March 11, 2015
Message from the Law Department Management Commitee Chair  
Spotlight on Members  
ACC Board of Director Nominations  
The LDMC Marquee for AM2015: Your Preview of Coming Attractions  
Seyfarth Enters 2nd Year with LDMC  
Your Key to LDMC Resources  
ACC Survey Results: Thank You for Your Feedback!  
Upcoming Events  
ACC Docket  
ACC Resource Library  
Your Editors  
Virtual Library
Renew Your Membership
Update Your Records
Upcoming ACC Programs
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Updates From ACC Committees

Message from the Law Department Management Commitee Chair
Stephanie Lambert, Managing Counsel, Staples, Inc.

It’s no surprise that a lot has been written about leadership and what it takes to be a leader.  Books, internet articles and blogs contain helpful tips on being a leader.  There are professional development programs that train on leadership (and I’ve attended several!).  Everyone it seems wants to learn what it takes to be or become a successful leader.  But the reality is, while articles and trainings are helpful, on-the-job training leading a team of professionals over a period of time to achieve certain goals yields the real leadership lessons.  Thus, tips from leaders who have “been there and done that” so to speak, are clearly the most useful and practical leadership materials of all.

It is with this in mind that we recently asked four former chairs of the Law Department Management Committee to share their lessons learned as leaders leading this committee.  In the Member Spotlight below, you will find thoughts from four former leaders on four questions posed by our newsletter editor, Jennifer Nelson. As the current chair looking for leadership tips for my role, I am pleased to see one practical theme from the leaders’ responses.

I think it’s safe to say that, for each of these leaders, whether we call it people skills or soft skills, one theme –working well with people—turned out to be the secret sauce that helped each one lead successfully.  And lead successfully they did—it took several years of great leadership for our committee to be recognized by the ACC as the Large Committee of the Year this past year in New Orleans.   Indeed, it took years of talking with, encouraging, including, remembering, and crediting people and, above all, welcoming people to the team that helped achieve great results for our committee.   I couldn’t agree more with Ed Paulis’ recommendation that to be a successful leader you need to “develop the softer skills which allow you to effectively communicate, motivate and execute.”  In fact, it seems our members agree with him too since the desire to develop these softer skills drove our Annual Meeting program in New Orleans on “Emotional Intelligence” to be the most hotly attended program of all.  Softer skills exhibited by leaders help empower others to do great things and be successful.  Truly one mark of a great leader.
I could point out more leadership gems from these leaders in our Spotlight, but I will let you read for yourself what else they had to say about their leadership experiences with our committee. Hopefully you will come away with a practical tip or two for your own role at your company.  Or, even better, perhaps this will inspire you to come and do what they’ve done—learn a real leadership lesson for yourself by volunteering for the ACC.

Final note:  Our committee is not done with this topic of leadership. There is more to come on leadership this year—due to the overwhelming interest in this topic by committee members, the Executive Committee has decided to focus more attention on leadership topics from now until we meet again in Boston in October.  So stay tuned to our egroup, webcasts and monthly meetings for more tips on leadership from leaders like Shawn, Jeff, Ed and Gemma, who’ve all walked the talk.

Stephanie Lambert
Law Department Management Committee Chair
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Spotlight on Members

We asked the following former LDMC chairpersons to answer four key questions as to their experience in office: 

    Gemma F. Heckendorf, Associate General Counsel at Ciber, Inc., LDMC Chair from 2013 – 2014 (“GH”);




      Edward Paulis, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at Zurich North America Group, LDMC Chair from 2012 – 2013 (“EP”);


        Jeff  Levinson, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Netscout Systems, Inc., LDMC Chair from 2011 – 2012 (“JL”);


          Shawn Cheadle, General Counsel, Military Space at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, LDMC Chair from 2010 – 2011 (“SC”):



          1. What are some of the tactics you employed in your leadership roles in order to elicit member participation

          GH: Utilizing the format of the monthly membership call was very helpful. After particular Legal Quick Hits, we would often elaborate on issues or challenges and ask for examples and responses from members on the call to provide real time feedback on how they have handled similar issues. Most members are very ready to share, so carving time out to follow up with those people after the call was also invaluable, especially to explore opportunities for future LQH’s, resources to be developed, etc.  Making use of the eGroups forum was also helpful to elicit member participation, especially generating a topic and some potentially helpful samples of forms or policies to kick off the discussion. Remembering who you meet at Annual Meetings and Chapter Events is also useful for inviting those people to participate in greater capacities further down the road!

