Practice Area Committees Continue to Demonstrate Their Importance
By: Linda G. Burwell, PAC Oversight Director
As NAMWOLF continues to grow, NAMWOLF’s focus on its Practice Area Committees (PACs) is becoming increasingly important. Practice Area Committees are formed based upon the substantive area of law practiced and are one of the vehicles by which in-house counsel can find attorneys who practice in a specific area of law. PACs also serve as the vehicle for lawyers and law firms to work together and serve as resources for each others’ clients.
There are currently nine PACs: Insurance, IP, Labor & Employment, Transactional, Trials, White Collar, Products Liability, Restaurant, Retail and Hospitality, and Financial Services Litigation. Each PAC has its own leaders and committee structure. They have monthly (if not more) meetings with an approved budget and yearly goals and are engaged throughout the year.
While a couple of PACs are in their infancy, the PACs as a whole have been very busy this year. In addition to hosting business meetings, PAC specific meetings, and CLEs at the February Business Meeting and planning similar meetings for the upcoming Annual Meeting, the following samples are just some of the events the PACs have accomplished: The IP PAC hosted a mission to Minnesota in June to visit with IP lawyers at several large companies, such as the University of Minnesota, General Mills, US Bank, Best Buy, and 3M; The Labor & Employment PAC hosted a webinar in July on “Bullying” open to all member firms and in-house counsel; The Trials PAC is working on a video and is collaborating with The National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) on training; The White Collar PAC hosted a cocktail reception in New York in May to expose new companies to NAMWOLF; and the Restaurant, Retail and Hospitality PAC is working through its Advisory Council Liaison to gain exposure via speaking engagements with different Associations.
The PACs also continue to respond to requests made from corporate clients who already use NAMWOLF firms for certain matters but who are looking for firms with expertise in different areas and from corporations who are new to NAMWOLF, but send RFPs and RFIs because they would like to starting using or exploring using NAMWOLF firms. These requests are becoming commonplace for the PACs and more and more firms are getting exposure and work through this process. Each time a PAC interacts with a corporation, it exposes NAMWOLF as a whole and all of the PACs to that corporation. So, if you haven’t already been involved in a PAC, I strongly encourage you to explore the opportunities while at the Annual Meeting.
In addition to her many NAMWOLF roles, LINDA G. BURWELL formed National Employment Counsel, PLLC, to personally work with in-house attorneys, law firms and insurers. She specializes in independent workplace investigations, mediations, monitoring and consulting.