The Commercial Law Section is one of twenty-one (21) sections of the National Bar Association (“NBA”). For six of the last seven years, the CLS has been named the NBA “Section of the Year.” Among other things, the Section is committed to bringing its members together with in-house counsel at major corporations who seek to increase the diversity of their outside counsel ranks.
The Section’s commitment to this objective began more than twenty (20) years ago. In 1987 a small group within the National Bar Association Commercial Law Section met to consider ways for NBA members in business practice to meet with institutional corporate clients for the purpose of developing professional relationships and to create opportunities for institutional entities to seek out, meet and refer outside legal matters to African-American attorneys. After months of intensive planning, this core group organized the first Corporate Counsel Conference in 1988 in Chicago, Illinois.
Throughout the years, the Corporate Counsel Conference has continued to grow in size, visibility and influence. Over the years, it is estimated that over 1,000 NBA Commercial Law Section members have connected with well over one hundred (100) different corporations and their representatives through the Corporate Counsel Conference. Many have formed long-standing mutually beneficial attorney-client relationships. The Corporate Counsel Conference has also served as a model for similar programs that have subsequently been created by other organizations. We look forward to many more years of connecting the talented members of the National Bar Association Commercial Law Section with corporations who recognize diversity as an essential component to any commitment to excellence.
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