To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:
2010 - A Look Ahead
In keeping with the ACC-Georgia Chapter mission statement, our chapter strives to "add value to a diverse community of in-house counsel through educational programs, public service, and professional relationships."
As legal professionals, we continue to navigate a very difficult legal environment, both for in-house and outside counsel. For those of us who serve as in-house counsel, I am curious:Which of the values in our mission statement is most important to you? Maybe all three?
The common thread in each value is the opportunity for chapter members to participate (even with limited time) in an activity that furthers their commitment to the association.Each month our members have an opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, including the chapter's monthly CLE lunch programs, chapter-sponsored pro bono events and good old-fashioned networking sessions.
I routinely receive numerous requests to be "Linked In" to someone's network of professional or personal relationships. While gathering a list of personal and professional contacts is important, I don't think this effort alone can substitute for taking the time to build relationships on either a personal or professional level or both. Real networking requires regular and meaningful contact.
We strive to create networking opportunities for members of our chapter by providing environments where they can become engaged and active participants in the ACC-Georgia chapter.
We will continue to sponsor several initiatives in 2010 to further the chapter's mission, including monthly breakfast gatherings where chapter members come together to share information, job hunting tips, war stories, good news and general encouragement. We have also launched a new e-group Web site exclusively for our members in transition. Members pursuing new positions can use this site as a forum to pass on information about job openings, request contacts at companies where positions may be available, suggest resources that have been helpful to other members and, once again, to encourage fellow members who may be similarly situated.Finally, the chapter will again host the members in transition pro bono project. Later this year, one or more members will receive a stipend to engage in pro bono work in support of the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta (PBPA) and the worthy work PBPA performs in providing free legal services to numerous non-profit organizations in the metro-Atlanta area.
Another significant component of the chapter's mission statement is public service.
We hope to continue or expand the chapter's community outreach efforts with: i) participation inthe National Day of Service in the Fall; ii) the sponsorship of a summer minority law student internship for a first year law student; and iii) grants for public interest internships through local law schools and high schools.
Educational programs make up the final component of the chapter's mission. Through the generosity of the chapter's law firm sponsors, we will continue to host twelve CLE lunch programs throughout the year.The luncheons are an opportunity for members to learn about new developments in a variety of areas of law.
You may notice that a recurring theme of this letter is the need to encourage those around us who may be facing difficult circumstances.With that in mind, I will close with one final thought. In both our professional and personal lives, there will be times when we will have a need to call on someone, including a fellow chapter member, for encouragement and support. Please make sure you are there to reach out and help someone else. Don't miss the opportunity.
I look forward to meeting you in 2010 in connection with the activities of the ACC Georgia Chapter.
Betsy Cross Griswold