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NECCA: Group Offers 'Sounding Board' For In-House Lawyers

Some 25 years ago, seven in-house lawyers began to meet informally over lunch to discuss issues in common to their in-house practices. The New England Corporate Counsel Association (NECCA) was created as a result, and from its modest beginnings, NECCA has grown to approximately 140 member attorneys representing over 100 companies.

NECCA meets monthly (usually on the first Wednesday of each month) from September to June in Waltham, Mass. Each meeting includes a two-hour seminar on a topic of interest to, and presented from, the perspective of in-house counsel by experts in the subject area.

The seminar is followed by a social break and luncheon, during which time members have the opportunity to socialize, discuss practice issues, network and/or ask questions of the seminar presenter(s). If there is sufficient interest, following certain luncheons, NECCA offers a career services roundtable for members and nonmembers. The seminar and lunch program run from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and members are of course free to pick and choose any individual component(s) (e.g., seminar, social hour, luncheon) to fit their schedules.

Through its formal programs and strength in numbers of fellow in-house lawyers, NECCA comprehensively addresses the issues and challenges presented within the sometimes comparatively isolated existence of in-house counsel. NECCA members receive practical and thorough CLE advice through the monthly seminars (the seminars are eligible for CLE credit in Rhode Island). In addition, NECCA members often share advice and experience with one another, answering practice questions that arise predictably or unpredictably.

Indeed, whether by e-mail, phone or in-person, NECCA provides a unique forum for networking and communication among its members about a wide range of issues, including legal questions, outside counsel recommendations, compensation and job opportunities

Seminars

The NECCA seminar schedule is designed to cover an eclectic group of subjects. The remaining schedule of seminars this year is arbitration on May 3 and patent law update on June 7.

We are currently planning for 2006-07, and to devise a seminar schedule with broad appeal, we invite your input – regardless of whether you are a current member. Feel free to suggest a topic in an e-mail to administration@necca.com. We are very much interested in the areas of law that are most important to in-house counsel even those topics that are not traditionally included in the seminar schedule.

Seminars over the last two years have covered a number of topics, including: labor and employment law; Internet law; intellectual property; real estate leasing; doing business overseas; emerging issues in compensation; corporate governance and ethics; strategies for responding to criminal investigations and related civil matters; and open source software.

Membership

Membership in NECCA is open to attorneys employed as in-house counsel or providing legal services to one or more companies (but not employed by, connected with, or a principal of, a law firm). Once a member, and as long as dues continue to be paid, one may continue his/her membership in NECCA even should his/her status as corporate counsel change.

The cost of an annual membership is $195, which includes the 10 monthly seminars, luncheons, and all other NECCA services.

For more information about NECCA, please call (617) 965-0003, or visit www.necca.com. For those who are eligible for membership and would like to attend a seminar and luncheon before deciding on the annual membership, you may make arrangements by calling the NECCA office or by e-mailing the office at administration@necca.com.

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