          EP: My view is that ACC provides a different value proposition for different members. For some, ACC is the go-to source for robust resources on topics of interest to the in-house bar, or for staying on top of law department trends. For others, ACC provides networking, speaking, writing, or leadership opportunities. And with about 5,000 members, the LDMC had a tremendous base of talent to pull from. My approach to eliciting membership participation was to educate the membership on all that LDMC, with its focus on leadership, strategy and operations, had to offer through member communications (eGroups) and meetings, and to be welcoming of whatever level of participation fulfilled both the committee and member’s particular needs.


          • Round robin at the beginning of each call (when our numbers weren’t big, then it was who is new or first time caller)
          • Call for volunteers in the eGroup messages and at Annual Meeting Programming
          • Call for Speakers (when appropriate – building a panel or replacing a panelist who suddenly drops out)
          • Surveys – We conducted ACC LDMC surveys and the sponsor conducted surveys with permission to access ACC’s LDMC listing.


          • Of course, for many of us who followed, Shawn instituted the right practices – and an outstanding attitude -- from the start.  So I will add just a few more thoughts.  
          • "Recruit" people at the annual meeting.  Talk up the Committee and let them know that we would like to have them on the leadership team.  I can tell you this worked out really well!

          2. What is the one key lesson you learned on leadership as chair of LDMC and how it translates into advice for GC/CLOs who are leading their law departments?

          GH: So much of leadership depends on the skills and willingness of your fellow leaders. Leadership is not a solo activity – it is a team sport, regardless of title, and this could not have been more true of the Executive team of the LDMC. So the one key lesson is to surround yourself with good people – people who are willing to take initiative, be proactive, put in the hours, and quite frankly, have a mentality of service.

          EP: Assuming a leadership role, whether as chair of a committee or as a GC/CLO, requires that your focus be broader than substantive competence. You must develop the softer people skills which allow you to effectively communicate, motivate and execute.

          SC: Request, listen to, and respond to your staff (i.e., ACC members) feedback; you can only improve what you measure and when it comes to staff you need to measure their satisfaction (which can be related to client, pay, future, benefits, freedom, how well they perceive their value, and more).

          JL: See my earlier point – if you recruit good people, and then make sure they (the leadership team) has a shared mission – which we summarized at LDMC with "Leadership/Strategy/Operations" as focus areas for our members – then people will be able to carry the work.  Be sure to check in with the exec team and members individually from time to time.  A key for us was that everyone bought into the purpose - serving the members.

          3. When leading a virtual team, what is the key for success (i.e. how do you deal with varying levels of expertise and lack of volunteers/interest in members? How do you drive the effort to make sure each volunteer carries their weight/responsibilities?)

          GH: Be the first to volunteer and put in the hours. Others will follow your lead. People are generally spurned on when they see great levels of effort by others, and are keen to contribute in similar fashions. Sometimes delegation only goes so far – so make activities and tasks team-oriented, rather than solo efforts. That way the burden does not seem so great. Don’t be afraid to ask people to step up and take on new activities. Having one on one conversations with people in different time-zones is also helpful – whilst it might seem time-consuming, the engagement usually pays off, and empowers those that may not feel such in group settings/team calls.

          EP: Trust your people, and let them shine. As the leader of a remote and capable team, with no history together and disparate goals, could I get the team to wholeheartedly support my ideas? Support, maybe; wholeheartedly, probably not. Empower your people to own their ideas, provide support when needed, hold them accountable through periodic meetings and report outs, and publicly acknowledge them for their efforts and achievements. Of course, when I was chair of LDMC I was incredibly fortunate to work with an engaged and brilliant team who made this sound easy.


          • Be time zone sensitive – 7:00 a.m. to west coast participants is not an inclusive start time; vary the times or settle on the proper time for the team.
          • In certain instances, we requested periodic meetings with underperforming members to assess their interest, inspire them to close on commitments, or to request support from others to help them (co-chairs or subcommittee membership can really help).
          • We occasionally just had to replace a member (I think twice) and gave them a nice thank you and good bye note – we have to move on.
          • Encouraging Annual Meeting attendance worked wonders. I think I’ve met in person at least once every member who ever served on the LDMC. Those breakfast and lunch meetings create a buzz that carries the committee into the New Year with focus and energy. Members seem to respond to the value we place on them and they pull through.
          • Give credit and say thank you in open forums to all who volunteer. It’s an amazing process.


          • Use the annual meeting to see the people who are on the phone and reconnect with old friends.
          • Sometimes you do have to manage your team, as Shawn mentions.
          • Good ideas above, not much more to add to that.

          4. How did you manage your time and energy to lead the team in addition to your day job?

          GH: Prioritize! Do that which you absolutely must get done first – and the rest will have to wait. A stitch in time saves nine – that saying could not be truer for the volunteer work we do for ACC committees!

          EP: It is for me, and I imagine many who choose a leadership path within ACC, a labor of love. Being organized helps, as does the support of my company which also benefits from my involvement with ACC.


