Think back to school for a moment. Good grades and high SAT scores mattered most when getting into the college of your choice, but extra-curricular activities helped. Moreover, some of your best memories probably come from theater, sports, band, dance, etc. Similarly, moot court, law review and pro bono field work in law school can make a very positive impact in terms of building confidence and credentials. None of those time consuming responsibilities were actually required to graduate or practice law.
Most inside counsel are high achievers who made the time to build dynamic resumes and become well-rounded people in school and usually beyond. Yet, only a small percentage of inside counsel invest time in what I term extra-curricular work. This includes, specifically, speaking at legal conferences, writing articles and contributing to professional discussions online.