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Twenty Years ELS by Robert Tremel, President, ELS

20 years ago, the ELSA Lawyers Society was founded. For 20 years now, a legal entity, an association, for alumni of ELSA exists. The teenage years of the association are over now and it is time to check if the association is really a “grown-up” now. Andy Unger, the first president of the ELS, described the reason why ELS was founded in the anniversary publication “Building a just world”: “… we decided to form ELS – so that we could carry on seeing each other and help ELSA too.” We are talking about a time when the internet only made its first timid steps. Contacts were really kept in books, printed directories and business cards collection were a treasure. The ELS directory exists since the very beginning of ELS. Are you on facebook? Quite a lot of my facebook friends are former (and current) ELSA members. When was it the last time you read an email on the ELS mailing list like “Who has contact to John Doe from Hobbitville?” Emails like this were quite common at the time before the area of “social networks”. Today we find contacts by typing the name in facebook, linkedin or google. Is ELS outdated? Is there still a need for ELS? Nowadays ELSA members form their personal alumni networks by adding friends in Web 2.0. Isn’t it enough to be “fan” of ELSA on facebook or joining a group on linkedin? Drawing a comparison to ELSA, I would say that ELS has three “key areas”: Personal relations/ social network, Professional relations/network and supporting ELSA. Let me start with the area “Supporting ELSA”: In fact many alumni support ELSA on all three levels. Alumni provide support as lecturers and teachers at seminars and law schools, as judges and advisors for the EMC², as trainers in and outside the ELSA International Trainers Pool, as auditors and advisory board members, as STEP employers and sponsors. Furthermore ELS itself supports ELSA financially – in this special year with about 15.000 EURO in total. Unfortunately the requests for help coming from ELSA at least via the ELS are pretty low. Nonetheless the relation between ELSA and ELS became closer with the anniversary. I think this also the “area” ELS has spent most of its resources for. This goes for the financial resources as it does for human resources and contacts. We want to strengthen the cooperation with ELSA and moreover provide not only financial resources, but also other support. The STEP campaign is a common project to raise STEP jobs for ELSA. We founded ELSA that we could carry on seeing each other, I quoted Andy Unger previously and the quote describes the area “personal contacts” pretty well. The anniversary celebration in Poznan was – like previous anniversaries – a good example for the social network. Our members did not go there for professional benefits, but to meet old friends, to remember the past and to

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ELSsential 3/11  

ELSsential is the members' newsletter of ELS – The ELSA Lawyers Society. In edition 3/2011: International Board: Who is the new IB? National...

ELSsential 3/11  

ELSsential is the members' newsletter of ELS – The ELSA Lawyers Society. In edition 3/2011: International Board: Who is the new IB? National...

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