I begin my term as Chair in unprecedented times. The pandemic has affected how each of us conducts our lives, how our organizations operate and what value we at the CCCA can provide to our members. We have all had to pivot to survive.
I am proud of how we have handled the crisis so far. At the outset, we moved quickly to curb spending and ensure financial stability, and redesigned existing services—and created new ones—to be delivered virtually. And throughout, we have ensured a strong and supportive presence, which was valuable to our members and sponsors.
We were lucky that we had a strong foundation of services to build on—we just had to rethink our offerings to fit this changing work environment. For instance, our renowned Business Leadership Program for In-House Counsel, offered through Canada’s leading business school, Rotman School of Management, moved to remote delivery—and demand was so high the September cohort is at capacity and we will be offering a second cohort in the new year!
Also, as part of our commitment to ensuring that the Rotman program represents the in-house bar in all its diversity, we now offer two full scholarships each cohort: the Diversity Scholarship and the new Scholarship for Black and Indigenous In-House Counsel.
We concluded Canada’s largest In-House Counsel Compensation and Career Survey early in 2020—the report is available for free to members. This year, we are offering more webinars on the results of the survey, focusing on the various sectors and regions, with up-to-date information on the impact of the pandemic.
We moved our flagship member publication online to provide more timely and relevant content. The In-House Edition is all about learning and sharing with your colleagues from across all sectors and locations. It a place for you to contribute to your community.
We developed new member benefits to support you, such as the webinar series, “In the House with In-House Counsel,” featuring interviews with leaders of legal teams across the country on challenges they face and solutions you can learn from. We are also constantly updating our professional development offerings, and recently announced our Fall Professional Development webinars—all free for members.
As you can see, although the pandemic has presented challenges, it has also provided opportunities. With our dedicated Board and strong membership, I believe we can implement changes that will stand the CCCA and the in-house profession in good stead long after the pandemic is over. Please contact me anytime with your feedback and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Margot Spence is the 2020-2021 CCCA Chair. She has been with the Association for her entire legal career, has served on the BC Branch and National Board, and is the regular host of the CCCA’s “In the House with In-House.” Based in Vancouver, she is the manager of a 15-lawyer corporate legal department at ICBC, a Crown corporation that sells auto insurance to the drivers of BC. Always open to new experiences, she has used her pandemic time to learn a new sport, pickle ball, and welcomes tips on improving her game.