Florida Serving Florida's In-House Legal Community Lazarus Rothstein South Florida Chapter

Editor: Please tell our readers about your chapter.

Rothstein: The South Florida chapter has nearly 350 members in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. The South Florida corporate legal community is home to a wide range of companies that include multinational public companies and small local corporations. Our chapter seeks to meet our members' needs by offering outstanding continuing legal education programs, networking opportunities, social functions, community service projects, diversity functions and a variety of other events.

Editor: What are some of your chapter's programs that are tailored to appeal to in-house counsel's diverse needs?

Rothstein: We offer the following programs, among others:

An annual ethics seminar and holiday reception.

Publication of a quarterly newsletter, distributed by email to all of our members;

Quarterly CLE seminars and receptions featuring one-hour topics some of which include a local sporting or cultural event.

A community service event such as our participation in restoration of a public park as part of National Public Lands Day.

A diversity event such as our participation in the Minority Mentoring Picnic.

Editor: How does your chapter make Florida a better place to live and do business?

Rothstein: Each year, we participate in a community service event, which has included planting trees in public parks, restoring a public housing project, and most recently making financial contributions to Florida's Children First, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of at-risk children and participating in Kids in Distress Walk, among other community service events and charitable contributions.

Editor: Please give us an example or two of the law firms and legal service providers whose support enables your chapter to offer affordable education programs and professional networking opportunities.

Rothstein: We thank our supporters for their generous support, including McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Akerman Senterfitt, Special Counsel and Lexis-Nexis.

Editor: Congratulations, Laz, on the success of the South Florida Chapter's inaugural event, One Night under the Sea (ONUS). Please tell our readers about the event.

Rothstein: ONUS provided a tool for our members to actively promote diversity in their own legal departments and the law firms they retain. Our members along with women and minority attorneys from local law firms gathered together in a fun and relaxed atmosphere that provided them an opportunity to socialize and create opportunities for women and minority attorneys at law firms to handle legal matters for our members. ONUS also provided local law students the opportunity to meet both private practice attorneys and in-house attorneys for potential law clerk positions, associate jobs, and/or mentoring. A portion of the proceeds, raised from the event including the proceeds from raffle ticket sales for a Southeast Toyota Distributors' donated vehicle, were donated to Florida's Children First, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of at-risk children.

Editor: Thank you for telling our readers about your chapter. Where can they learn more?

Rothstein: They can visit www.acca.com, or they can contact our Executive Director Jody Rosen at info@accsouthflorida.com or by phone at (561) 477-8100.

Editor: What types of industries do your members serve?

Kuhn: The Central Florida Chapter has approximately 117 members. The Central Florida legal community is very diverse with local companies such as Lockheed and Siemens, space coast companies, religious groups, hospitality companies and entertainment giants such as Disney and Universal. Consequently, we seek to interest all our members by various program topics and locations around the city.

Editor: Please give some examples of the events you host for your region's in-house legal community.

Kuhn: Our events this year included:

Effective Mediation Strategies sponsored by Upchurch Watson White & Max Mediation Group, Inc.

Corporate Agreements sponsored by Lowndes Drosdick Doster Kantor & Reed, P.A.

Employment Law sponsored by Ford & Harrison LLP

Cyber Law sponsored by Gray Robinson, P.A.

Hospitality Industry Issues sponsored by Baker & Hostetler LLP

Holiday Party and Ethics Presentation by ACC national

Corporate Law Symposium sponsored by Foley &Lardner LLP

In addition, the Chapter held a networking luncheon and tour at a member's location, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc.

Editor: What types of community service projects does your chapter support?

Kuhn: This year, the Central Florida Chapter participated in the National Public Lands Day. Chapter members helped beautify the Geneva Wildness Area by painting and clearing paths. We hope to support even more community events in the coming year.

Editor: Congratulations, Martha, on ACC's recognition of Central Florida as its 2005 Outstanding Chapter of the Year. What contributed to your chapter's success?

Kuhn: The chapter really focused on reaching out to new members and the area law schools and diversity programs. Specifically, we structured our monthly programs with new topics of interest and free CLE credit to attract new members and, of course, keep existing members interested. Also, the chapter coordinated with the law schools on a mentoring program to support law students. To promote diversity, the chapter applied for and received a Grant for a Diversity Dollars Program sponsored by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association to develop a curriculum for use by corporate employers of law student interns.

Editor: Thank you for telling our readers about your chapter. Where can they learn more?

Kuhn: The Central Florida website can be reached through www.acca.com, or your readers can contact our Chapter Administrator Marshell Schirtzer at mschirtzer@cfl.rr.com.

Published November 1, 2005.