ArbitralWomen was a proud supporting organisation of New York Arbitration Week 2021 that included a full week of programming by the AAA/ICDR, ICC, ASIL, SIAC, New York City Bar Association, Columbia Law School, King’s College London and Three Crowns, ArbitralWomen, CIArb New York Branch and NYIAC, YIAP and NYIAC, CPR, JAMS, SVAMC and Fordham Law School.
ArbitralWomen hosted a panel discussion on November 19, 2021, “New York Stories: Career Options, Opportunities, and Challenges in International Arbitration,” focused on career options and opportunities, as well as the challenges faced by international arbitration practitioners. Speakers shared stories about their professional paths and career transitions.
Panelists included Chris Alberti, Lorraine Brennan, Dana MacGrath and Friedrich Rosenfeld. The panel was moderated by Yasmine Lahlou and Louise Woods.
Louise Woods introduced the panel with words by the famous poet, Robert Frost:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Speakers noted that with globalization, arbitration has expanded across the world, and that increased diversity in the business community calls for a diverse arbitration community. Additionally, due to technological advancements, virtual hearings and meetings are more common, and has afforded younger practitioners opportunities to launch initiatives, access mentoring opportunities, and participate in virtual webinars. Also, there is increasing transparency in international arbitration.
Panelists emphasized the importance of senior practitioners and arbitrators giving back to the arbitration community through coaching, mentoring, sponsoring and sharing advice. Speakers also highlighted the importance of networking among all levels, including peer to peer networking. Panelists also encouraged younger practitioners to join committees and activities relevant to their areas of interest and to be actively engaged participants.
Finally, speakers encouraged younger practitioners to periodically “check-in” with themselves about the status of their career and, if appropriate, dare to change, even at the risk of failure. A professional journey involves planning together with periodic reflection on its development. Sometimes “taking the road less traveled” and being entrepreneurial can reap wonderful professional rewards. Consider looking for a practice area in line with your interests that is underrepresented and develop a niche expertise in that area.
The ArbitralWomen event concluded by sharing ways to increase diversity in international arbitration, such as providing younger arbitration lawyers with advocacy opportunities, involving younger lawyers as tribunal secretaries on matters, providing younger lawyers visibility to arbitral institutions. Speakers noted that diversity extends far beyond gender and acknowledged there is much work still to be done to achieve diversity in arbitration.
For more information on this event and others during New York Arbitration Week 2021, see Kluwer Arbitration Blog posts between 6-10 December 2021, including the KAB post about the ArbitralWomen and YIAP programmes here.