Educational forum debates profession's international future

LAWYERS from all over the world have been debating the future of the legal profession at a marathon five-day conference in Oxford.

Jesus College was the venue for the International Legal Ed ucation Forum organised by the Trainee Solicitors Group and Oxford Law Society.

The stated aim of the forum is to boost global co-operation between legal academics and practitioners by exploring ways of influencing the development of the profession.

A report on the conference's findings and recommendations covering legal education and training and the emergence of alternative dispute resolutionwill be presented to Unesco, the Council of Europe, the EC and universities and law societies throughout Europe, the US and Africa.

A host of speakers included International Bar Association chair professor Ross Harper, Linklaters & Paines competition specialist Tony Morris and European Law Students' Association president Blaz Golob.

Also speaking at the conference was Texas alternative dispute-resolution specialist Tom Cunningham, of Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, one of the sponsors of the conference. He spoke about the impact of ADR in the US.

“It has become more the preferred course of action than the exception,” he said.

“Clients love it – it is cheaper and it allows them to resolve disputes without destroying a business relationship.”