way to St. Gallen. Afterwards, the official part of the conference began with a warm welcome speech by Leo Staub and Peter Lederer.
Since the goal of the conference was to exchange ideas and identify possible research projects regarding the future of the delivery of legal services, each participant was asked to submit a research proposal prior to the conference. These ideas were presented during the afternoon session. Not only presentations were held, but thanks to the dedicated participants also exciting discussions arose all afternoon.
Satisfied and energized, although also slightly exhausted the group enjoyed the early evening break before leaving the hotel for dinner. At the lovely restaurant Unterer Brand with the exceptionally pleasant service of Ms. Linder and her family we enjoyed a typically Swiss cheese fondue. Besides delicious food, the exciting conversations continued before we walked back to the Einstein Hotel.
I can only talk for myself when admitting that I was rarely as happy as I was that night to finally slip into my bed, after this intense and at the same time very fascinating day.
Friday – Day 2
The next morning began sluggishly with coffee in front of the conference room, lasting – in a scandalously non-Swiss manner – five minutes longer than scheduled. However, as soon as John Flood resumed the moderation of the conference the tireless performance of all participants continued. After the last presentations three workshops were formed in order to discuss the conference theme in more detail with a special focus on i) law firms and alternative legal service providers, ii) in-house legal departments and iii) legal education. Each group had to vote on the submitted research proposals to define and further develop the most promising ones. It goes without saying that this was not an easy task. Nevertheless, each group presented their results as well as an intriguing research proposal on how to further pursue it.
Before the official end of this inspiring conference, Leo Staub thanked everyone for attending and invited to a joint lunch. Thereupon, a sightseeing tour through St. Gallen’s old town was offered for all those who wanted to stretch their legs after lunch. We passed remarkable buildings, the splendid cathedral, the magnificent abbey and its UN-world heritage-listed library with books even going back to the 8th century.
We enjoyed these two days very much and are looking forward to all the following conferences on the future of legal services.