Exelon Kicks Off Midwest Sustainable Partnership Program

CHICAGO, IL – In April 2023, Exelon Corporation kicked off the first session of the LCLD Alumni Midwest Sustainable Partnership Program (SPP). Twenty-five new law firm partners and senior associates from the Midwest gathered at Exelon’s headquarters in Chicago and spent the day connecting and gaining insights into the world of in-house counsel and corporate legal needs.

2017 Fellow Melissa Lauderdale, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel & Chief of Staff, Exelon Corporation, opened the session with a welcome and introduced the keynote speaker, Sandra S. Yamate, Chief Executive Officer at the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP). Yamate then shared research on law firm diversity and provided advice on how to build relationships while potentially battling explicit bias.

Following the keynote, Kimberly A. Curry, Associate General Counsel, Pepco Holdings, LLC (an Exelon subsidiary), moderated a panel of in-house counsel that included Mai Der Shaw, Assistant General Counsel and Assistant Secretary, Harley-Davidson, Inc., Marilyn McClure-Demers, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, and Tracy Hannan, Associate General Counsel–Litigation, Exelon Corporation. Throughout the conversation, panelists stressed the importance of understanding a client’s business and their goals for the future. The panel provided participants with unique perspectives on what corporate legal departments require from their outside counsel.

Next, an Exelon 101 Panel provided an exclusive overview of Exelon’s business structure and legal needs across the organization. Moderated by Amy M. Tarr, Associate General Counsel, Exelon Corporation, the panel included David E. Ralph, Vice President and General Counsel, Baltimore Gas & Electric Company (an Exelon subsidiary), Nadim Kazi, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Exelon Corporation, and Denise Galambos, Senior Vice President–Customer Relations, Baltimore Gas & Electric Company.

Building upon the knowledge shared during the Exelon panel, Gayle E. Littleton, Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer at Exelon, sat for a fireside chat with Shaila Lakhani Ohri, former Assistant General Counsel–Innovation at Exelon. The conversation focused on Littleton’s career journey and her life-changing decisions while in public service, big law, and at a Fortune 100 company. Notably, she shared how each opportunity further developed the leadership skills she employs now as Exelon’s Chief Legal Officer.

The Midwest SPP session ended with closing remarks from LCLD President Robert Grey and a networking reception overlooking downtown Chicago.

Prior to our next session, cohort members will be paired with in-counsel counsel for quarterly meetings to exchange substantive feedback and legal guidance relevant to their practice areas through our Peer Partnership Program. The partnerships will be introduced and featured at our next Midwest SPP session in September 2023 at Harley-Davidson, Inc. The Midwest SPP program will culminate in April 2024 with its third – and final – session with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, where cohort members will practice pitching to a panel of in-house counsel.

The Sustainable Partnership Program (SPP) was created in 2017 to further develop the LCLD Alumni network and provide a mutual benefit between in-house and outside counsel in a structured format. Focused on building meaningful connections locally, SPP’s Peer Partnership Program brings together a small number of newer law firm partners/senior associates at the cusp of making partnership with in-house attorney decision-makers in the same geographic area. Assigned to pairs, they meet formally three times as a group and informally once per quarter. The Midwest is the third region to host SPP; they follow Mid-Atlantic and the West.