2014 Corporate Counsel Institute

The National LGBT Bar Association is proud to offer an expanded menu of programs for its corporate counsel members during the Lavender Law® Conference and Career Fair. For questions about these programs, contact D’Arcy Kemnitz at darcy@lgbtbar.org.

The Corporate Counsel Institute will be held on August 22, 2014 from 2:00pm – 5:30pm. Please see below for a complete schedule.


Friday, August 22, 2014


8:00 – 10:00am            Power Breakfasts

Hudson Market

Corporate counsel will have the opportunity to meet new outside counsel and network over (no-host) breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Power Breakfasts provide a casual atmosphere in which to make connections and meet other members of the LGBT legal community.


10:00 – 12:00pm           Speed Networking

Central Park East/West

Corporate Counsel Speed Networking provides focused, intimate networking opportunities for corporate legal departments to identify LGBT outside counsel specifically chosen to meet their needs based on area of practice, type of firm and geography. This program is an easy way for in-house counsel facing mandates to diversity their vendors/suppliers and to establish personal connections with outside lawyers in the LGBT community. Law firm associates and partners can practice their interview skills and business development pitches in a safe environment and begin the conversations that can lead to longer-term relationships.


2:00 – 5:30pm              Corporate Counsel Institute

Metropolitan East


2:00 – 2:15pm            State of Corporate Counsel

Senior Counsel and Director of Chief Legal Officer Services of the Association of Corporate Counsel Justin Connor will provide updates and insights on major issues currently facing corporate counsel such as relationships with outside counsel, managing a law department, and global trends. He will also explore what it means to be an attorney within a large corporation and how to engage with outside counsel.

Speaker: Justin Connor

2:15 – 2:30pm            Break


2:30 – 3:15pm            How to Get to the General Counsel Level

General Counsels are among the most influential positions in the legal profession. As the head of corporate legal departments, they face a unique set of challenges and play an integral role in organizations’ development. Speakers will discuss their career trajectory and day-to-day responsibilities with special focus on LGBT diversity within the profession. This panel will help attorneys interested in reaching the general counsel level understand how best to work their way up the corporate ladder, take advantage of mentors and the importance of diversity. Corporations and law firms are increasingly emphasizing having a variety of perspectives and experiences within an organization, making it necessary to understand how to leverage diversity to your advantage. The panel will discuss how to achieve the unique role of an LGBT general counsel and the importance of diversity in the profession.

Speakers: Fabio Silva, Patrick MacMurray, Romy Diaz, Gregory Jordan

3:15 – 3:30pm            Break


3:30 – 4:15pm            Preserving Your Company’s Insurance Claim

Companies frequently face government investigations, litigation, environmental, and other claims that should be covered by their insurance.  There are, however, many “hoops” to jump through to make sure insurance claims are preserved and, from the insurance company’s perspective, to make sure that they are properly included in developments and that only valid claims are paid.  Not following proper procedures can result in years of costly insurance litigation and/or denial of millions of dollars in claims. Our panel of experts from both the insurers perspective and those seeking insurance coverage will discuss some of the most frequent issues that arise in insurance coverage disputes and make recommendations on what you can do to preserve your company’s claim.

CLE Materials, CLE Materials 2, CLE Materials 3

Speakers: Nancy Halas, Ryan Nelson, Barry Parsons, Anna Engh


4:15 – 4:30pm            Break

4:30 – 5:30pm            Roundtable

The Corporate Counsel Roundtable is an opportunity for in-house counsel to share experiences and foster new ideas about career paths, mentorships, being out at work, increasing use of minority owned firms, and reducing outside counsel fees.

Coordinators: Sarah Goldfrank, Michael Rinzler, Justin Ruaysamran

Corporate Counsel Division

The National LGBT Bar Association’s corporate counsel division is comprised of professionals from around the country working to address the specific needs of the LGBT legal community within the corporate arena.  The group has organized networking events, presented awards, and developed best practices for companies large and small as they relate to LGBT issues.

Click here to learn more about the Corporate Counsel Division