Delaware - Corporate Counsel Expanding In-House Counsels' Perspectives

Monday, November 1, 2004 - 00:00

In our July interview, Don C. Brown, Corporate Counsel, DuPont Company, and President of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (DELVACCA), highlighted a few of the many benefits of active involvement in professional associations. To read the interview, visit www.metrocorpcounsel.com. In the following interview, Don invites in-house counsel to join DELVACCA at upcoming events and to benefit from the chapter's other services.

Editor: In our July interview, you explained that nothing is more important to in-house counsel today than focusing on integrity and responsibility in corporate governance. How is DELVACCA continuing to provide in-house counsel tools to help address corporate governance challenges?

Brown: On November 17, we are hosting a program on the corporate governance challenges arising under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Sponsored by DataCert, we'll focus on the fiscal performance in corporate legal functions with practical tips for managing the legal spend in today's challenging environment. We even hope that our members will bring along a client. In mid-September we hosted a program geared to chief legal officers, also dealing with the practical aspects of a good compliance program. Program materials are generally available at: http://www.acca.com/chapters/del.php.

Editor: Is DELVACCA offering other programs to help in-house counsel work effectively in the current corporate environment?

Brown: Yes. On November 9, we are hosting a program called "Directors & Officers Liability Insurance: Responding to the Current Environment." This seminar, co-sponsored with Saul Ewing LLC, will discuss current issues affecting directors and officers liability insurance and suggest strategies for buying insurance that will provide the maximum protection available. In-house counsel for the smallest companies must stay on topic of their risk management in this area, too.

Editor: In our July interview, you reported that most in-house counsel tell you that they enjoy DELVACCA's events because of the associated networking opportunities. Please tell our readers about your recent and upcoming networking events.

Brown: In September we hosted our annual Meet Your Counterparts Reception sponsored by the firm of White and Williams LLP. It was a great event for catching up with old friends and making new contacts. We all met attorneys who do just what we do and who face the same daily practice successes and stresses. This year, we received an especially warm reception to our call for increased pro bono work from in-house lawyers.

I'd like to encourage all in-house counsel in the Delaware Valley to mark their calendars for DELVACCA's Holiday Networking Social on December 6. Sponsored by Cozen O'Connor, it promises to be a wonderful way to share war stories from the ending year and look forward to the new.

Editor: Is DELVACCA continuing to help corporate counsel who are in transition?

Brown: Yes, because we must - it's just that important. We hold monthly programs focused on helping in-house lawyers keep abreast of the market, to value their current jobs, and to work on their sales skills as well as their legal talents. Who couldn't use a few tips on taking control of their careers in these challenging times? We have had wonderful support from the legal placement firms in our area. Morgan Wentworth hosted our Career Development breakfast forum on October 20. Others are being hosted by Oxford Legal on November 16 and by Abelson Legal Search on December 21. Others with interest may contact any Board member.

Editor: In July you reported on ways that DELVACCA encourages in-house to participate in pro bono programs, including your collaboration with Law Works and CorporateProBono.Org to host an Onsite Pro Bono Clinic for in-house counsel.

Brown: I'm happy to report that our Onsite Pro Bono Clinic on September 30 was a great success. I'm also proud to say that we helped to rally both members and other in-house lawyers from around the area. Hosted by PECO Energy Company, with training provided by Pepper Hamilton LLP, the event helped in-house counsel to enhance their general legal skills while giving back to the small businesses and non-profit organizations within the community.

Editor: What else is in the works for DELVACCA?

Brown: On the drawing board are programs that are targeted to provide outreach to the area law schools to talk about in-house practice as a career option. We're also working to coordinate with area paralegal associations. As we do at DuPont, training these days must include the entire legal team, and we hope that we can provide programming that will increase the effectiveness of in-house practice.

Editor: Thank you, Don, for telling our readers about DELVACCA. Where can they learn more about your chapter?

Brown: They can visit DELVACCA's web page by following the menu choices on the home page of the Association of Corporate Counsel at http://www.acca.com/chapters/del.php. I can recommend no better place to meet your peers, learn about issues unique to in-house counsel, gain valuable continuing legal education credits and otherwise enhance your career.