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SYS Annual Conference 2018, Diversity & Technology

19 Nov 2018

Sorcha Corcoran

The Society of Young Solicitors recently held their annual Conference and Black tie gala in the Sheraton Hotel, Athlone, Co Westmeath. Brightwater are long standing supporters and sponsors of the SYS, and have been attending the event since 2003.

The theme of the conference changes every year, and this year’s topic was Diversity and Technology – how relevant and pertinent in today’s market! The society organised an outstanding panel of speakers, moderated by the recently inducted Chairman of the Law Society, Mr Patrick Dorgan. Speakers included:
* Gillian McDonald - Partner in A&L Goodbody
* Gavin Sheridan - VizLegal
* Francis Kieran - Barrister
* Rachel Hussey - Partner in Arthur Cox and Deputy Chair of the 30% club.

The 30% Club was launched in January 2015, with a goal to achieving better gender balance at all levels in leading Irish businesses and it has already been very successful. There were some excellent discussions and insights, and I’m pleased to say that the topic of diversity, certainly in the legal world, is alive, kicking and moving rapidly in the right direction.

Gillian McDonald and Gavin Sheridan spoke openly about the barriers they encounter with the current tech solutions/tools used in the legal world, and how they are both working hard to overcome them and ultimately provide a more efficient, sophisticated and time saving service to clients. I think it’s obvious that if firms don’t embrace newer technologies and prepare to move away from archaic working practices, they are ultimately going to watch their business suffer.

CPD points were available to those who attended the conference, as well as the obvious opportunity to learn, network, and engage with the SYS committee. It is vitally important that young solicitors attend this annual conference and continue to engage with the hard working committee and network with their peers. It is an opportunity to learn from the seasoned professionals who sit on the panel, but also from your friends, colleagues and wider network. You’ll gain insights into other firms, practice areas, cultures, teams, relevant current topical information, and you never know who/what may pique your interest! I’d also highly recommend getting involved with the committee and seeing what you can contribute. Some of the most stellar legal minds in Ireland have played their part over the years to help make SYS the vibrant society it is. 

Brightwater are delighted to have such a strong, long standing partnership with the SYS, and are already looking forward to next year’s event. Our specialised legal recruiters are on hand every year to provide market information, salary guidance, discuss open roles, and of course, buy you a well-earned drink and have a chat.

Thanks to Eimear Bell (Chair), Alex Kennedy (Vice Chair) and the rest of the hardworking committee members for organising such a great conference.  We are hoping next year to launch a new “Best Dressed” Competition, watch this space!

Sorcha Corcoran is a consultant on Brightwater's legal team. If you would like a confidential conversation about the next step in your legal career, talk to Sorcha on (01) 6621000 or email s.corcoran@brightwater.ie