The South Central Texas Chapter, including areas surrounding Austin and San Antonio, received the Association of Corporate Counsel's Chapter of the Year award for the less-than-250-members category. The chapter's leaders accepted the award at ACC's annual meeting in San Diego last month. The award recognizes the chapter's outstanding efforts and achievements in demonstrating leadership and exhibiting overall excellence in addressing membership needs.
ACC selects three chapters in the U.S. each year that demonstrate superior leadership in categories based on their size. Other winners were the Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association (more-than-750- members category) and the San Diego Chapter (250-to-750-members category). Each of the winners offers continuing legal education, community service and a strong promotion of corporate ethics for attorneys employed by corporations.
'Our chapter provided a venue in which the attorneys could provide free legal assistance to those individuals who can't afford legal work. As part of that effort, we participated for the first time in the Community Justice Program, and committed ourselves to clean and repair Brackenridge Park, one of our most important City parks,' explained Lee Cusenbary, President of the South Central Chapter and General Counsel of Mission Pharmacal Company.
'The Chapter has grown over the years and targets specific needs of the in-house lawyer in San Antonio and South Texas through out-of-the-ordinary approaches to key issues' says Executive Director, Amber Clark.
'Our primary focus this year was the unethical corporate behavior brought to light by the Enron scandal, the Tyco prosecution and the conviction of television personality Martha Stewart,' continued Ms. Clark.'We hosted an ethics training session with record attendance by in-house attorneys. The primary draw was a Broadway singer who sang popular rock songs replaced by lyrics containing the facts of actual ethics issues. It was a fun, catchy way to retain information that could be otherwise difficult and time consuming to absorb.'
In an even more unique approach, the chapter hosted a fun-filled event early this month that featured San Antonio judges and attorneys singing about ethics. 'Overall, our chapter emphasizes the significance of governance and compliance,' Ms. Clark observes. 'We hope to assist local in-house counsel who play a significant role in successful business enterprises in Texas.'
Membership is available for all attorneys who are employed by an ongoing business concern other than a law firm. For more information, visit the chapter's web pages at www.acca.com.