San Francisco, CA, February 22, 2019 --(PR.com
)-- By providing dynamic and engaging programming with top-grade production value, and featuring senior in-house lawyers from diverse backgrounds, newly launched In-House Focus
(IHF) goes well beyond meeting CLE mandates and offers curated content that is timely and relevant for the ever-evolving role of in-house counsel.
The launch comes as a survey shows in-house lawyers are hungry for professional development options more suited to their needs. IHF brings a strong commitment to the in-house legal community and a focus on providing programming tailored to its educational interests. The combination of superior video quality; engaging conversational format; diverse experiences and perspectives; and a stable of elite lawyers from corporate legal departments and leading law firms provides a considerably more valuable and entertaining experience.
“During my many years of working in the legal industry, it became clear to me that quality CLE offerings were utterly lacking. The technology is dated, the format is stale, and the presenters all look and sound the same,” said IHF Founder Andrew Dick. “We created IHF to reinvigorate CLE with new, fresh content that lawyers consume because it’s useful and enjoyable, not merely for credit. We are focused on the in-house legal community because we understand it requires a completely customized approach – one that addresses the unique issues and challenges faced by corporate legal departments.”
IHF launched its state-of-the-art platform in January with an initial release of nine free programs on a variety of topics, including legal operations, privacy, IPOs and government investigations. With dozens of programs in the pipeline, IHF features in-house leaders from several Fortune 500 and other publicly traded companies, including Microsoft, Eastman Kodak, Columbia Sportswear, Pearson, NTT Communications, Williams-Sonoma, and Marathon Petroleum. In each program, the in-house presenters engage in discussions with their trusted law firms, including AmLaw 100 stalwarts such as Sullivan & Cromwell, Orrick, DLA Piper, Norton Rose Fulbright, Seyfarth Shaw, Perkins Coie, Goodwin Procter and Morgan Lewis.
“This type of offering fills a void that has existed for years in the world of CLE,” said Ellen Ehrenpreis, partner at Orrick and moderator of IHF’s program entitled Corporate Venturing: The Role of In-House Counsel. “I am honored and thrilled to participate as a member of IHF’s inaugural faculty and believe that IHF’s partnership with top caliber, forward-thinking law firms that appreciate the value of working with their clients to generate great content for the in-house legal community is a win-win for everyone involved.”
The State of CLE – Challenges and Opportunities
To assess the overall quality of current online CLE programming and delivery from the in-house lawyer perspective, IHF surveyed nearly 250 general counsel, chief legal officers and corporate counsel during the fourth quarter of 2018. The survey results, which will be released broadly in mid-March, show an overwhelming majority of respondents (90%) would exceed the state bar mandate for CLE if more engaging options were available. Furthermore, almost two-thirds (62%) said that online CLE content is not adequately tailored to in-house lawyers, and 79% would be more inclined to watch a CLE program that included in-house lawyers as presenters.
When asked what would make CLE more pertinent to the in-house legal community, one general counsel suggested, “case studies and sample scenarios from current in-house lawyers.” Another respondent indicated a preference for presenters from both corporate legal departments and law firms, as they “best appreciate both sides of that working equation.”
“The current state of CLE needs to be completely revamped to meet the growing demand for quality content and legal information with more utility,” said Neal Suggs, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel – Commercial Group, Corporate, External and Legal Affairs at Microsoft, and a participant in IHF’s program entitled The Legal Intersection of Diversity and Technology. “When Andrew approached me, and we started discussing the clear and pressing need in the marketplace, I jumped at the opportunity to help improve how our profession engages with topical, comprehensive content in critical specialty areas.”
Elite, Diverse Practitioners
Another significant finding that emerged from IHF’s survey: While most respondents (70%) believe it’s important that CLE programming feature diverse lawyers, less than a third (30%) believe that diversity is adequately represented in offerings from other sources. Combine this with the finding that two-thirds of respondents believe that, for law firms, participating in CLE programs is an effective means of connecting diverse lawyers to clients, there is a strong business case for how improved programming can be a powerful networking and business development opportunity for diverse lawyers.
“With IHF, it’s not just about providing CLE. It’s about high-quality, diversity-fueled educational content that helps broker meaningful conversations between corporate legal departments and law firms,” said Jean Lee, CEO at the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), and a participant in IHF’s program entitled The Power of Difference: Driving Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession. “Better representation of successful and accomplished women and diverse lawyers – from some of the world’s biggest companies and brands – not only helps combat gender and racial bias, it’s an effective means of sourcing and developing new business relationships.”