This November the National Council Meeting of ELSA United Kingdom returned to the North of England for the first time in three years. The first of two NCM’s this academic year was hosted in the beautiful city of Leeds by Local Group ELSA Leeds.
On Friday 8th November 2019, the Organising Committee opened the doors of the University of Leeds to 98 participants from across the UK, as well as from the European mainland. Our international guests came from the Netherlands, France and Germany and brought a healthy dose of ELSA spirit with them to the UK network. The opening address given by Professor Nick Taylor focused on the importance of cross-border collaboration and exchange which, in his words, has never been more important. After the Opening Plenary the participants had the pleasure to hear first-hand ELSA experience from Professor Konstantinos Stylianou, former President of ELSA Thessaloniki and ELSA Greece, who spoke very fondly of his ELSA memories and gave insight into his research on Legal Tech.
On Saturday 9th November 2019, the participants had the chance to attend training sessions provided by the National Board committee in all areas. Having spoken with the local officers beforehand and implementing what they have learnt at various international internal meetings, the National Board officers made sure to make the workshops as useful and engaging as possible enabling the exchange of ideas and experiences as well as the transfer of knowledge and best practices throughout the network.
The Final Plenary on Sunday 10th November 2019 saw two new Observer groups being welcomed into the ELSA UK network – ELSA Essex and ELSA Southampton. Furthermore, three Local Groups achieved Member status; ELSA Birmingham, ELSA Coventry and ELSA University of Glasgow, bringing the total number of ELSA UK Local Groups to 23.
The Social Programme was packed and started off on the Friday evening in the form of a champagne reception, courtesy of the University of Leeds Law School, before participants made their way to Leeds University Union’s very own pub Old Bar. The night finished in Fruity, also known as the craziest night out on a Friday in Leeds. On Saturday, all participants were invited to the White, Black, and Silver themed Gala Ball in Lambert’s Yard to enjoy a luscious three-course meal. ELSA Leeds made good on their promise uttered at NCM London regarding a certain celebrities’ attendance and our guests spent a fantastic evening dancing to and with Drake.
And now, once more, I would like to thank you all for making the 21st National Council Meeting of ELSA UK truly memorable. To all the participants from our Local Groups, thank you for your hard work and contributions in the workshops as well as in the Plenaries. Without you, our national network would be nothing. To our international guests, thank you for sharing your experience and contributing to the weekend by raising the ELSA spirit whenever workshops got too theoretical – we love you all dearly! To our beautiful Chair, Stela Negran, former President of ELSA UK and to our fantastic Vice Chair, Hendrik Jonnson, former Treasurer of ELSA UK: thank you for continuously sharing your knowledge and experience with our national network.
And last but definitely not least, I once more must express my complete gratitude to my fellow ELSA Leeds/Organising committee members. The weekend would not have gone as flawlessly without their tireless work and dedication to making this one of the best events of the year. Months of work has paid off now that all participants have left with a smile on their face and a thank you on their tongue.
Now all there is left to say is that we at ELSA Leeds are looking forward to seeing you all again at the NCM in Birmingham, if not before then!
Head of Organising Committee for the XXI NCM Leeds
Sina Gertsch is a Final Year Law LLB student at the University of Leeds. She has been involved with ELSA since September 2018 acting as co-founder and President of ELSA Leeds since and is serving ELSA UK as Secretary General for the 2019/2020 academic term. She loves everything football related and enjoys travelling.