A Note from our CEO

By: Joel Stern, NAMWOLF

Is it just me or does time fly faster the older you get? I can’t believe we are almost done with 2014. In my previous roles managing in-house legal groups, I always told my team that December is a time to celebrate both work and family accomplishments, enjoy down time during the holiday season, and rest up for the next year because it’s going to be crazier and more exciting than the preceding year.

For NAMWOLF, 2014 has been an exciting and very successful year. We held two meetings starting with the Miami “Back to Business” meeting” and most recently our Philadelphia Annual Meeting.  At our Annual Meeting, we had a record number of sponsors (corporations, vendors and law firms), in-house attendees and overall attendees. I’m especially pleased that many of our in-house brought several attorneys to the meetings and we also had many new corporations attend. We had some great speakers, panels and CLE sessions as well as some fun evening entertainment. I know it wouldn’t surprise you to know that Jane and the NAMWOLF Team are already focused on San Antonio and Hollywood and working with our law firm and in-house chairs to make our 2015 meetings the best ever.

In 2014, NAMWOLF also added several Member Firms and now there are over 130 law firms in 36 states and Puerto Rico with many more lining up to join. We upgraded our website including our Member Firm search engine capabilities and now have both law firms and in-house legal using the website to find firms and stay up to date on NAMWOLF news. We revamped our Practice Area Committees and we added several more PACs. I envision seeing many great things come out of our PACs in 2015. Working with in-house counsel, we also revitalized our Namwolf Partner Program while actively supporting the Inclusion Initiative, which continues to have amazing results. I’m very excited to report that we recently signed an MOU with the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Association in an effort to have more business steered towards our firms.  We also crafted our first Advocacy Article on the adverse impact of the outside counsel RFP process on minority and women owned firms. This article is getting rave reviews from both in-house lawyers and law firms and accomplishing what we intended; getting everyone to think about this issue and the steps we can take to ensure that minority and women owned law firms have the opportunity to compete for and ultimately win business even as legal groups focus on consolidation of the firms it uses.  We also transformed our National Development Committee and the way we look at sponsorships. Finally, we are now using social media regularly to get our messaging out so please check LinkedIn, Twitter and our website to get the latest news about NAMWOLF and the lawyers that are a part of it.

There is nothing more important to me than the NAMWOLF brand and doing everything we can to enhance the brand of NAMWOLF and the Member Firms that are a part of our great organization. Many of our successes in 2014 were focused on this priority.

While the NAMWOLF Board judges 2014 a great success, we know we have many challenges ahead of us in 2015 and look forward to working together with our law firms, in-house and the NAMWOLF team to accomplish even more. I hope you make time to attend our Business Meeting in San Antonio on February 8-10 and help us with our 2015 planning. The meeting is going to focus on opportunities for lawyers in similar practice areas to work with each other thanks to a great idea from our Advisory Counsel. I also urge you to continue making the investments into this great organization to help us get better and get closer to attaining our mission and vision. We appreciate your support and passion as well as the time and effort many of you put into this organization.

I would be remiss if I didn’t wish everyone a very happy and healthy holiday and a great New Year.  I hope 2015 is a great year for all of you both professionally and personally.