To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:
As we enter a new decade, DELVACCA is well situated to continue to be one of the leading chapters of the Association of Corporate Counsel, delivering a healthy balance of high-quality programs and networking events for our members.The newly elected officers and board are committed to serve the chapter with continued excellence and dedication.
As I mentioned at the Board and Officer Installation Luncheon, the agenda for the chapter for 2010 has been a collective work-in-progress since last summer. The leadership has worked hard to meet our members' preferences to provide timely and innovative CLE programs and more networking and social events. In addition to quality CLE programming, this chapter is quickly becoming a social center for in-house lawyers. Our 2010 event schedule is filled with opportunities for our members to meet and network.
Here's what we did and some things you may expect for 2010:
The Institute Series - These half-day morning programs featuring multiple CLE sessions along with breakfast.Each of our practice committees will host one or two Institutes, covering a wide range of topics. The chapter has already offered two Institute programs in late 2009, and each has received high praises from the attendees.
New to In-House Symposium - We will once again hold the Symposium, with programs focusing on those new to in-house practice, with four sessions this year (expanded from three sessions in 2009).
The Second In-House Counsel Conference - Over 300 members attended the Inaugural In-House Counsel Conference in April, 2009. This year, we expanded the Conference to consist of 20 CLE programs, four more than last year, and including a Chief Legal Officer track of programs. We will hold this year's Conference at the Downtown Marriott Hotel.
2010 Program/Events Highlights
The Paralegal Institute - This valuable program, offered to in-house paralegals and legal assistants, continues to be unique.
Regional Meet Your Counterparts - In an effort to reach all of our members throughout all of our service regions, in addition to the CLE offerings, we planned a dozen "Regional Meet Your Counterparts Events." These networking opportunities are gaining popularity; we have developed regional committees to coordinate these programs in their respective region.
GC Lunch Club - The popular "GC Lunch Club" features discussions relevant to the practice of chief legal officers, and each is run by prominent general counsels in the region.
Women Lawyers Events - Given the great success of the Women Lawyers' events in 2009, we have added one per quarter (possibly more) for 2010! Our leadership has pledged full support for these programs as they continue to be an integral part of the chapter's offerings.
Excellence Awards Dinner - This promises to be a very special event.Instead of an annual dinner, we have decided to partner with the Philadelphia Business Journal to award the unsung heroes of in-house practice. A diverse panel of judges will award nominees with several awards - nominees and winners will appear in a multi-page spread in the Philadelphia Business Journal, which has a readership of over 90,000. This program is in line with our commitment to promote the virtues of in-house practice while focusing attention on DELVACCA outside of legal publications.
Community Programs - Our chapter will continue to serve the community by participating in pro bono events, National Public Lands Day and others which will be announced in the coming months. In the fall of 2010, we will participate in the Street Law Corporate Legal Diversity Pipeline program. The program involves DELVACCA partnering with nearby, diverse high school law classes in an effort to teach students about civil and corporate law as well as in-house practice, and to encourage these students to consider careers in the legal profession.
Employment Management/In-Transition Committee - Given the state of the economy and continued job losses in our profession, DELVACCA will continue to serve our in-transition members and those looking for career management advice by providing useful resources through this committee.
From a "state of the chapter" perspective, our leadership has been fiscally responsible, anticipating a down economy and strategically preparing for it. We have a strong financial position to enable us to continue to provide free CLE programs for our members and nominally priced networking and social events. Thanks to our strong sponsor base, we will continue to enjoy top-notch programming and events in 2010.
In addition to our strong financial position, our membership is growing rapidly: we currently have 978 members, only 23 short of our short-term goal of 1,000 members.
As everyone knows, the strength of an organization depends on its members.
On a personal note, I want to take this opportunity to thank the board, officers and our members for entrusting me as your president for 2010. I consider it an honor and privilege to serve the chapter in this capacity, having served as a chapter leader for five years. I welcome the challenge and look forward to a great year for DELVACCA.
N. Alexander Erlam