          • There’s an energy and passion I get in supporting ACC, creating value to its members, improving career opportunities, and building friendships that will last a lifetime. So, I tend to always find extra time in the day to prepare information, read someone’s article, make an ACC call, or organize an agenda.
          • Keeping meetings calendared usually has helped me avoid conflicts with work schedule during the day.
          • And, having my employer’s commitment to the community (both locally and nationally) has provided dividends to the company as I became a face in the crowd associated with both LM and ACC. My employers (3 during ACC membership) have always believed in this commitment and allowed my volunteering as well as supported it. LM almost expects it! So, that’s tremendous support that allows me to set meetings for ACC and keep commitments (Although I was stuck in a classified area – no cell, connectivity – and totally missed an LMDC call that I was supposed to chair! Jeff carried the day, bless his heart.)

          JL: Like anything, make it a priority and balance around it.  Some days easier said than done.  But LDMC was an important commitment that I wanted to make and continued to support

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          ACC Board of Director Nominations

          ACC is seeking potential leaders of the in-house bar to be considered for its Board of Directors. Serving a three-year volunteer term offers the opportunity to shape the future of ACC. The principal criteria that the Nominating Committee seeks are a commitment and willingness to work on behalf of ACC, as well as a candidate's general recognition as a leader by business and legal professionals. Nominations of candidates are due by Friday, March 13, 2015. To find out more information about further criteria and the application process, please click here.

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          The LDMC Marquee for AM2015: Your Preview of Coming Attractions
          Stephen Roth, VP and General Counsel, Jewelry Television, LDMC Program Co-chair

          Believe it or not, the stage is already being set for the 2015 ACC Annual Meeting in October. At this point in the year, you may be considering whether you’ll attend. If the LDMC programs are any indication, the Annual Meeting will be well worth the trip. Let us give you a sneak peek, and you’ll see what we mean.

          In choosing our topics, we have focused on what is important to you. A couple of recent surveys have indicated that several topics are top of mind with ACC members: strategy, leadership, CLO/GC issues, negotiations, and contract management. Our lineup will address these topics and more.

          Here is your preview of our program submissions for AM2015:
          • The Best App Standing—60 Wicked Good Apps Sure to Make You More Productive.
          • Owning the Room: Steps to Energizing Your Executive Presence—and Your Impact.
          • Turbocharged Strategic Planning: Driving Results in an Era of Fast-Paced Global Change.   
          • Get out Your Clam Diggers: Extracting Efficiencies from High-volume Contract Processes.
          • We're not in Kansas Anymore: Survival Skills for the 21st Century GC.

          As you can see, there is a hot topic for everyone. The LDMC lineup features programs that are timely, relevant and just plain fun. Please plan to join us in Boston! For registration information, please click here.

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          Sponsor Highlights

          Seyfarth Enters 2nd Year with LDMC

          Hello, LDMC members. On behalf of everyone at Seyfarth Shaw, we are excited to be continuing as the official sponsor of the Law Department Management Committee for 2015.

          As we all are experiencing first-hand, the legal profession is rapidly evolving, as are the demands on in-house counsel. Law department management issues are at the forefront of this sea change. We at Seyfarth are working with the Law Department Management Committee’s leadership to help build a stronger dialog with you about the issues you face, new ways to help prevent challenges from becoming problems, and how to tackle any hurdles along the way.  

          Throughout the year, look for resources from Seyfarth and the LDMC in print, in person, on the web and “live” online, all designed to help you lead the way for your legal team, your internal clients and your organization. We’ll focus on pure management issues, innovation/technology and the intersection between legal management and substantive legal issues.

          In that spirit, here is a link to a key resource we think you’ll enjoy:  Check out Seytlines, -- a blog on legal innovation, value and management from Ken Grady, former general counsel and a current leader in Lean for legal. Insightful and entertaining, Seytlines has a following of about 2,000 visitors each month, and its wisdom is often tweeted and retweeted.

          Let’s keep the conversation going. Join the LDMC monthly conference calls, attend one of the ACC’s seminars, or plan ahead for the ACC Annual Meeting in October. If you want to learn more about Seyfarth and our work with ACC and the LDMC, feel free to reach out --

          Here’s to a very successful year!
          Joseph Spratt, Director of Communications, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

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          Your Key to LDMC Resources

          The Law Department Management Committee has compiled a veritable “treasure trove” of resources on topics of member interest. With the help of sponsor Seyfarth Shaw, we have created a centralized database of programs and related resources from the LDMC. The database has been organized by area of interest. It includes easy-to-follow instructions to search and find, and includes hyperlinks to numerous source documents. We invite you to take a look and explore. You’ll find the New Resource Database for LDM Members on our committee page.

