Shanna Strowbridge on the Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting

Shanna Strowbridge, Associate General Counsel, recently had the opportunity to attend and speak at the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Annual Meeting.

ACC is a “global bar association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel through information, education, networking opportunities and advocacy initiatives." They have more than 60 networks and chapters internationally.

Shanna has represented local and national developers and builders in acquisitions, sales and more. She has also advised clients on the resolution of environmental matters and the coordination of due diligence. In her in-house role, her business perspective is used to identify, understand and assist in resolving the corporation's legal and business concerns. Shanna has more than 20 years of legal experience and joined Team Opus in 2022.

Read about Shanna's experience and thoughts in this Q&A.

Tell us about your involvement with the ACC.
I joined the ACC in 2017 and first spoke at their annual conference in 2019.  I was asked to speak again (remotely) in 2000 and have attended annual conferences and other national forums over the years, both locally and nationally.

Each state has at least one chapter, and Minnesota's is well-organized and has a lot of great members. The fact Minnesota has so many Fortune 500 Companies means there are a lot of internal legal department personnel here, and it has been rewarding to get to know and attend educational seminars that fellow members and their law firm partners develop for the unique aspects encountered in corporate counsel work.

Why are you involved with ACC? How does this help you do your job better? 
There is a wealth of resources available, and I find that at least weekly I am reading an article on an upcoming legal or business trend, accessing forms or other tools to find language that can be utilized to bring clarity to our contracts or dialoguing with other members on problems one of us is faced with trying to solve. 

I was asked to join the Real Estate Network leadership committee in 2020 and have really enjoyed helping to plan industry-specific programming and monthly seminars with our group for the largest community of in-house legal counsel in the world. We have had really interesting speakers from the public and private sectors, and I have been able to welcome some of my favorite clients and legal professionals as speakers.

You spoke on a panel about landlords and tenants. Tell us about that.
I was asked to speak as part of a live negotiation scenario of several highly negotiated lease provisions. I was Team Landlord and provided insight on the position landlords often take on default and remedies, extension options and other economic related provisions within a lease. Many attendees are not real estate trained attorneys but have been asked to “get smart" about leases and the impact it has on a business (monetarily and otherwise), especially as the commercial real estate and office environment has radically changed post COVID.

Tell us about the panel you moderated. 
As the chair of our network's programming committee the past year, I was also asked to help produce another seminar for the annual meeting that focused on a timely subject. The ACC prides itself on having programming with a unique opportunity for audience participation – this panel was a choose your own adventure where the audience acted as the counsel for a company whose bank was in crisis and they had to make quick decisions on how to respond. The audience was polled and the story continued based on their feedback. The attorneys who presented worked with some of the largest companies and financial institutions in the world and provided really helpful insight.

What were highlights of the event for you? 
I was fortunate to be invited to a networking dinner with less than a dozen really dynamic women attorney leaders, including the Chief Legal Officer for the Jacksonville Jaguars, several tech company executives and the General Counsel of the NCAA's Southeastern Conference. It was filled with laughter and stories about overcoming challenges (sometimes with work and often with teenage children)!​

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