Taking advantage of every opportunity at hand, two IE University undergraduate students attended the UIA 67th Congress in Rome. A global, multicultural organization, the International Association of Lawyers (UIA) brings together professionals in and around the legal world to exchange information and ideas on how to promote a positive atmosphere within the industry.
At IE University, our students are driven to participate in hands-on experiences in order to take their learning to the next level and stand out from the rest. To that end, two of our students took the initiative to attend the UIA 67th Congress in Rome, an annual event dedicated to bringing together the world’s lawyers to promote the association’s goal to facilitate professional development and international exchange around the world.
The International Association of Lawyers (UIA) extends its network to two million lawyers via both individual and collective members worldwide. The 67th edition of the UIA Congress was held in Rome and focused on two main topics: Freedom of Movement, Migration and Human Rights, and Food, Environment and Energy Challenges. The four-day event saw 45 working sessions and 300 speakers, with participants and members joining from more than 80 countries.
IE University Dual Degree in Business Administration & Laws student, Léa Silveira and Bachelor in International Relations student Antoine Brimbal attended the UIA 67th Congress together. Léa was recently accepted to be a UIA member, giving her access to exclusive forums, events and congresses across the world. When she found out about the UIA 67th Congress, she knew it was an event she couldn’t miss, and she decided to talk to her friend, Antoine, about attending the event together.
Antoine, who aspires to become a conflict journalist and diplomat, was excited to attend once he saw that the expert panelists would cover topics that called to him, including human rights, international law, sexual violence in conflict zones and freedom of movement. The two found themselves on the way to Rome for an unforgettable experience. We caught up with them to hear about their experiences at the congress and how they see this event contributing to their personal and professional goals.
What did you hope to gain from the UIA 67th Congress?
Léa: Not only is Rome an amazing city to be in, I had the chance to go there to participate in the congress as an ambassador for IE University abroad. Additionally, I was looking forward to the opportunity to network with professionals and learn from them—which I was successful in doing.
Antoine: On top of gaining incredible insights and knowledge from experts in their fields, the congress was an opportunity to network with renowned professionals who excel at their work. I was also looking to gain valuable connections and unlock new opportunities for my own professional career.
Could you share a highlight from the event?
L: The congress had over 1,000 professionals and students in attendance, and I was thrilled to be part of that. I heard experts speak on critical legal and global topics and created a network of like-minded professionals. A highlight for me was that Antoine and I were the only undergraduate students to attend the conference, allowing us to stand out from the rest.
A: I enjoyed meeting experts who are currently working in fields that I would like to work in in the future. Knowing that some of the world’s leading lawyers, humanitarians and NGO workers were in attendance was extremely exciting for me.
How did IE University support you throughout the event?
L: IE Law School is a relevant sponsor of the UIA, so it only made sense to reach out about my plan to attend the congress. I am glad I did because the school paid for my registration fees and excused my absences for the days I would be missing in order to attend the congress. The entire IE Community was supportive and helped make the process simple and smooth, particularly Alba Quiles from the law office, who helped me make this trip a reality.
A: IE University supported me to an incredible extent. On top of gaining the opportunity to represent the university alongside Léa, IE University financially sponsored my attendance. We also had the chance to have dinner with Eugenia Castrillón Martínez-Bordíu, IE Law School’s vice-dean for programs, which was an excellent way to connect and gain firsthand insight about the law school.
How has the UIA 67th Congress contributed to your professional growth?
L: I was able to future develop my soft skills, including communication, confidence, ambition, listening skills and responsibility. Attending a congress as big as this can sometimes be intimidating, but I met a lot of people, learned from their experience and extended my network. All of this will definitely help me as I continue down my professional path.
A: Despite primarily being a legal congress—and my field of work being centered around international relations—the event was an outstanding addition to my studies. I was able to make priceless connections and gain incredible insights. But more than that, I had the chance to explore the work of multiple NGOs operating in conflict zones. The legal world tends to overlap with politics, so the focus of the congress served as a complement to my professional ambitions.
Do you have any advice for students interested in participating in the conference in the future?
L: Do it. Stand out. Fake it until you make it. Learn. Enjoy.
A: Attend as many seminars and workshops as possible. Although the days are packed with panels, it’s important to maximize your experience. It’s worth attending seminars that may initially not seem relevant to your own ambitions and objectives.