What To Expect At A Legal Conference

by Legal Associations Management  |  November 17, 2020

Find out everything you need to know about planning for and attending your next legal conference.

Attending a legal conference is one of the best opportunities for law students, paralegals, firms, and lawyers to identify the people, tools and resources that will help sharpen their skills and build their knowledge and network. These gatherings provide excellent possibilities for entertainment, networking and education.

The Trial Lawyers Summit, presented by The National Trial Lawyers, offers attorney and vendor networking, lecturing from legendary trial lawyers, a full year of continued legal education (CLE), cocktail hours, and much more. The 2021 Trial Lawyers Summit will begin January 31 in Miami, Florida, and end on February 3. For more information on this unique, family-friendly conference, click here.

One of the best ways to prepare for your next legal getaway is to plan ahead and think about what is most important to you. Forming an itinerary and making proper arrangements prior to a conference is essential because it is easy to become sidetracked during a large gathering. Doing so will identify the content and events relevant to your individual needs and valuable to your firm. Your projected plan should bear the right balance of structure and flexibility. Be sure to stick to your personalized schedule to get the most out of your trip.

What You Can Expect

Connecting With Others

Networking and connecting with fellow attendees can lead to referrals and business opportunities with other experienced attorneys. Depending on the agenda of the conference you will be attending, you can expect networking opportunities such as tailored cocktail hours, award shows, mixers, and luncheons. Industry conferences are excellent opportunities for you to network with key influencers, potential partners and fellow lawyers. Find and connect with influential individuals and organizations through creating a personalized itinerary.


  • Create a list of people (e.g., influencers, organization members, partners, etc.) to connect with.
  • Break the ice by connecting with people on your list before the conference. If appropriate, you may consider setting a meeting time and place.
  • Bring plenty of business cards to pass out to those you meet during sessions and events.


  • Socialize with strangers during breaks and happy hours.
  • Hand out and exchange business cards with those you meet. Consider writing a note on the back of their card to remember something specific about that person.


  • Follow up with each person after the conference while referencing your personalized note on the back of each card.
  • Use online and offline methods to thank your new connections personally.

Vendor Networking

Most legal conferences have exhibitor and sponsor booths for attendees to peruse. To find cutting-edge tools and resources for your firm, visiting the exhibitor hall at a legal conference could be valuable to you and your firm. One helpful tip is to outline the preferred booths to visit. When constructing your select booth outline, consider the following:

  • Problems you are looking to solve, such as improving productivity
  • Software or technology you would like to acquire
  • Preferred terms and conditions like a specific budget
  • Non-negotiable points, such as monthly fees or upfront pricing
  • How you will decline services or products
  • What you will and will not share like your phone number or email address

A detailed outline is useful because it allows for confidence when browsing exhibitor booths. When you have a plan and know what you are seeking, there is no need to worry about pushy exhibitors.

Legal Education

Legal conferences allow you to boost your trial skills with the education to prepare you for your first or next case. You can grow your business with fresh, beneficial insight into the most relevant marketing and management strategies. Legal seminars, sessions and lectures can cover various practice areas. By reviewing the agenda prior to the event, you can determine what sessions will be of value to you and your firm's members. Prioritize your learning. If you have a specific educational goal, such as earning CLE credits, creating a checklist in preparation for the event can be helpful.


  • Create a list of problems or questions that you would like to solve.
  • Identify sessions or events to attend and speakers or attendees to connect with.
  • Add each session and event to your personalized itinerary.


  • Take notes of key takeaways from each session that you attend.
  • Strive to be an active participant in each session by asking questions or sharing feedback.


  • Review your notes and thoughtfully apply them to your business approaches.
  • Teach what you have learned to co-workers, friends and the outside world.

Fun and Relaxation

Focus on benefits and entertainment. When attending a legal conference, you should maximize the amount of value you receive. You can achieve this if you have a proper plan. There are breakfasts, luncheons, happy hours, and parties to explore, depending on which conference you attend. The value, benefits and entertainment are within reach if you know exactly what you are looking to accomplish. Attending legal conferences is an excellent way to expand your network, sharpen your skills and gain relevant industry knowledge.

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On the other hand, we denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are so beguiled and demoralized by the charms of pleasure of the moment, so blinded by desire.

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