Center for International Legal Studies


The Center for International Legal Studies

- "CILS" or "the Center" - is a non-profit research, training, and teaching institute for international and comparative law and practice, registered and operating as a public interest society under Austrian law. Its international headquarters have been in Salzburg, Austria since 1976. Its essential purpose is to promote and disseminate knowledge and know-how among members of the international legal community.

Opportunities and Challenges in the Future of Global Immigration Law Practice: Technology, Practice Management and Client Service Delivery

Thursday, 6 February - Sunday, 9 February 2020

Prague, Czech Republic


Programming Sponsors

This CILS event is co-organised with the Global Migration Section (GMS) of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and hosted at Havel & Partners, who kindly assist with providing meeting facilities and coffee breaks.

Registration fees and registration information will be available under the Faculty Confirmation/Registration link in due course. Faculty members receive an automatic 40 per cent discount; all fees include accommodation and breakfast (and relevant taxes and service charges).


Thursday, February 6, 2020

Social: Arrival Dinner (details TBA)

Friday, February 7, 2020

Panel 1: Tech Nations: Automation, Security, and the Future of Immigration (TECH)

Countries are increasingly turning to technology to reduce costs in immigration processes. This has included the emergence of online visa systems as a critical tool for governments to assess and process the hundreds of millions of visa applications filed around the world each year. This panel will explore the rise of these new systems and the challenges they bring for us and our clients.
• Automated legal decision making in immigration law
• Data and biometric security
• The role of lawyers in an automated system
• Information sharing between countries and government departments
• Old fashioned work-arounds: is it still possible to engage with government officers and best practices for doing so?

Panel 2: The Future of Immigration Technology: Best (and Worst) Practices for the Integration of Technology in a Global Immigration Practice (TECH + PRACTICE MANAGEMENT)

With the drastic changes in visa filing, automated processing and digital record retention heralded by the rise of tech nations, what should we as immigration practitioners be doing (and not doing) to effectively incorporate technology into our practices? How should we respond to and manage the often less than optimal technology systems forced on us by our clients? This panel will discuss how to navigate the minefield that is legal tech.
• Technology in immigration casework: past, present and future trends
• Maintaining your sanity: how to cope with (sometimes unreasonable) client systems and expectations
• Client tech: what works and what doesn’t from the in-house perspective
• Novel solutions: startup tech tools beyond case management systems
• Audience survey: what have others done that works? What have others done that hasn’t worked well?

Panel 3: Best Practices in Client Service Delivery: How Important is Client Experience Management? (CLIENT SERVICE)

Client service delivery is of upmost importance in our sector. Happy clients can lead to more referrals while dissatisfied clients can be very costly to any business. Yet how much time do we really spend considering client service delivery and client experience management? This panel will afford an opportunity to reflect on client service delivery and experience management.
• What is client service delivery and client experience management?
• Why do clients come to you and what core strengths can you build on in service delivery?
• What pieces are missing in your client service delivery model? Client experience management is circular – if one piece is missing the whole experience can be put off balance for the client
• What are the different methods for capturing the client experience?

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Panel 1: Mentors and Leadership (PRACTICE MANAGEMENT)

Mentoring can be a critical component of success for mentees and mentors alike in any field, but it is particularly beneficial in our incredibly complex, fast-paced field of global immigration. Join our panelists as they discuss the benefits of mentorship and how it can help to ensure continuous learning within our community and enhance our ability to grow and adapt as lawyers in an ever-changing global immigration world.
• What is a mentor and what are the key ingredients of a successful mentoring relationship?
• The importance of mentoring in building a global immigration practice: navigating steep learning curves, risks and pitfalls
• Entrepreneurship and growth: how mentoring can help us step outside our comfort zones
• The mentor’s perspective: the benefits of continuous learning and leaving a legacy for a new generation

Panel 2: Practice Management Competitive Edge – Capitalizing on Historical Lessons in an Information-Sharing World (PRACTICE MANAGEMENT)

