To The Readers Of the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:
Greetings from Seattle! 2011 was a banner year for the Washington Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, and we are looking forward to an even better 2012. It has been my pleasure to serve as chapter president for the last two years. In January, I will step down and Brad Toney will become president and will lead the chapter for the next two years.
This past year, we made an extra effort to engage with newer members. We now have 473 members and continue to grow. We hosted two new social events -- a networking/social event held in Bellevue for our members that don’t work in downtown Seattle and a boat cruise around Lake Washington on a beautiful summer day. It was great to see some new faces, and we plan to reach out to our members in other parts of the state next year.
We continued our strong tradition of providing high-quality, engaging and educational continuing legal education programs. We hosted seven CLE programs on topics as diverse as Employing a Foreign Workforce: Key Issues Employers need to Know and Data Privacy and Storage: Preventing and Responding to Security Breaches. We finished the year with our Annual Ethics Dinner with a presentation on Managing Internal Investigations.
The chapter is also very committed to pro bono and encouraging diversity within the legal profession. We had a record number of volunteers participate in Street Law’s Corporate Diversity Pipeline Program. For the third year, volunteer lawyers and paralegals visited three classrooms at West Seattle’s Chief Sealth High School to teach interactive lessons on litigation, contract negotiations and sexual harassment. Students were invited to a day-long conference held in December at Safeco Insurance’s downtown Seattle conference center, where they participated in workshops and heard from two inspirational speakers - a Seattle City Council member and a King County Superior Court judge. The program encourages students to learn about the legal profession as a possible career choice and promotes diversity within the legal profession. The chapter also continued its tradition of funding a scholarship at each of the three Washington law schools - University of Washington, Seattle University and Gonzaga University. The scholarship goes to a student with a diverse background, a significant financial need, a record of academic achievement, a commitment to increasing diversity within the legal community, and a demonstrated interest in business and/or corporate legal practice.
On the national level, the ACC is the resource of choice for in-house counsel. Its website offers up-to-date and practical legal resources, including best practices, forms, policy statements and presentations and the Member-to-Member network, which allows practitioners to access a vast online community of in-house peers. To learn more about ACC and the Washington chapter, go to www.acc.com and select Washington from the chapter list. We urge you to join us and hope to see you at an upcoming event.
Best wishes for the New Year,