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Conference explores key legal issues in U.S. and U.K.

The ABA Section of International Law completed a three-day leadership conference on July 2 in Oxford, England, that featured U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch and justices from Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Oxford University, site of the Leadership in Law and Practice Conference

Oxford University, site of the Leadership in Law and Practice Conference

The Leadership in Law and Practice Conference included ABA President Bob Carlson and four past ABA presidents in speaking roles. The Law Society, an independent professional body for lawyers in England and Wales, co-sponsored the event.

Gorsuch, who took his seat on the bench on April 10, 2017, provided some insights about the court during a conversation with Ron Cass, dean emeritus of Boston University Law School.

Carlson participated in a panel titled, “The Many Facets of Leadership in the Law.” It explored the role of lawyers in a society, and the importance of bar associations in bringing lawyers together to work on common issues to improve the profession and expand access to justice and the rule of law.

Other ABA past presidents who had key roles in the SIL conference were Hilarie Bass (2017-18), William Hubbard (2014-15), James Silkenat (2013-14) and Stephen Zack (2010-11).

The SIL conference provided a blend of both American and British law, as speakers came from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Panels covered a range of topics, including gender diversity in the profession. Studies in both the U.S. and the United Kingdom show that women have entered the profession in near equal numbers with men over the past 20 years, but men outnumber women as they advance in the practice of law.

Other programs included the role of technology in the modern courts, leadership in business, attacks on governmental institutions and the defense of the rule of law.

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