By Luise Welby
I am honored to serve as President of ACC National Capital Region, particularly at such an exciting point in time. With over 2,500 members across the Commonwealth of Virginia, D.C., and suburban Maryland, we have a strong and vital chapter focused on being your go-to professional resource. We already have so many great things going on, and more to come in 2016:
As we start this new year, we have some questions for you about how we can serve you even better:
- Programming. We provide our members with over 80 CLEs per year on a broad array of substantive topics. These programs are shaped by our volunteer forum leaders so that the content is tailored for you as in-house counsel – focused on providing clear guidance on recognizing, understanding and handling issues. Recently, more of our programs have been interactive, both to enhance your learning experience and to facilitate you getting to know your colleagues better – and learn from each other.
- Networking. In everything we do, we build in the opportunity for you to meet and spend time with your colleagues – whether during the lunch segment at a CLE program, sharing ideas in an interactive program, meeting each other at a micro-networking lunch, doing good through pro bono and community service, or attending breakfast meetings, happy hours and other social events. Having a strong professional network that you can call on with a difficult question helps you do your job better, and can come in handy if a career change is on the horizon. So keep your eyes open for these opportunities as we will be offering more social networking offerings this year. We also will be reevaluating our pro bono program to make sure it is best serving your needs.
- Career Development. We have expanded our programming to help you develop and hone the “soft skills” of being a lawyer – like executive presence, stress management – as well as career development topics – such as preparing a resume, elements of a good LinkedIn profile, and more. Our top focus for 2016 is creating and implementing a world-class Leadership Development Academy, a cohort program to help members enhance their careers by further developing the leadership qualities and skills needed to become more valued by and valuable to their companies, their colleagues and others, and to be perceived as ready for more challenging responsibilities and expansive roles. Once launched, we expect each cohort to take place over a period of months with large-group sessions and smaller-group projects. Stay tuned for more details regarding this exciting project.
- Sponsors. We have an incredible group of sponsors that make it possible for us to offer our great programming and other services to our membership. These partnerships are a critical key to what we do, and we will continue to look for ways to express our appreciation for their support by enhancing the effectiveness of these relationships.
All of the chapter’s work is focused on enriching your experience as members, so we really want to know what you think of our current services and how we can better serve you. Feel free to reach out to me, any of our chapter leaders (over 50 members strong), or our great staff led by Ilene Reid if you have ideas or would like to get involved.
- Are there other changes you would suggest to make our CLEs even more valuable to you?
- If you don’t already come out to chapter programs and events, what could we do differently to get you more engaged in our activities?
- Are we providing the right kinds of pro bono projects? What can we do to get more members engaged in pro bono?
- What are the leadership skills that you would want to learn in our Leadership Development Academy? What features would make such a cohort program valuable to you?