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Introducing ... the event coordinators of Leiden Law Academy

As of 1 May 2023, JPAO is continuing under the name Leiden Law Academy: a new name for the department that organises and facilitates our faculty’s legal postgraduate education (Juridisch PAO). A new event agency has also been added to the department to help organise the conferences and events of Leiden Law School. High time to meet event coordinators Rick van Egmond and Anouk van Hesseling.

  1. What does the event office at Leiden Law Academy do? 

Anouk: ‘At Leiden Law Academy we organise conferences and events related to the educational programmes of Leiden Law School. As an 'event agency' we offer a broad range of services. For example, we give advice on organising an event, but we can also organise the entire event from A-Z. This can include for example promoting the event on our website, so all information about it is available to participants in one place. But we can also manage the budget for the event and arrange the catering. We don’t make decisions about the content or speakers of an event ourselves, because we don’t have a background in law. This is done in consultation with the event's contact person.’

Rick: ‘We like to use our expertise to enable departments to focus on the content of the events. In this way, we take the burden of the registration process and participant questions away from the secretarial offices, build lasting relationships with caterers, restaurants, and hotels, and offer assistance on practical matters. In addition, we have knowledge of the many beautiful locations within (and also outside) the university, so that both speakers and participants feel as welcome as possible.’

Anouk van Hesseling and Rick van Egmond
  1. How do you operate?

Rick: ‘We like to organise an intake meeting to get personally acquainted. During the meeting, we discuss the wishes and objectives. When organising an event, two things are important to address straight away: the date and the location. Once these are fixed, the rest of the process can begin. We are also happy to advise on the possibilities we envisage. Based on the intake meeting, agreements are made, a budget is drawn up, and the first enquiries are made. We keep you informed about every stage of the process in order to create a successful event together.’

Anouk: ‘We can be reached at events@law.leidenuniv.nl. When a request comes in, we look at the planning and availability of venues, and then proceed with a proposal for dates and locations. Once a date and location have been chosen, either Rick, myself, or one of our colleagues will become the contact person for the event. Together, we can then schedule a meeting to discuss the requirements for the event and record them on paper. From there, we can start organising the event!’ 

  1. What is the difference between your positions?

Anouk: ‘Rick and I have the same job at the Leiden Law Academy. The difference is that Rick works four days a week for the Leiden Law Academy and I work two days. In addition to Leiden Law Academy, I also work 3 days as an event manager at the Marketing and Communication Department of Leiden Law School.’

Rick: Personally, I find the similarities more important, namely gathering knowledge within our field and combining this knowledge as Leiden Law Academy for the benefit of the faculty. By working in this way, we can become more professional and ultimately share working methods and expertise.’

  1. How many projects do you have each year at the event office of Leiden Law Academy?

Rick: Since we started in August 2022, we’ve been involved in more than 30 events. We mostly took over the organisation from A to Z as well as being involved in an advisory or supporting role - for example, setting up a programme, complex room bookings, sourcing materials, or providing administrative or operational support. We've noticed that people are increasingly able to find us just by looking at the assignments that now lie ahead. It also gives us more information about recurring events for annual planning.’

  1. What gives you the most energy within your work?

Anouk: ‘While organising various events, we are getting to know all the other institutes and departments of the faculty, which I personally really enjoy. And what gives me the most energy is successfully completing an event. Often, you’ve been working towards it for a long time and there's nothing better than being able to look back on a successful event!

Rick: ‘Exceeding expectations. Whether this is the unburdening, the expertise, or coming up with that one good alternative, I think it’s important that people can look back on the process and the result with a good feeling. You often work together over a longer period towards an event. It gives me a lot of energy when people are eager to come back to discuss a new event.’

The Leiden Law Academy is intended to be a place for innovation, development, and connection, and in direct contact with legal professionals. A place with a flexible infrastructure in order to assist with the various demands and to provide custom solutions. It offers professional services, such as conference management, to the various departments of the faculty free of charge, as well as providing opportunities for internal and external stakeholders to support each other through debate, research, teaching, sponsorship, and cooperation. A new department that is closely aligned to the faculty and its primary tasks. On 21 September, the new department will be presented to the faculty with an official Kick-off of the Leiden Law Academy. Everyone is cordially invited to come to the beautiful Sterrewacht to meet the Leiden Law Academy team. An official invitation will follow soon.

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