There is something fulfilling about working in a team, toward a common goal. In my many interviews with ACC members and at our conferences, I hear this as one of the reasons our members love their jobs. Different from firm work where assignments can be stand-alone and siloed, in house, you are a critical cog in the corporate wheel. Together, you and your partners make the business go ‘round. On Sunday, ACC’s Corporate Counsel University in Los Angeles kicked off with our second annual ACC Gives Back! — a service initiative that has “working together” at its core. This year we helped a local community in need by creating a garden space for the high school Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets (WESM).
According to Principle Robert Canosa-Carr, WESM is going through a transformation. In his speech thanking ACC for our participation, Canosa-Carr spoke about how projects like the garden have helped the school’s attendance rates rise from amongst the worst in Los Angeles, to the very best. WESM became a magnet school in 2011, with programs in environmental science, aviation and sports medicine. The garden will support the environmental science curriculum and teach the students about healthy eating.
“When the kids come in on Monday and see the changes, it tells them people care about them and their education,” said Canosa-Carr. “Five years from now, look Westchester up and you’ll see that we are one of the best high schools in the country. You’ll remember that even if just for a few hours, you were part of something amazing for these kids, so thank you so much.”
Armed with screwdrivers and green paint, 30 CCU attendees got to work with WESM parents, teachers, counselors, administration staff and neighbors. After four hours, what started as an empty plot was adorned with large garden-bed edgings and surrounded by freshly painted buildings. Volunteers who started as strangers sat next to each other on the bus ride back to the hotel, and like last year, ACC Gives Back! attendees reconnected throughout the conference. It is an experience that has proven to foster lasting relationships.
These relationships, like all those formed through ACC, make up another team with a common goal. As in-house counsel, you are all working toward the same goal of serving your clients’ legal needs ethically and cost efficiently. Just because you don’t all work for the same company, doesn’t mean you can’t work together to further your individual careers and the profession. Events like Sunday’s strengthen your network, so when you need advice or want to share best practices, you can call on Team ACC.
For more information about CCU or ACC Gives back, visit www.acc.com/education/ccu.