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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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ACC Australia is committed to creating and promoting a more diverse and inclusive Australian in-house legal community. With support from the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Committee, the association launched the inaugural i-LEAD awards (In-house Lawyers Equality and Diversity) which celebrate how the recipients have succeeded against the odds, and our diverse and inclusive legal community.  

Who We Are

ACC Australia’s national Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Committee is committed to creating and promoting a more diverse and inclusive Australian in-house legal community.

 i-LEAD stands for In-house Lawyers Equality and Diversity.  The i-LEAD award aims to offer a highly supported, multi-faceted introduction to the in-house legal profession so as to encourage a more diverse and inclusive legal community that better reflects the Australian community. 

Applications are now closed

Applications for i-LEAD Award 2021 are now closed. We would like to thank everyone who applied! In early 2021, i-LEAD Award announced three winners and you can read about them on  Please see below on the Award information and eligibility for the round 2 application which will open in September 2021.  

General information about the Award

The i-LEAD Award is a unique program sponsored by ACC Australia, that will provide targeted opportunities for the Award winners, through mentoring, professional coaching, education and networking to further their in-house careers. 

The i-LEAD winners will be awarded a two-year honorary ACC Australia membership and will benefit from participating in a 12 month Award program tailored to their individual needs. Winners will be given priority access to a number of events and resources, as well as invaluable networking opportunities and experiences.  

The Award is valued at over $5,000 and while the inclusions will vary to suit the individual, Award winners have the potential to receive:

  • Complimentary access to ACC Australia's mentoring program (or clerkship program if they are a law student).
  • Access to selected ACC Australia's educational and networking events, including complimentary registration to the 2021 In-house Legal National Conference, selected In-house Counsel Day events in the region to which they belong and access to appropriate CPD sessions and networking events.  
  • One on one professional coaching sessions with a highly experienced legal practitioner who specialises in coaching lawyers.
  • A guest invitation to Divisional Exec Committee meeting(s) to gain exposure to in-house legal leaders and thought leadership.
  • An invitation to join the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Committee, or other national committee of the candidate’s special interest.

Eligibility Criteria

To apply for the Award, the candidate must be:

  • a law student enrolled at a tertiary institution in Australia in a law course that is a prerequisite to admission as a lawyer in Australia (eg LLB, JD, Diploma, PLT); OR
  • a law graduate who has completed College of Law Practical Legal Training or equivalent but has not yet gained employment; OR
  • an admitted legal practitioner in any Australian jurisdiction who is employed in or looking to move into an in-house role.
  • The candidate must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or have the right to work in Australia.
  • The candidate is proud to be part of a diverse Australian community, but has faced challenges that may have impacted their education and/or career opportunities. For example, the personal or social circumstances may include (without limitation) that the candidate identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander,  the candidate is from a non-English speaking background, has a physical and/or mental-health disability,  resides in a remote area of Australia, identifies as a member of the LGBTIQ+ community,  the first in the family to attend university, or has unpaid carer responsibilities.

This is not an exhaustive list and we look forward to hearing from applicants from diverse backgrounds when the round 2 applications open later this year.

How you can help 

We recognise that our ACC Australia members have a fantastic network of individuals who may be interested in applying for this Award in the future. Please watch this space for when the i-Lead applications will open for round 2. 

If you have any questions, please email