SuperConference 2011 Session Highlights: Day 2

Day two of SuperConference 2011 was packed with informative sessions; InsideCounsel highlights a few of them.

“Social Media and the Employee”

Social Media Panel

An afternoon session titled “Social Media and the Employee” covered an array of social media issues, including formulating and enforcing corporate policies, avoiding pitfalls and assessing the values that social media can bring to a company.

Karen Klein, general counsel of Kayak.com, started the discussion with key considerations in-house counsel should bear in mind as they formulate their social media policies, including company culture and corporate goals.

Inside counsel should also write their policies with realistic responsibilities in mind. “It’s more realistic to train people [on a social media policy] than for legal to serve as the gatekeeper for every post coming out,” Klein said.

Venkat Balasubramani, principal at Focal PLLC, agreed. “It’s very impractical to review each piece of social media that comes out from your company,” he said. “To an extent, it would defeat the purpose of social media.”

In training employees on the company’s policy, Rich Meneghello, regional managing partner at Fisher & Phillips, said in-house counsel should engage employees in a way they can relate to make them more receptive to the rules. “Focus on the do’s over the don’ts,” he said.

Alfred Coleman, director and senior corporate counsel of RSM McGladrey Inc., reminded session attendees that companies must be careful in overly policing employee social media use in light of the National Labor Relation Board’s stance on recent court cases. “You have to avoid ‘chilling’ concerted protected activities,” he said.

“Becoming a Better Advocate”

In one of the final breakout sessions of SuperConference Day 2, panelists Janice Block, EVP, GC and chief compliance officer of Kaplan Higher Education, and Alan Tse, EVP and GC of Churchill Downs, lead the discussion in “Becoming a Better Advocate for Your Stretched Legal Department.” Topics included integrating your law department with the business, influencing the powers that be, solving interdepartmental challenges while becoming a better partner, challenging legal staff with professional development, and showing your department’s value.

The panelists offered excellent insight to attendees on many topics, but the crux of the discussion focused on in-house lawyers truly being a part of the business.

“Getting involved in the business allows you to become a better partner,” Tse told attendees. “Put yourself in their shoes.”

Block agreed, adding “Invite yourself to meetings. It will allow you to build influence and maintain relationships with key business people.”  

The discussion wrapped up with both panelists emphasizing the importance of showing your legal department’s value through metrics.

Read more SuperConference online and in the July issue of InsideCounsel. 

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Cathleen Flahardy

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