Michele Smith - In-House and Law Firm Management Committee Chair

Michele Smith

Committee Chair Corner - In-House and Law Firm Management Committee
Michele Smith
MehaffyWeber, P.C.

I just returned from California and the inspirational Midyear Meeting. It is always wonderful to connect with IADC members and to be inspired by fresh ideas and perspectives. The meeting made me re-examine the purpose of the In-House and Law Firm Management Committee (“IHLFM”). Long name – but for a reason!

The IHLFM Committee was formed in 2013 with a two-fold mission:

  1. To track, advise, and educate IADC members on the latest trends and developments pertaining to the “business of law” to help align the interests of in-house legal departments and law firms; and
  2. To establish best practices for providing excellent legal services in a cost efficient, economic, and profitable manner.

The IHLFM Committee strives to make our profession better. It has been my pleasure to serve as a second year Chair of this dynamic Committee.

The IHLFM Committee brings an interesting perspective to the IADC. Though not a traditional Substantive Law Committee, substantive law developments certainly impact our focus (for example, GDPR and cyber-security). And, this Committee examines issues directly affecting the management and business of law firms. It seeks to focus on core issues of relevance to our corporate counsel and insurance executives. This is the place to find out what your clients want and expect from outside counsel.

I highlight just a few of the activities of the IHLFM Committee from this year:

Podcast: We strive as a Committee to provide value to your IADC membership. This year, we are launching an exciting new podcast project. We anticipate rolling out our first Committee podcast this spring. These podcasts will be done as 30 minute unscripted interviews by a variety of people from different and diverse backgrounds; members, corporate clients, industry leaders, managing partners talking about issues affecting the practice (and business of law). Stay tuned…

Monthly Calls: Our Committee meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m. Central. We invite you to join us. We seek to have roundtable discussion on “hot topics” and to identify interesting programming ideas. Input is welcome and appreciated.

Programming: For a Committee this size, our programming has been off-the-charts in all areas. 

For example, at the Midyear Meeting last month, we participated in/sponsored the following incredible programs:

GDPR: Nine Months Later – The Impact in the EU on Enforcement and Compliance and in the US On Discovery

Pro Bono Partnerships With Clients: Three Case Studies

The Aftermath Of the Supreme Court’s Decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop

Can Freud Help? The Interplay of Psychology and Negotiations Strategy

The Cambridge Analytica Debacle: What Tech Firms Are Doing With Your Data and The Prospects For Litigation, Reputational Injury, and Other Consequences

Nothing is ever accomplished by one person and I want to thank the following talented group of Vice Chairs who have worked hard to take this Committee to the next level. They are creative. They are committed. They are outstanding:

Programs and Projects: 
Vice Chair - Tom Ganucheau, Beck Redden LLP, Houston, TX

Vice Chair - Henry Morrissette, Hand Arendall, L.L.C., Mobile, AL

Vice Chair - Amy Fisher, Ice Miller LLP, Indianapolis, IN

Co-Vice Chair - Jonathan Berkelhammer, Ellis & Winters, Greensboro, NC
Co-Vice Chair – Janelle L. Davis, Thompson & Knight, LLP, Dallas, TX

Vice Chair - Marty Healy, Porzio, Bromberg & Newman P.C., Morristown, NJ

Vice Chair - Kim Hardeman, Lederer Weston Craig PLC, Cedar Rapids, IA

Vice Chair - Steven Rosenhek, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, LLP, Toronto, ON Canada

Corporate Counsel:
Vice Chair - Paula Allan, Fed Ex, Moon Township, PA

Special Projects:
Co-Vice Chair - Paul Fires, Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby, LLP, Philadelphia, PA
Co-Vice Chair – Peggy Smith Bush, Southern Trial Counsel, PLC, Orlando, FL

Board Liaison:
Spencer Silverglate, Clarke Silverglate, P.A., Miami, FL

This Committee has something to offer everyone. We welcome your participation and would love to have you involved in shaping our focus and outreach. Please feel free to join us for our monthly calls or reach out to me or any of the Vice Chairs about ideas or questions you may have. This is a great Committee in which to become involved and make your IADC membership count. I hope to hear you on our next call.

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