The next twelve months will be a period of transition as we close one of the most challenging years in our lifetime and we begin to recover from the various hardships that have impacted us. It will be an honor to follow in the footsteps of so many past-Chairs who have built significant momentum and a solid foundation for this International Law Section. I look forward to working with an incredibly diverse and talented Council team and with the ILS membership as a whole to put the Texas legal community on the world stage.
Texas is an international powerhouse – it has the world’s 9th largest economy (if it were its own country) ahead of Mexico, Russia, Spain and Australia and surpassing Brazil in 2020; it is the #1 state in the U.S. for foreign direct investment; it ended 2020 as the No.1 exporting state in the United States for the 19th consecutive year; and it is replete with stories of international companies relocating or expanding their operations in our backyards. Not surprisingly, our ILS members work across the world and offer services to global companies operating in Texas, our law schools are offering an increasing number of international courses and programs, and law firms and legal departments continue to expand their international expertise. This trajectory will, no doubt, continue in the years to come.
This year the ILS will strive to achieve the following goals: (1) to promote Texas as a legal market and further attract international legal work to this state; (2) to help Texas become more accessible to those seeking to pursue a legal education and a Bar membership in this State; (3) to expand collaboration with international and foreign legal organizations; (4) to continue to improve the professional development of our members through an increased number of educational programs focused on international cutting edge issues; and (5) to engage our members in international pro bono projects.
Some of these objectives will not be easy to achieve, but that is no reason not to try and if we fail to try again. Together and with the use of technology, we will continue to meet the challenges and opportunities that this next year brings.