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Deadline: March 6, 2017

The Legal Department of the Year contest recognizes Florida’s top in-house legal departments in distinct categories. To qualify, the departments must be led by lawyers in Florida. The deadline for submission is March 6, 2017.  Please send your submissions to:  dbrrecognition@alm.com. And please include the company name and Florida In-House on the subject line.
 
Each essay should be no more than 500 words. And please include Law Department
information, as detailed below, to accompany each submission.
 
The awards are based on success stories: how a given corporate counsel’s office,
regardless of its size, came up with innovative programs, used ingenuity to solve
problems or surmounted a scarcity of resources and still delivered a high quality of
client service.
 
We’re also looking for those individual GCs who made an impact on their companies and the legal community in the past year. If you know a GC or in-house counsel who had an outstanding year, let us know and tell us why.
 
Among the general questions you should try to address in your entry:
• What makes your legal department special? Tell us how your department stands
out from the crowd.
• Have you faced any litigation challenges in the last year? If so, tell us about
them.
• How have you managed outside counsel?
• Have you had any important developments in your use of technology?
• Do you have significant pro bono programs? What kind of quality-of-life initiatives
have you attempted?
 
 
Law Department Information
Please provide the following information
 
• Company:
• Headquarters:
• Industry:
• Number of lawyers in Florida:
• Number of lawyers in the United States:
• Number of lawyers worldwide:
• Contact person (include phone and email):
 

CATEGORY 1: Legal Department of the Year

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words).

Among the areas you should address:

• Describe your most significant litigation activities in the last year, including pretrial achievements, trial victories, arbitrations and settlements.

• Describe any unique strategies for multiple litigation matters, such as suits involving the same product.

• Describe any out-of-the-ordinary nonlitigation matters in the last year, such as working on a major M&A transaction or responding to a government investigation.

• Describe any unique strategies for routine nonlitigation matters, such as patent applications or employment contracts.

• In describing all matters, please provide specific details about what your in-house lawyers did in each case. Please limit yourself to accomplishments that occurred during the past year (though you can describe work done in prior years that contributed to the accomplishment).

CATEGORY 2: Outside Counsel Management

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words).

Among the questions you should attempt to answer:

• How do you choose outside counsel: on a case-by-case basis or from a preferred providers list?

• Describe any innovative selection techniques to choose outside counsel that you used in 2016.

• By what percentage did your spending on outside counsel increase or decrease in 2016?

• Describe any innovative fee arrangements that you reached with outside counsel in 2016.

• Describe any other major innovations in managing outside counsel that you’ve put into place.

• Describe your most significant litigation activities in the last year, including pretrial achievements, trial victories, arbitrations and settlements.

CATEGORY 3: Technology

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words).

Among the questions you should attempt to answer:

• Describe any innovative uses of technology that your legal department put into place in during the last year. We’re specifically interested in how people use technology, and how it’s made work in the department easier and more efficient.

• Describe a problem you used technology to solve. Give specifics.

CATEGORY 4: Diversity and Quality of Life

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words).

Among the questions you should attempt to answer:

• What is the current percentage of women attorneys among your lawyers?

• How have these percentages changed from the previous year?

• What is the current percentage of minorities among your lawyers? (Please provide a breakdown by category: African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American and other minority American.) How have these percentages changed from the previous year?

• Describe in detail how you encourage and reward diversity — both in your legal department, and among your outside law firms.

• Do you have a defined route for the advancement of your in-house lawyers? If so, describe.

• Describe any innovative or flexible time arrangements for your in-house lawyers.

CATEGORY 5: Pro Bono and Community Service

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words).

Among the questions you should attempt to answer:

• Do you have a formal pro bono or community service program? Please describe. How do you encourage your in-house lawyers to participate? Are you a signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge?

• Describe significant pro bono or community service projects that your department worked on in the last year. Please provide the number of attorneys and hours contributed to each project.

• Describe how your pro bono efforts have had a positive impact on your community. Give specifics.

CATEGORY 6: Corporate Compliance

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words).

Among the questions you should attempt to answer:

• Describe any innovative compliance programs that your legal department put into place in the last year.

• How have you creatively communicated compliance information to all employees to ensure that they understand and adhere to company policy?

• How have you used technology to help manage your compliance program?

CATEGORY 7: Solo GCs

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words).

Among the questions you should attempt to answer:

• Solo GCs face their own unique challenges. Tell us how it works at this company, if applicable.

CATEGORY 8: Rising Stars

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words).

Among the questions you should attempt to answer:

• Does this company have an exceptional young up-and-comer in the legal department? If so, tell us what sets this person apart from their peers.

Contact DBR Managing Editor Catherine Wilson with any questions at cwilson@alm.com. The deadline for submissions is March 6, 2017.

Please send nomination forms by email to DBRRecognition@alm.com.