This year, we celebrate not only the founding of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), but also 30 years of ACC working to support, further and create change within the in-house community. I cannot express how excited and honored I am to be a part of such a community and organization.
I was actually hired out of law school by one of ACC’s founders, Donald P. Walsh, GC of Sunoco. I joined both Sunoco and ACC in 1986 –– only four years after the association was founded. I remember and still employ the knowledge that Don passed on to me as a young attorney, just starting out in corporate practice. That same wisdom –– along with that of the other ACC founding members, Robert S. Banks, Philip M. Knox, Jr ., Lawrence B. Kraus, Carl D. Liggio, Stephen B. Middlebrook, William C. Weitzel, Jr., Irving B. Yoskowitz and Guy A. Zoghby –– created the foundation of an organization that would go on to become the “premiere” global bar association dedicated to in-house counsel. For that, we all owe them a debt of gratitude.
ACC was formed to serve the professional and business interests of lawyers who practice in legal departments of corporations, associations and other private-sector organizations around the world. Put simply, ACC helps in-house counsel serve their clients, helping to further the business while complying with ever-changing regulations and laws. We do this through tailored resources — educational programs, meetings, and materials — and unique networking opportunities throughout our global membership.
Today, ACC continues the legacy that began in 1982, working diligently to improve upon it. Our 54 chapters, 18 committees and 30,000 members are the ones who really deserve the praise and have every reason to celebrate. I would personally like to thank you all, first and foremost, for joining and affiliating with ACC over the years, allowing our community to benefit from such a rich network of in-house counsel from all over the world.
As in-house counsel have become even more visible in the business world, with increased accountability, regulations, and responsibilities –– all while expected to do their job on or under budget and, above all else, in compliance –– ACC has not faltered in its efforts to protect the rights of in-house counsel. The advocacy efforts of the organization are made that much stronger by the members who support them, while continuing to step up to the raised bar in corporate practice. So, again, I thank and celebrate you!
Moving forward, I see ACC continuing to grow by leaps and bounds, with new members who will greatly enhance the association through their enthusiasm, dedication and pure desire to contribute to the world’s leading network of in-house counsel. That, coupled with the knowledge and wisdom of those who’ve been members for years, like my first in-house boss at Sunoco, leads me to believe that we will be celebrating even more success, innovation and growth within the legal profession 30 years from now.
For additional information about ACC’s 30th Anniversary, including upcoming member profiles, or local events and programs, visit www.acc.com/30.