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The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world's largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, nonprofits and other private-sector organizations around the globe.

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  • About

    Vision 

    The vision for the Wellness Initiative is to offer engaging and substantive opportunities that promote education, support and solutions to improve the legal practice and lives of corporate counsel.   

    What is ACC's Wellness Initiative? 

    The Wellness Initiative provides suggested guidelines and resources for the in-house legal community, regardless of department size, to support the needs of the whole person, including those who may be experiencing impairment.  

  • ACC Resources

    The business consequences of bad behavior 

    The past year saw the fall of many powerful individuals in the sports and entertainment fields and beyond due to personal misconduct, sparking the rise of the #MeToo movement and other grassroots initiatives. However, the damage went beyond people: Companies that tolerated or empowered bad behavior suffered as well. Explore what led to the groundswell of change and what it means for the future. Discuss best practices for developing a culture of compliance and the risks of failing to do so, including an exploration of the legal and public relations implications for companies and individuals.

    OnDemand CLE/CPD


    BAD (burnout, addiction & depression) is not good for your legal department

    In-house counsel are often called upon to provide continuous support in stressful, critical matters. Recent studies on the health and well-being of lawyers—and on the effects of chronic stress—remind us that the practice of law involves pressures that can lead to burnout, addiction and depression.Fortunately, there are well-understood strategies and interventions to prevent or de-escalate the negative side effects of high-octane legal careers. Join our panelists, who include a nationally renowned psychologist, a practitioner with experience in mindfulness and in-house counsel, as they identify some of the most common warning signs of burnout and depression and provide positive ideas for coping. The session will present real-world scenarios and interactive simulations to help you handle unanticipated workplace challenges, reduce stress and use new communication and stress reduction skills to be your best self.

    OnDemand CLE/CPD


    Super lawyers: ethical implications of stress burnout and substance use

    This session will discuss the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-being,  which presents alarming evidence of the effects of stress, burnout,  suicide and substance use within the legal profession, and makes  recommendations for what leaders in the profession can do about it.

    OnDemand CLE/CPD
     


     

  • Programs-in-a-Box

     

    Supporting Wellness: Improving the Health of Corporate Counsel, Our Profession and Our Communities

    The American Bar Association did a recent study with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation as the first national study on attorney substance use and mental health concerns.  The conclusions were alarming for corporate counsel in that attorneys experience problematic drinking and alcohol use disorders at a higher rate than any other professional populations. Mental health distress is also significant with levels of depression, anxiety, and stress among attorneys being very significant with over 25% experiencing moderate to severe symptoms. There is a significant need to address “personal wellness” for attorneys, law students and judges.    

    Additionally, the “corporate wellness” theme is based on the proven effectiveness of corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs and how a company can help solve social issues while benefiting from improvements in public image, media coverage, employee engagement and moral, and the attraction and retention of investors.

    Program Materials


    Ethics for Stressed 'Super Lawyers'

    The goal of this Super Lawyer ethics program is to add value to your “stressed” corporate counsel career by sharing recent research and success stories, tools to immediately enhance and “de-stress” your practice, plus a simple way to identify and resolve professional responsibility issues in the workplace.  Trends in corporate well-being initiatives help address the lack of mindfulness, egoism, issue avoidance, substance use, and the need for rest and recovery. Through real ethics case scenarios and a lively discussion of the US Model Rules of Professional Conduct, participants will gain useful managerial takeaways for handling changes in the workplace, practice of law, including practical takeaways scalable by law department size.  Return to the office with a new “well-being kit” and strategies to promote ethical, sustainable, high-level performance, while issue spotting among colleagues who may need help.  

    Program Materials

  • External Resources

  • Supporters

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    James Patton Headshot

     

     

     

     

     

    James Patton
    Vice President for Advancement and General Counsel
    Christian Care Communities

    James Patton currently serves as chief legal officer and vice president of advancement for The Broadhurst Group in Louisville, KY overseeing senior care communities across Kentucky. He is both a legal and business executive in the senior living and long-term care communities. He has years of experience managing executive relationships and is recognized as an ethical team player delivering streamlined and cost-efficient legal solutions that foster organizational effectiveness, brand engagement, and revenue growth. His colleagues see him as a strategic legal and entrepreneurial thinker with proven ability to set a clear vision, build high performance teams, communicate with stakeholders, and transact business in cross-cultural settings.

    He is an author, legal education speaker, and provides leadership to several nonprofits including Appleseed Network, ACC, Minority Corporate Counsel Association, and others. He is the founder of National Community Service Day for ACC helping build corporate social responsibility programs. He also serves as an ambassador for ACC’s global wellness initiative. He is a youth mentor and advisor for the US Congressional Award Foundation and the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

    Mr. Patton graduated with his LLM from the University of Miami. He holds a JD from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, and a MDiv from the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
     


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    Claudette Patton
    National Legal Education Speaker, Professor, Executive Well-Being Advisor
    ChildAdvocateLaw.com

    Claudette Patton is a consummate networker and encourager now that she’s retired from the full-time practice of law. Founding ChildAdvocateLaw.com, she now draws upon her legal and education experience to help children gain access to justice, education, and benefits. Ms. Patton’s passion for mentoring and positioning others for success is evident by her recent completion of doctoral coursework in leadership and organizational effectiveness. Her focus is on the many aspects of workplace culture that improve engagement, foster well-being and avoid burnout, such as meaningful work, positive leadership, resiliency training and more.

    She was a member of law review, The Journal of Family law, and editor of the Journal of Law and Education. As a former assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, law clerk for the US District Court Western Division, university professor, and successful litigator, she was moved by the ABA’s call to action to find solutions for colleagues seeking to recover from stress, burnout and substance abuse.

    She is an author, national legal education speaker, motivational trainer, and board member for several nonprofits, including the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, Miss Kentucky Scholarship Organization Foundation, and the Olive Branch Foundation. She is a youth advisor for the US Congressional Award Foundation, serves as a mentor for at-risk youth, and helps support cadets at the National Guard Challenge Academy.

    Ms. Patton is a three-time graduate of the University of Louisville earning a BS, MEd, and JD.


    Jill Kalliomaa

     

     

     

     

     

    Jill Kalliomaa
    Senior Legal Counsel
    GNF

    Jill is Senior Legal Counsel for GNF, a drug discovery research institute in La Jolla, California, part of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, the global healthcare company.  Jill’s practice has included contracts, compliance, and intellectual property, and she has broad experience in creating solutions and relationships for innovative industries including biotech and telecommunications.  Jill has been serving on the ACC’s SoCal chapter Board since 2016 and is a co-creator and Co-Chair of the chapter's newly formed Attorney Well-Being Committee. [email protected]
     


    Jeffrey Compangano

     

     

     

     

     

    Jeffrey Compangano
    General Counsel & Vice President
    World & Brown Companies

    Jeffrey is the General Counsel and Vice President for the Word & Brown Companies, a leading California provider in health insurance and benefits administration products.  Jeff manages all legal matters for his organization’s corporate divisions, including complex contract negotiations, Intellectual Property, and mergers and acquisitions.  He served on the Board of the ACC’s SoCal chapter from 2010 to 2016 and still remains active by participating on numerous committees and as a co-creator and Co-Chair of the chapter's newly formed Attorney Well-Being Committee. [email protected]

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