©Copyright Legal Women Limited 2020 - 2024

Sponsor -  Advertise  -  Email

Home          Blogs          Communities          Events          Resources          Editorial Board          Subscribe


Izabela Konopacka, President of Fédération des Barreaux d’Europe (FBE)/ The European Bars Federation, celebrates her legal journey providing inspiration to all.

Role of the Fédération des Barreaux d’Europe (FBE)

The FBE, is an international organisation, playing a pivotal role in fostering dialogue and consensus on key legal issues, promoting best practices, and representing the collective interests of European lawyers in international forums.

In recent months, a significant focus is supporting lawyers from Ukraine and Belarus, amidst their challenging circumstances. Our efforts to aid those unjustly deprived of their practise rights or facing unjust charges highlight the FBE's ongoing dedication to protecting the integrity and independence of the legal profession, a tradition I am committed to upholding and advancing during my presidency.

Becoming President of the FBE

Being appointed President, is the culmination of over a decade of my dedicated effort and a commitment to excellence within the European legal community. My journey included a significant tenure since 2016 as the chair of the New Technology  Commission. This period was instrumental in deepening my understanding of the FBE's core values and operational dynamics.

Actively identifying new challenges and opportunities for the legal profession in Europe, my appointment represents not just a personal achievement but a chance to effect meaningful change and innovation in our profession at a continental level.


As the fourth woman president in the 31-year history of the FBE, one of my priorities is to inspire and enable more women lawyers to aspire to and attain leadership positions. I am dedicated to fostering an environment where gender diversity in leadership becomes the norm. This commitment complements my broader objectives of fortifying the rule of law, enhancing cooperation among European bars, and elevating legal education standards. By actively addressing and reducing the gender disparity in leadership roles, we aim to introduce a more diverse range of perspectives and improve decision-making within the legal community across Europe.

Decision to study Law

My path to becoming a woman-lawyer and a leader in law is a story of perseverance and dedication. The decision to study law while raising my children was driven by my dream to make a significant difference in the world. Despite facing criticism and skepticism about my ability to manage a career and motherhood, I stayed determined. In the early 1990s, I juggled roles as a mother of two sons and a student of English philology, later adding my work as a teacher to the mix.

My journey through law school and legal training was a testament to hard work and the belief of not being constrained by societal expectations. My Master's thesis, "Free Women in the United Europe," encapsulated my passion and vision for understanding the challenges and opportunities for women in society. My role as the president of the FBE, highlights the power of resilience and the importance of following one's dreams.

Advice to New Lawyers

My advice to lawyers just starting out in the legal profession, is to embrace continuous learning, uphold ethical standards, and be adaptable. In addition, dream big and never give up on your aspirations. Perseverance is key in this challenging, yet, rewarding field. Find your niche, the area where your passion and skills intersect, and focus on excelling. Learn from the best – seek mentors and role models who can guide you through the intricacies of legal practice. The legal landscape is evolving, staying informed and flexible is crucial for success. Your journey will be unique, but with determination and a willingness to continuously grow, you can make a significant impact in the legal world.

Izabella Konopacka

February 2024