Letter From The Chair Of The Corporate Counsel Section Of The New York State Bar Association

2006-02-01 01:00

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel :

The New York State Bar Association's Corporate Counsel Section welcomes new members. The Section is engaged in a multi-year effort to retool, to not only be more responsive to Section members and the public at large, but to give more focus on its efforts to achieve its goals. To that end, the Section has completed, or is in the process of implementing, the following ten exciting efforts:

1. Detailed Membership Survey.The Section completed a membership survey to enable it to be more effective in developing programs that serve the needs of the Section's members.

2. Revision of the Bylaws. The Section recently revised its bylaws to allow for a more inclusive membership. Membership is no longer limited to those who serve as in-house counsel to a business organization. Now, anyone who practices law who has an interest in the unique role of in-house counsel is welcome to join and become active in the Section.

3. First Corporate Counsel Institute.In September, 2005, the Section sponsored its first Corporate Counsel Institute, a comprehensive two-day program focusing on the areas of law of particular interest to in-house counsel, including ADR For Employment Law, In-house Compliance Issues, Litigation and E-discovery, Law Department Management, Intellectual Property And Ethics For Corporate Counsel.

4. Ethics for Corporate Counsel.The Section once again presented its successful annual program, Ethics for Corporate Counsel, to address ethical issues particular to in-house counsel. This year the ethics program was contained within the Corporate Counsel Institute. In 2006, the program will once again be a stand-alone program.

5. Diversity Internship Program.The Section has established a diversity internship program, named for former NYSBA President Kenneth G. Standard, to place interns from diverse groups in in-house summer positions.

6. Reappointment of Committees. The Section has implemented six working committees, each charged with activity in areas of expressed interest by members. Those committees include Membership, Internship, Corporate Governance, Pro Bono, INSIDE and Continuing Legal Education.

7. INSIDE.The Section publishes its newsletter, INSIDE, which provides relevant information and articles related to in-house counsel several times a year. Members are encouraged to submit articles for publication.

8. Pro Bono Program.The Section's Pro Bono Committee works with the NYSBA Pro Bono Department and the Pro Bono Partnership to develop ways in which in-house counsel can perform pro bono service. In addition to a special issue of INSIDE, the committee provides regular liaison between members and pro bono organizations, and is co-sponsoring a program on corporate pro bono this spring in Rochester.

9. Continuing Legal Education and publications.In addition to the Ethics for Corporate Counsel Program, and the First Corporate Counsel Institute, the Section is a frequent co-sponsor of other continuing legal education programs with other NYSBA Sections, in areas of interest to in-house counsel such as business law, international law, and commercial litigation. The Section also publishes materials for use by its members, including the Corporate Counsel's Guide, featuring templates and materials for engagement letters, planning and budgeting, cost-effective management of corporate litigation, and outside counsel bills. The Section publishes and distributes a booklet entitled How Companies Can Prevent Legal Problems and Save Legal Expenses, which describes the benefits of inside counsel to a growing business entity operating in an increasingly treacherous regulatory environment.

10. Strategic Planning Process.The Section is undergoing a strategic planning process to examine the goals of the Section, and strategies for achieving those goals.

The Corporate Counsel Section is excited by this re-charging of the Section, and we invite everyone who shares an interest in enhancing the role of in-house corporate counsel to join us in this effort.


Steven H. Mosenson