In an era of instantaneous communication, it seems like every global mobility adviser has access to the same information, the same technology, the same everything. When every resource seems the same, how do global mobility advisers distinguish themselves? This practice management panel will draw on the very best of historical figures and themes as guidance for the global mobility adviser to practice in stereo in a mono world.
• Win-win – developing unique optimal solutions in the information-driven economy
• Form drives the substance – adapting 21st century innovation in dealings with 20th century institutions
• Creative disruption – leveraging the brilliance of the tech revolution of the last 50 years
• Soul survivor – drawing inspiration from the artistic community to create your distinctive brand

Panel 3: Survival Tips for Small Firms in a World of Global Immigration Conglomerates (CLIENT SERVICE)

The past several years have seen a consolidation of global immigration mega-firms. These firms have offices in dozens of countries around the globe and seem to offer every imaginable immigration service. In a world of mega-firms, how does a smaller niche immigration firm survive and thrive? How do we remain competitive and attractive to clients?
• The global immigration landscape today: a look at the mega-firms around the globe
• Competitive advantages: what can small niche firms offer clients that the mega-firms do not?
• Marketing: how can smaller niche immigration firms distinguish themselves?
• Future trends and challenges for smaller niche immigration firms

Social: Closing Dinner (details TBA)

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Panel 1: The Evolution of Global Mobility – Collaborating with Providers Across Sectors to Manage an Increasingly Agile and Dynamic Workforce (CLIENT SERVICE)

• The value of collaboration between immigration, relocation and tax – why should providers collaborate across sectors?
• Potential pitfalls of collaboration – what should providers be wary of when seeking to collaborate?
• Models of collaboration – what are the different models for how providers across sectors can work together?
• Methods and tools for collaboration – once the desired model is in place, what are the best practices for providers across sectors to work together and what tech (and other) tools can they employ?
• Opportunities and challenges for collaboration posed by perpetual business travelers, digital nomads, and the changing nature of international assignments

Panel 2: Beyond Pro Bono: How You Can Enhance Your Firm’s Social Mission (PRACTICE MANAGEMENT)

Giving back to your community, wherever that may be, is an important part of a socially responsible company’s operations. But finding appropriate and meaningful ways to give back can sometimes be challenging. Join our panelists as they discuss opportunities for integrating social progress and economic development in the global immigration field.
• Opportunities to join pro bono organizations
• Company pro bono certification options
• Novel corporate forms for the greater good
• Audience survey: what forms of pro bono or other ways of giving back do you engage in?

Panel 3: Collaborating Internationally in Light of Data Protection – How to Safeguard Your Practice and Network Partners (TECH + PRACTICE MANAGEMENT)

In an era of GDPR, data protection is a critical topic for global immigration lawyers who serve clients across borders every day. But with so many different corporate clients, individual employees and network partners spread across the globe the topic can seem hopelessly complex. Join our panel as they discuss best practices for data protection in a global immigration practice.
• GDPR and other key data protection regulations
• Types of stakeholders – corresponding data protection requirements and agreements
• Network partners or agents – are they data processors?
• Data protection and technology – solutions and risks
• Data privacy considerations in nearshoring and offshoring
• Data privacy considerations in marketing

Official Event Carrier

Special offer: Discounted travel with Lufthansa Group Partner Airlines to/from PRG (Prague) and VIE (Vienna) airports.

To make a reservation, please click on Lufthansa Booking Platform and enter the access code ATZQEPE in the "Offer for discounted flights" area.
This will open an online booking platform that will automatically calculate the discount offered or provide you with an even better offer if another promotional fare is available.

NOTE: Pop-ups must be enabled otherwise the booking platform window will not open.

These promotional fares are also available through your IATA / ARC travel agent. Travel agents can obtain ticketing instructions by sending an email to Lufthansa Mobility and providing the access code as a reference.


Carlo IV Prague, The Dedica Anthology


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