Law students must develop global legal literacy and knowledge of the Asian legal system if they want to succeed, according to the president of the Australian Law Students' Association (ALSA).
Speaking to Lawyers Weekly today (15 July) in the final hours of the 2011 ALSA Conference held in Sydney, president Matthew Floro said the event had fostered of a sense of involvement in the Asia-Pacific region, especially with its strong international student presence.
"Twenty per cent of our delegates were international, coming from New Zealand and many places in Asia, including Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan," he said.
"I think that goes a long way to developing those friendships and that cross-cultural exchange."
Five hundred and fifty delegates representing top law schools from across Australasia had the chance to network over seven days, taking part in day trips to Newtown and Bondi Beach and enjoying a full schedule of social events, including theme nights, cocktail parties, pub crawls and day events.
Hosted by the University of New South Wales (UNSW), this year's conference featured six national championships, which Floro said showcased the "wonderful display of the legal skills of upcoming law students".
Another highlight of the conference, said Floro, was the opening gala held at the Hilton Hotel with guest speaker General Peter Cosgrove AC MC, as well as the closing gala held last night at Dolton House with keynote speaker Alexander Ward, the president of the Law Council of Australia.
Floro said the conference gave ALSA the opportunity to strengthen ties with their peers in Asia.
"Last night we signed a new memorandum of understanding with the Asian law student association which basically allows for further collaboration and cooperation with our Asian counterparts, including the possibility of setting up internship and other exchanges with our Asian neighbours," he said.