ILN IP Luncheon - It's All About Relationships

Today, we held our annual luncheon at the INTA conference for ILN members. I always enjoy this lunch because I get to meet and reconnect with attorneys who are not necessarily attendees of our Regional and Annual Meetings.

We had a wonderful lunch again today at One Market Restaurant here in San Francisco, with great company and conversations.  The attorneys also agreed, some of them saying that they so appreciated something more intimate than some of the huge parties that take place at INTA.  They said that it's not easy to get to know people when you just smile at them and exchange business cards, but don't have an actual conversation.  

With so many attorneys attending this conference (I've heard it's over 8,000, and that's not including those who are in town just to network who didn't register to attend the conference), it's easy to get lost in the shuffle.  So it was great to take a breather, spend a few hours together talking and connecting and renewing and establishing relationships.


Planning a Conference Abroad

A significant part of my job is planning our conferences, and we have four of these a year. Some people might consider me a party planner, but when you work for a network like ours, conference planning is much more than that – the purpose of our conferences is to facilitate relationships, and I need to plan each part of the conference around that goal.

Plus, I need to try to make everyone happy. Guess how often that happens?

Sometimes, facilitating relationships means pushing our delegates past their comfort zones (ie bike riding through rice paddies in Vietnam or sending them to a fish spa in Singapore) because it makes them feel a shared connection that leads to talking, laughing, and forming a relationship.

As I mentioned, we have four conferences a year – the Asia Pacific Meeting, the Annual Meeting, the European Regional Meeting, and the Americas Regional Meeting. As you might guess, anywhere from 2-4 of these are held outside the United States and that presents some interesting challenges, as well as offers some rewarding experiences. 

I thought I’d share some of the lessons I've learned with you, because while these lessons were learned while planning conferences, they can also be applied to business done abroad as well.

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Happy Blogiversary to Zen & The Art of Legal Networking!

On Saturday, February 26th, it will be our two year anniversary here at Zen & the Art of Legal Networking!

In the past year, we've had a lot of exciting things happen:

  • We joined the LexBlog family of blogs.
  • We've been included in LexBlog's "Best in Law Blogs" five times.
  • JD Supra has helped to increased our distribution.
  • We've been nominated for the ABA's Blawg 100.
  • We've published 85 posts.
  • We've had over 10,000 views of our posts.

Our top posts included:

With all that excitement in the past year, we can't wait to see what this year will bring us! Happy blog-i-versary to Zen!


It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Ah December.

The time of year when everyone is rushing around trying to finish end of the year projects and planning for next year is already underway.  

There have been a lot of "end of the year" posts lately, and I've been debating whether to throw my hat into the ring.  

I've been thinking about this post for a week and couldn't decide what to write about.  I wanted to reflect on what I've learned in the last year, but should it be what I've learned personally? Professionally? Through Zen Legal Networking? Through our lawyers? 

I just couldn't come up with a theme.

Until I read this post over at The Bloggess.

And I cried.

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Tethered to Our Smart Phones - Good Business or Just Rude?

I read an interesting article this afternoon from the New York Times, called "Mind Your BlackBerry or Mind  Your Manners." It brought up the controversial topic of whether or not it's appropriate to be fiddling with your smart phone during a meeting. Since I know that lawyers are often tethered to their Blackberries (and I'm starting to see a lot more iPhones with our group!), I thought it might be an interesting topic to delve into further.

Though there are some things I take a firm stand on (dogs, not cats, coffee, not tea), this is one of those grey areas for me. And I think the answer is "it depends."

In the article, the author mentioned an instance where a company required all of its employees to take meeting notes on their Blackberries, which made one VP look as though he was paying less than full attention.  I'm often found in a conference tapping away on my iPhone, not because I'm checking email or Facebook, but because I'm tweeting the relevant points to my followers and using that as my note-taking system for a later blog post.

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ILN Scam Alert

Recently, the ILN was alerted that fraudulent lottery winnings letters and checks are being sent to individuals in the United States. Someone is using stationery with what appears to be the ILN letterhead to advise them that the ILN held a drawing in November for over $200,000, which they have won. The letter also includes a check that they are to deposit and information on who to call to verify the claim.

These letters have NOT been sent or authorized by the International Lawyers Network or its members and represent a fraudulent attempt to elicit funds from individuals. A message has been posted on our website warning anyone receiving a similar letter not to deposit the checks, provide any information, send any funds, or respond to the letters falsely claiming to have been sent by the International Lawyers Network. Further, individuals should not follow any instructions contained in these letters to "confirm" their winnings. This "Advance Fee" scheme is similar to email scams often referred to as "phishing" that seek personal data and financial account information that enables another party to access an individual's bank accounts or to engage in identity theft.

The ILN is working with the United States Post Office Fraud Division to investigate this matter and disrupt these scams. If anyone receives any letters such as the aforementioned, or experiences similar attempts by someone portraying themselves as the International Lawyers Network, they are requested to notify the United States Post Office Fraud Division and/or their state or local police.