The delegates of the 2018 Jurismus conference received a warm and sunny welcome in the Spanish city of Malaga, the birth place of Picasso, and the ideal location to host this year’s topic: The Art of Strategic Communication.
Malaga has a rich history and boasts an eclectic mix of Moorish, Renaissance and Modernist landmarks, as well as a beautiful beach filled coastline. It is a cosmopolitan city which is the business and cultural centre for southern Spain.
The first meet up of the conference was on Thursday evening which started with a relaxed ice breaker game to help everyone get to know each other. We then set of on a short city centre tour which included sampling “pajarete,” one of Malaga’s famous sweet wines. We had dinner at La Fábrica, a restaurant located in the arty and bohemian Soho district. In keeping with its location, La Fábrica offered a creative menu and its own craft beers made on site.
Friday started with a trip to the Malaga Bar Association for two of our three workshops that day. Our first workshop was with Lola Gamboa and the topic was “Content is King: How Email Marketing and Blogging Can Help Your Law Firm to Attract More Clients.” Lola has worked extensively with lawyers for a number of years, providing training in legal English and other business skills. Lola shared her personal experiences of marketing her own business and highlighted parallels with the marketing of legal services. She gave guidance on how to create an effective content strategy and explained the tangible and intangible benefits of harnessing the power of digital marketing. We had a break for refreshments on the rooftop terrace and enjoyed fantastic views across the stunning palm tree lined waterfront of Muelle Uno port, before finishing off our first workshop by exploring some practical examples of “lead magnets” with Lola. We had lunch right on the Muelle Uno waterfront at Restaurante Plaza and enjoyed delicious food including fresh fish.
Re-fuelled, we returned to the Malaga Bar Association for our second workshop with Isabel Ruiz from the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA), which covered the topic “Social Responsibility for Law Firms and their Impact in Business.” Isabel explained to us that the work of ECREA is devoted to the development of communication research and higher education in Europe. We explored the ways in which law firms can promote corporate social responsibility and the issues which can arise in businesses where there is a failure to engage with such matters. There was a discussion amongst the delegates about engagement with social responsibility in their own countries and law firms, and it was agreed that there is still progress to be made within European law firms in this area.
We took a walk through El Parque de Málaga, which is one of Malaga’s most emblematic parks, and arrived at Cofradia El Sepulcro for our final session of the day which was on negotiation skills for lawyers. Our speaker was José Castellano-Cardenas, who has a distinguished career in international business management and he shared with us his key tips for successful negotiations, drawing upon his own varied and extensive personal experiences.
We then turned our focus from business to culture and spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying a tour of Alcazaba and learning about the history of this impressive Moorish fortress, set high on a hill overlooking the city.
We went for dinner at El Pimpi, a long established and vibrant bodega bar serving local food and wine. We were treated to a lively performance by a Flamenco signer during dinner, which ended up involving the participation of some of our delegates!
The General Assembly took place on Saturday morning where an update on upcoming Eurojuris events was given, along with an update on the Jurismus “JUMP” programme (an exchange programme offered to Jurismus members). The current Jurismus Board was re-elected and it was announced that the 2019 Jurismus conference will be taking place in….. Paris!
After the assembly, former Jurismus President and current Eurojuris Board member, Thomas Benson, gave a presentation about strategic communication which gave guidance to delegates on tailoring one’s communication style to the particular client, active listening, and media appearances. Thomas also gave examples of the typical differences in communication styles between a number of European nationalities – which everyone agreed were pretty spot on! – and stressed how important Jurismus and Eurojuris conferences are to learning how to communicate effectively with people of different nationalities in a professional setting.
A visit to Malaga would not be complete without a visit to the Picasso Museum, and we were lucky enough to have a guided tour of the museum which included seeing the rooftop terrace, normally off limits to visitors. This was followed by a seafood lunch at Los Mellizos and then free time until our evening party at Real Club Mediterráneo, where we dazzled in our all white “Ibiza style” outfits!
Thanks go to Enrique Delgado Schwarzmann, Belen Tomas Acosta and Nicolas Travesi Guadamuro from Delgado Schwarzmann Vila Clavero y Asociados Abogados for organising such an enjoyable and valuable conference.