NAMWOLF 2014 Annual Meeting and Law Firm Expo Recap

By: Crystal L. Van Der Putten, Livingston Law Firm, Walnut Creek, California

The 2014 NAMWOLF Annual Meeting and Law Firm Expo took place September 21-24 in beautiful Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this year. The meeting kicked off on Sunday morning with the Emerging Leaders Initiative’s Amazing Race Around Philadelphia – a scavenger hunt type event which allowed participants to meet other attendees and see some of the rich culture and history around town, including the Rocky statue, the Liberty Bell and other amazing landmarks.

From the Amazing Race, attendees could head to law firm cross-marketing speed dating or advisory council sessions for in-house counsel. The first cocktail reception took place Sunday evening at the Reading Terminal Market which stayed open late for NAMWOLF and provided exciting opportunities to try raw oyster shooters and win some great prizes donated by different law firm members.

Monday morning began with an inspirational general session featuring Rehema Ellis, Chief Education Correspondent from NBC news. Ms. Ellis shared stories about her journey and her son as she made her way around the room to shake hands with attendees (and make sure everyone was awake following the Sunday evening festivities!). The Law Firm Expo also took place Monday morning and provided attendees – law firm and in-house counsel members – the opportunity to get to know one another and do a little “shopping.” Following the Law Firm Expo was a luncheon featuring keynote speaker Don H. Liu, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Xerox Corporation. Mr. Liu shared his story with us – including one which had many attendees re-thinking future tuna fish sandwiches. Monday closed with the Gala Awards Cocktail Reception and Awards Dinner where NAMWOLF recognized this year’s recipient of the 2014 Award for Outstanding Service by an Advisory Council Member, Anthony E. Gay, Diversity Initiative Achievement Award recipient GlaxoSmithKline USA and 2014 Law Firm MVP Berens Miller, P.A.

On Tuesday the day started with an informative General Counsel Panel featuring panelists Kimberly D. Harris of NBCUniversal, Nancy Laben of Booz Allen Hamilton, Romulo Diaz, Jr. of PECO Energy Company and Wendy S. White of University of Pennsylvania & Penn Medicine moderated by Doug Gaston of Comcast Cable. At lunch attendees were treated to a talk from George K.H. Schell, chief marketing counsel of The Coca-Cola Company. At the end of the day attendees could relax during the cocktail reception at Lucky Strike and nibble on some good eats while bowling.

Throughout the Monday and Tuesday, members had the opportunity to earn continuing legal education credits on a variety of topics such as class actions and mass actions, the Fair Labor Standards Act and other labor and employment law topics, influencing juries, UCC Article 9, litigation strategies in patent litigation by non-practicing entities, and multiple ethics topics. Mixed in with the continuing legal education courses were opportunities to learn about succession planning for law firm members, encouraging legal department leadership to use NAMWOLF law firms, marketing best practices and more.

Throughout the meeting (but primarily on Wednesday) the many different NAMWOLF PACs also held meetings, roundtables and sessions for their members which allowed members to touch base on ongoing projects and get to know one another better.

Once again, the Annual Meeting and Law Firm Expo was a rousing success thanks to the hard work of the planning committee and the enthusiasm and participation of the attendees. The Annual Meeting and Law Firm Expo continues to grow each year and provide opportunities for minority and women-owned law firms to excel and gain ever-increasing recognition with in-house counsel and legal departments across the country. Thank you to everyone for participating and we look forward to next year’s Annual Meeting and Law Firm Expo in Hollywood, California from September 16-19, 2015.

If you missed this year’s Annual Meeting, or if you attended and need CLE materials, they can be found at NAMWOLF’s website.

Livingston Law Firm

Crystal Van Der Putten is an attorney at Livingston Law firm in Walnut Creek, California. She practices civil litigation defense focusing on products, premises, and general liability and commercial litigation matters.