Dear ACC Greater Philadelphia Members and Friends:
As we enter the Association of Corporate Counsel’s 50th year and ACC Greater Philadelphia’s 39th, I want to start by thanking you all for electing me to serve as Chapter President for 2022. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve in a leadership capacity for our chapter for the last 9 years and I am so humbled to try to fill the shoes of the many great Chapter Presidents who have come before me. Each has left the Chapter much better off than when they arrived, and I will work tirelessly to do the same. I won’t do it alone, but with the help of our dedicated team of chapter leaders, network leaders and, of course our Chapter Administrators, who all work as a team to make ACC Greater Philadelphia one of ACC’s premier chapters – not to mention an ACC Gold Chapter of Distinction!
Our team will continue that dedication this year by focusing on what we do best: Providing amazing education, networking, and advocacy opportunities for our nearly 1700 in-house legal and legal operations members. We will have plenty of engaging and informative CLE programs (free to our members) tailored to the in-house bar, including institutes, webinars and roundtables. In May we will host our 13th Annual In-house Counsel Conference in-person at the Pennsylvania Convention Center once again! We also look forward to getting back to face-to-face social programming – such as our popular monthly Meet Your Counterparts events, our Spring Fling and our Fall Gala – and doing so safely.
Another thing our Chapter does best is innovating. We do not simply hit the repeat button and run the same programming year after year. Just as our membership evolves, so does our programming. For example, we recognize that in-house lawyers are being asked to do so much more in the area of legal operations and legal technology. All of our positions have been fundamentally changed by the proliferation of technology and services designed to help us operate more efficiently and more effectively. I am proud to announce that our first-ever Legal Tech Expo will take place at this year’s In-house Counsel Conference! A full day of product demos and sessions is planned to help you make sense of the options that are available. More details to come… In addition, we will continue our Chapter’s renewed and explicit dedication to fostering a more diverse, inclusive, equitable, and accepting legal community by holding our First Annual Diversity Summit, a dynamic in-person event taking place on February 7. The Summit will bring together in-house counsel, law firm leaders, and DIE&B/Human Resources professionals for next-level presentations and interactive conversations about DIE&B.
I cannot write this letter without recognizing the difficult and, frankly, strange times the world has gone through over the last two years. As we enter our third year grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is so important that we come together as a legal community and support each other both professionally and personally. I hope that ACC Greater Philadelphia can help in that regard with two major areas of focus:
First, we recognize that, with 1,700 members, it is unrealistic to expect everyone to share the same personal and professional interests. We have long maintained Practice Area Networks, which have helped organize our CLE programming. However, we know that these networks can be so much more! Over the course of this year, we hope to foster our Practice area Networks into Communities of Practice, which can meet regularly, share knowledge via our Network Forums, and socialize on a smaller scale. I am so excited to see our members come together in a more targeted fashion!
Second, the pandemic – and associated uncertainty, disruption and isolation – have taken an incalculable toll on the physical and mental well-being of our members. Impairment in our profession is at an all-time high and, again, we feel that our chapter can help. To that end, we have formed a brand-new Lawyer Health and Wellness Committee (a.k.a. the President’s Council on Attorney Fitness)! The committee has been tasked with finding opportunities to improve the health and wellness of our members. We will strengthen our relationship with Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, conduct regular yoga and meditation sessions, expand our Team DELVACCA activities to organize local runs around the community. We’ll even have standing tables at our in-person CLE events! We’d love to have more people involved in coming up with more great ideas. Please reach out if you are interested.
In coming months, you’ll be hearing more about these efforts as well as other ideas to keep ACC Greater Philadelphia moving forward. Making all these initiatives a success will require the efforts of a large number of people, and I thank you in advance for your feedback, your ideas, your help and support. You can always reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610.661.1591. I look forward to seeing all of you over the course of the year and I hope you will stay actively engaged in the wonderful opportunities that our Chapter has planned for 2022!
All my best,
ACC Greater Philadelphia