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Instructions for Texas Lawyer
2017 Legal Departments of the Year Award


Deadline: March 28, 2017

Texas Lawyer‘s 2017 Legal Departments of the Year award recognizes the Lone Star State’s top in-house departments in six distinct categories: 1. General; 2. Outside Counsel Management; 3. Technology; 4. Diversity and Quality of Life; 5. Pro Bono and Community Service; and 6. Corporate Compliance. To qualify, the department must be led by a GC from Texas.

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 high quality client service.

You may enter as many categories as you choose. For each category, please submit a short essay of up to 1,000 words that explains how your legal department meets the criteria listed below. Please send all submissions to Editor in Chief Heather D. Nevitt at hnevitt@alm.com. The deadline for submissions is March 28.

 

Law Department Information

Please provide the following information:

• Full company name:

• Headquarters (address):

• Number of lawyers in Texas:

• Number of lawyers in the U.S.:

• Number of lawyers worldwide:

• Contact person (include telephone and email) whom we may contact with questions:


CATEGORY 1: Legal Department of the Year

Please submit a short essay (no more than 1000 words).

Among the questions you should attempt to answer:

 

• 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 1000 words).

Among the questions you should attempt to answer:

 

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

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

• 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 1000 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 1000 words).

Among the questions you should attempt to answer:

 

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

• What is the current percentage of minorities among your lawyers?

• 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 1000 words).

Among the questions you should attempt to answer:

 

• Do you have a formal pro bono program? Please describe. How do you encourage your in-house lawyers to participate?

• Describe significant pro bono or community service projects that your department worked on in the last year. Please provide the number of attorneys and amount of hours that were 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 1000 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?