Biannually, Oxford alumni gather in a European capital in our 'Meeting Minds' reunions. Previous settings were in Paris, Madrid and Vienna. In March 2018, Rome, the Eternal city, hosted the gathering. As in the past, Oxford Law invited our alumni to a reception preceding the full-day academic programme for all Oxford alumni. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, with offices in the Palazzo Valadier off the vibrant Piazza del Popolo, generously hosted the reception. There are several Oxford alumni working within their Rome office. One of our MSt in International Human Rights students, Omar Naqib, also is an Associate in the firm. In his closing remarks on reflections on studying at Oxford he said:
However the other and most important gift is this: that it is instilled in you to keep those two instincts, the academic and the practical, and carry them with you hand in hand in your daily work. There is good proof of that here at Freshfields where our partners include a number of Oxford alumni who have taken that lesson to heart, such as our recently appointed co-head of global arbitration, who is both a well-regarded writer of academic texts on arbitration while pursuing a busy investment arbitration practice. However even those of us who only pursue practice, that instinct to retain our academic mindset while approaching a practical legal problem is one which Oxford has given to all of us, and which will stay with all of us.