Education, Recreation, and Networking in Support of Law Students
Frank Hiscox of Lewis & Roca claims the 2010 Lawyers Cup Challenge trophy
FOR THE LAST SEVEN YEARS, MCCA HAS INVITED THE COUNTRY’S LEADING ATTORNEYS to Marriott’s Doral Golf Resort & Spa for the General Counsel Invitational (GCI) Diversity Leadership Summit. The event is the primary fundraiser for MCCA’s Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship Program, which helps economically disadvantaged law students pay for their education.
This year’s GCI was held April 22 – 24. The first event was the competitive Lawyer’s Cup Challenge tournament (LCC). Sponsored by Marriott, the LCC is an individual PGA-style competition held on Doral’s Gold Course. Long-time attendee Frank Hiscox, a partner at Lewis & Roca, shot a 76 with a handicap net of 68 to edge out defending champion Jim Pinto of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. Hiscox claimed the oversized trophy and secured the title of best golfer in the MCCA network for the year. “It was great fun, and a pretty big surprise, to win the Lawyer’s Cup individual event,” he exclaims. “Less fun was learning that I would need to lug the enormous trophy back home with me the next morning—but hey, small price to pay for bragging rights!”
The GCI contest, a popular eighteen-hole “best ball” team tournament, was held on the Blue Monster course, which had hosted Florida’s first Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) event in 1962, and still challenges golfers today. The famous par-4 eighteenth hole consistently is ranked as one of the top 100 hardest holes in golf. This year’s contest was won by Billy Martin of Howrey, Eve Wright of The Heat Group, and celebrity guest and former pro basketball star Penny Hardaway. The trio’s team score was 16 under par, for a total of 55.
The group-play tournament is an ideal time to meet fellow golfers. “As Jim Pinto said at this year’s awards ceremony, the GCI event is the best networking event ever,” Hiscox explains.
Womble Carlyle’s Kevin Lyn agrees. “The intimate size of the event, and the well-balanced mix of educational and social programs, allowed me to meet and make meaningful connections with many different people. For me, it quickly became like a gathering of old friends, instead of an occasion where I was meeting these folks for the first time.”
With the support the Association of Corporate Counsel and our sponsors, along with the three-day event’s many participants, MCCA was able to raise more than $330,000 to help fund MCCA’s scholarship program. This year’s sponsors included Womble Carlyle; Latham & Watkins; Howrey; Marriott; Vault; MillerCoors; Under Armour; Mercedes-Benz USA; Macy’s; Microsoft; Shell Oil Company; Pfizer; American Airlines; Huron Consulting Group; Seyfarth Shaw; Stinson Morrison Hecker; Littler Mendelson; Greenberg Traurig; Brinks Hofer, Gilson & Lione; Gauthier, Houghtaling & Williams; Duane Morris; Levick Strategic Communications; and General Mills.
“The initial attraction [for attending] was the appeal of contributing to a worthwhile cause, while also helping my firm learn ways to improve its diversity,” Hiscox notes. “Of course,” he concedes, “it didn’t hurt that there was golf…”
Brent Clinksale (r) of Womble Carlyle presents awards to the winners of the 2010 GCI competition. From left: Billy Martin of Howrey; Eve Wright of The Heat Group; and celebrity guest Penny Hardaway.
This year’s summit hosted four educational sessions over the three-day event. Guests engaged in panel discussions on topics such as personal brand, the road to general counsel, diversity leadership, and crisis management. “The panelists were well-selected and able to lend their experience and expertise to the topics, particularly from a minority’s perspective,” shares Lyn. “It was interesting to hear from these panelists, since I was also able to interact with several outside the educational program.”
MCCA’s scholarship program continues to provide assistance to economically disadvantaged future lawyers at a time when corporate law is facing new challenges in the face of globalization. Today’s interdependent economy and interconnected world result in a need for increased diversification to handle legal affairs domestically as well as internationally. Another impetus for the program is to help offset the increasingly dwindling resources for minority students.
“Attending the GCI for the first time this year was a phenomenal experience,” reflects Haris Khan, a young attorney who received a MCCA scholarship as a law student. “The event helped me appreciate MCCA’s hard work in developing its successful scholarship program, and the magnanimous nature of many of its sponsors. I would not be here without this support. Further, I felt that the event directly impacted my career. From the informative CLEs to the myriad relationship-building opportunities, this was a well-rounded event—one that I look forward to participating in year after year.”
For information on how you can take part in the 8th Annual GCI Diversity Leadership Summit in 2011, please contact Jennifer Chen, MCCA’s Director of Special Events, at email@example.com. DB
From the July/August 2010 issue of Diversity & The Bar®