The activation of leukocyte integrins through diverse receptors results in transformation of the integrin from a bent, resting form to an extended conformation, which has at least two states of ligand-binding activity. This highly regulated activation process is essential for T cell migration and the formation of an immunological synapse. The signalling events that drive integrin activation are complex. Some key players have been well-characterized, but other aspects of the signalling mechanisms involved are still unclear. This Review focuses on the integrin lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA1; also known as αLβ2 integrin), which is expressed by T cells, and explores how disparate signalling pathways synergize to regulate LFA1 activity.