Conference season is here: It’s fun and good for your career

YourCareerFall is upon us, and we know what that means: football tailgating parties, pumpkin-flavored everything and conference season.

We’re into it already, as Mike writes in his blog about the recent Coalition of Women’s Initiative in Law event.

In-house counsel stay busy all year long, and sometimes struggle to find the time to attend conferences—be it industry focused or a legal conference with CLE. But carving out some time throughout the year, especially in the fall when conference season is fully underway, may be an opportunity for career advancement.

Attending legal conferences offers three obvious benefits, among others. These include:

  • The opportunity to continue your legal education via CLE-accredited events
  • The ability to gather ideas and get feedback from peers and more seasoned lawyers in the profession
  • The chance to network and meet other lawyers who may be able to open up new opportunities for you down the road

We’ve put together a list of some of the legal industry’s best events coming up in the next few months.

1. Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA)

CLE Expo (Oct. 5-6, San Diego)

2. Corporate Counsel Women of Color

11th Annual Career Strategies Conference (Oct. 8-10, Beverly Hills)

3. The Economist

General Counsel 2015 (Oct. 15, London)

4 Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC)

2015 Annual Meeting (Oct. 18-21, Boston)

5. Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL)

Law Conference (Oct. 28, Washington, D.C.)

6. National Association for Women Lawyers (NAWL)

11th Annual General Counsel Institute (Nov. 5-6, New York City)

7. The General Counsel Forum

The 17th Annual Conference of General Counsel (Nov. 19-20, San Antonio, Texas)

8. Legaltech

Annual event (Feb 2-4, 2016, New York City)

I know that your time is finite, and budget considerations may play a role as you consider these events. So evaluate the curriculum for synergies with your current responsibilities. Most event web sites will preview a list of speakers, as well, and this will give you a window into the potential networking value of a conference.

If you are not the general counsel of your company, and your GC is skeptical about approving the expense, a good way to “sell” your request is to offer to write-up or present conference takeaway points for your colleagues down the hall. Your entire department benefits from your attendance, and you stand out in a positive way for going that extra mile. Win-win.

Local events, such as seminars and workshops, also offer an excellent opportunity to take advantage of all of the perks conferences offer. The ABA and ACC can be excellent resources for finding quality smaller scale events closer to home.

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