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          ACC Survey Results: Thank You for Your Feedback!
          Stephanie Lambert, Managing Counsel, Staples, Inc., LDMC Chairperson

          A huge thank you to the record number of participants in the committee member survey conducted in late fall.  The survey revealed that many of you value the committee resources in the Virtual library as well as the Webcasts and Docket articles on the ACC website.  From a subject matter perspective, topics such as strategy and planning, CLO/GC issues and Metrics and Benchmarking were rated as having high interest by those who responded. There is considerably less interest in topics such as outsourcing and client relationship and training.  We are listening to you and planning to incorporate your ideas into our programming in 2015 through the resources you value most.  For instance, in response to requests for more GC/CLO focused resources, we have added a GC/CLO Committee Chairperson role to fill this need. Those who volunteered to be more involved will be contacted shortly with suggested areas of interest.  We are working with the ACC to consider ways to improve the notice and registration for meetings and webcasts.  We always appreciate and value your feedback on ways we can improve and make the committee’s activities relevant to your needs.  Please do not hesitate to contact me at, or Steven Mashal, vice-chair, at, any time with your ideas and comments.
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          Upcoming Events

          Compliance Summit – April 28, 2015

          Have you mastered the game of global privacy compliance?

          On Tuesday, April 28, the Law Department Management Committee and Seyfarth Shaw will conduct an interactive peer-learning session called “The Global Compliance Game.” This session will examine the challenges of multi-jurisdictional compliance issues on data privacy through the lens of internal data sharing.  
          The 90-minute session promises to be a fast-paced, thought-provoking and enjoyable learning opportunity. The session is part of the ACC’s first Advanced Compliance Education Summit (ACES) April 26-28 in New Orleans. This two-day conference offers two tracks of advanced CLE/CPD programming on timely and relevant compliance topics.

          Use this link for more information and registration


          Legal Service Management Workshop – April 21-22, 2015

          Want to create greater value with your outside counsel relationships?

          On April 21-22 in Chicago, get some hands-on answers on how to build stronger, more strategic and rewarding business relationships with outside counsel. The approaches may surprise you, but this 2-day workshop from the ACC Value Challenge shows you that some of the secrets to better relationships include process improvement, project management, data analysis and value-based fees. A faculty team of seven in-house and law firm leaders will lead the Legal Services Management workshop The event brings together in-house and outside counsel for a highly interactive workshop.

          Use this link for more information and registration.

          LDMC Upcoming Events

          For a complete listing of upcoming events, as well as past presentations in law department management, please visit the ACC LDMC webpage.

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          ACC Docket

          ACC DOCKET 2015 Calendar Topics and Submission Deadlines:

          • January/February: Ethics & Compliance
          • March: Law Department Management
          • April: HR & Employment
          • May: Litigation Management
          • June: Cross Borders
          • July/August: Career [1st draft due by April 24, 2015]
          • September: Technology & IP [1st draft due by June 12, 2015]
          • October: Leading Practices [1st draft due by July 10, 2015]
          • November: Environmental & Energy [1st draft due by August 14, 2015]
          • December: Risk Assessment & Management [1st draft due by September 11, 2015]

          Note: there are many opportunities to partner with law firms to write articles and that we can accommodate matching them up via ACC. Tiffani Alexander, Editor in Chief, ACC Docket, shares the following information (in addition to the helpful author guidelines posted at this link):

          1. Author Teams.  On the topic of law firm / in house counsel teams, there appears to be no shortage of PR firms, Communications firms, and Law firms submitting ideas to the Docket and; Tiffani notes to these pitch-makers that the in-house counsel on the team will lead the byline.  Interested in-house authors interested in “matchmaking” for such an endeavor, may contact Jeff Brown, LDMC Publications Co-Chairperson at

          2. International Diversity.  The ACC Docket and web channels have undertaken a strong push to recruit international authors, reflecting the need to serve and respond to the growth in international ACC membership.  

          3. Outlets.  There are multiple outlets for publication.  The ACC Docket is planned well in advance; for example, submissions for June 2015 are underway, and May is full.  There are multiple outlets for publication, including:, Profiles, Day in the Life, Skype interviews, etc.

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          ACC Resource Library

          The following (in no particular order) are a few thought-provoking items on the topic of “Leadership,” chosen from the many articles, presentations, and other materials accessible through the ACC Resource Library:

          Visit the ACC Resource Library often for more practical tips on being an effective leader, both in-house and beyond.

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          Your Editors


          Jennifer F. Nelson, Esq.
          Vice President and General Counsel, Maesa LLC
          [LDMC Publications Subcommittee Co-Chairperson]


          Jeff Brown, Esq.
          General Counsel, Telus
          [LDMC Publications Subcommittee Co-Chairperson]

          Jason M. Brocks, Esq.

          Assistant General Counsel, Benecard

          If you have any suggestions or ideas for the newsletter, please contact the editors.

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