Dear ACC Northeast Chapter Members and Friends,
When asked why they join the ACC, nearly every member of our chapter emphasizes the opportunity to “give back.” They want to give back to the legal profession, to the community, to newer lawyers coming up behind them. They want to pay forward what they have received from others in growing their careers. Others express a need for community, a need to connect and learn from other in-house counsel. I, too, got involved with the ACC for these same reasons.
As the chapter’s new president, I am in the unique position to enable opportunities for members to give back and to foster a sense of community. As someone who relied heavily on the ACC network to grow my career, these are my priorities as president. I would like to share a few of the ways the Northeast chapter will support these priorities throughout 2022. I encourage you to join me and your fellow in-house colleagues in taking advantage of these opportunities. Our chapter will be better with your involvement.
Opportunity #1: Share your Expertise.
The chapter’s mission is to “be the organization of choice for educational, career development, advocacy, pro bono and networking needs of in-house lawyers in the Northeast region.” To succeed in our mission, we need in-house lawyers to engage in our programming, to teach, to share their expertise. Without your involvement we cannot sustain this mission. I encourage you to reach out to me, Julie Duffy, our Executive Director, or any Board member to learn how you can share in this mission by speaking, organizing, and developing our educational programming and professional activities.
Opportunity #2: Help others experience belonging.
What does it mean to belong to a community? In a recent program sponsored by our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee called Diversity in Concert: Notes of Belonging, our chapter learned that belonging is feeling acceptance as a member. All humans desire to belong. Our chapter seeks to build a community of belonging for all in-house counsel in the Northeast, and we need your help to do so. We have two committees, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee and the Women’s Initiative Committee, actively engaged in planning activities to help all our members feel that they belong in our chapter. No matter your background, we invite you to join us as part of these committees as we work to support an atmosphere of belonging.
Opportunity #3: Community involvement.
Lawyers have skills that are needed in our community. Our Pro Bono and Civic Engagement Committee actively works to bring legal services to disadvantaged communities and nonprofit organizations through programs like Clinic-in-a-Box and Project Citizenship. We need to do more. Help us respond to the needs of community by joining committee members already active in these efforts.
Opportunity #4: Spread the word.
In 2021 the Northeast Chapter was honored by the ACC with the Membership Excellence Award for our Membership Strategy for social media. This platform has served our members with an array of resources, most notably during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. It helped maintain our sense of community. I invite you to join our Communications Committee as it continues to amplify our message through social media, our quarterly newsletter, and other member communications. Strong communication is vital to all parts of our mission, but especially to our efforts in creating a sense of belonging for members in our chapter.
I welcome your involvement, your ideas, comments, and criticisms. Please contact me, any Board member, or our Executive Director, Julie Duffy. Our community will grow and be better because of your engagement and input.
I am excited to see where we can take this chapter in the future together!
President, ACC Northeast Chapter, 2021-2023