Letter From The President Of The Delaware Valley Chapter Of The Association Of Corporate Counsel

2011-05-02 00:00

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

The Delaware Valley Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (DELVACCA) is one of ACC's largest chapters, with over 1,100 members. It covers a very broad geographic area, including southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware. DELVACCA was named ACC's Large Chapter of the Year in 2008 and 2010. We serve our members in three primary ways: offering CLEs (free to members) geared toward the needs of in-house counsel; networking events; and advocacy of issues pertinent to in-house practice.

After enduring several weather-related cancellations in January, our calendar is now brimming with events. In early April, we held our Third Annual In-House Counsel Conference, attended by over 300 of our members, and featuring a choice of twenty CLE programs on a wide range of topics. We also hold eight CLE Institutes throughout the year, each covering a substantive area, such as IP, Litigation or Corporate/Securities law.

As much as our members appreciate educational events, they really embrace opportunities to network with their colleagues. We sponsor "Meet Your Counterparts" events throughout our region, often at lively settings or featuring food or wine tastings. Our premier networking event is Spring Fling, to be held on May 18 at the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, where our members will have special access to several galleries.

The month of May will feature two events with an international perspective. We will be hosting a group of visiting Argentine judges at a cocktail reception, and lawyers from one of our member companies will be doing a presentation for the judges on the impact of Ethics/Transparency issues in American business. We will also have a CLE program on Canadian legal issues that U.S. companies doing business in Canada should be aware of.

One of my goals as president is to increase the awareness of the critical roles played by in-house counsel in today's highly regulated business environment. In November we will present our second annual Corporate Counsel Excellence Awards, where we recognize the achievements of deserving in-house counsel and law departments in our region. Last year's event drew over 300 attendees and received significant coverage in the business press.

DELVACCA is a strong supporter of ACC's Value Challenge, an initiative to strengthen the relationship between in-house lawyers and outside counsel by emphasizing the concept of value in the delivery of legal services. We encourage our members to rate their law firms on defined value criteria for inclusion in ACC's database, which helps members when looking for counsel, and helps firms understand the viewpoint of their clients. Later this year we will host a Value Challenge Town Hall to explore value-based billing alternatives, project and knowledge management, and other concepts that in-house counsel are using to reduce legal costs.

Promoting diversity in the profession and pro-bono activities are also important elements of DELVACCA's mission. This summer, six of our member companies will be hosting diversity interns for eight weeks, partially funded by DELVACCA. And after a tremendously rewarding experience last year, we will again be leading a Street Law program at a Philadelphia high school to encourage students to consider a career in the legal profession.


Thomas M. Molchan