Thoughts on the International Network of Boutique and Independent Law Firms
by Kirsten Schlenger
November 29, 2023
I have been an active member of the International Network of Boutique and Independent Law Firms (INBLF) for well over a decade. In the United States and Canada membership in this network of very accomplished and interesting attorneys/firms is limited to those which are boutique law firms. This generally means smaller firms with only one or two practice areas, but could include a larger, specialized firm which has only one or two practice areas. International firm members are highly accomplished full-service law firms with only one firm member per country. The network is designed to facilitate referrals of your clients to expert attorneys you know, like and trust. Cultivating genuine and lasting personal and professional relationships with colleagues is at the core of this network.The benefits of being a member have been substantial and life enhancing.
Upon joining I saw a weak point in the INBLF which was a paucity of women members. Encouraged by the leadership, we created a Women’s International Network (WIN) within the INBLF to attract and retain more women members and provide programming that appeals to both women and men. I am very pleased that among those attending this year’s annual gathering close to 50% were women—a substantial increase from those first gatherings I attended.
Five years since last spending time with INBLF colleagues in Rome, I was able to collaborate and socialize with my colleagues again over a wonderful weekend in Prague earlier this month.The WIN speaker, Eva Jiricna, is an inspiring architect of beautiful and complex modern works and designs. The brilliant and entertaining philosopher/economist Tomas Sedlacek who spoke to us of economics and world models in a most thought provoking and amusing manner enabled us to step back from our day-to -day legal work to consider our world. This unique boutique network of lawyers has enhanced my professional and personal life. I give thanks to all who made this weekend such a success.