In-House Counsel

About the In-House Counsel Section

The all new In-House Counsel Section resulted from the collaborative effort of the inaugural CMBA Leadership Academy, when challenged to create a program that would better address the unique needs of In-House practitioners. Launched in July 2020, the In-House Counsel Section aims to:

  1. Provide a forum in which those who are in-house counsel at any level in for-profits, nonprofits or governmental agencies could have a designated space within the CMBA to collaborate and grow professionally in a private setting.  Specifically, many in-house counsel have expressed interest in creating a mechanism by which they can periodically meet with their peers – whether in person or virtually – outside of the presence of private practice lawyers.
  2. Assist and educate lawyers with Continuing Legal Education programs and CMBA Bar Journal articles, including partnering with other CMBA Sections and Committees.
  3. Provide networking and mentoring opportunities for members.
  4. Partner with the CMBA on pro bono and community service efforts.
  5. Support the efforts of our area law schools and their student initiatives.

Click here to read more about the Section! 

How to Join the Section

It's easy for CMBA members!  You must qualify as an In-House practitioner to join.   

Click here to email CMBA staff, or call us at 216-696-3525.  This section fee is waived if you join before June 30, 2021. 

Not a CMBA Member?  Visit for more info on how CMBA membership can benefit you!  


Bar Journal

Section members will provide articles for the February CMBA Bar Journal. 

CLE Programs

This Section sponsors and creates informative, innovative CLE programs on important topics, providing a convenient venue for our members to obtain continuing legal education and information on current developments.  We also provide the opportunity for roundtable discussion for both accountability and best practices.  Even post COVID-19, this Section will continue to offer a virtual option for participating, as members are scattered geographically.  The Section meets the first Thursday of each month. 

Email us your topic and speaker suggestions here.

So far, the Section has done the following programming:  

  • July – Roundtable & kickoff meeting
  • August - Attorney-client privilege + ethics  
  • September – Succession Planning
  • October – Law Department Operations Best Practices


  • November – Intellectual Property for In-House Counsel
  • January – Making yourself a valued business partner  
  • February – Internal employment investigations
  • March – Issues for the nonprofit in-house counsel
  • April – Spring Open Roundtable
  • May – Spring CLE, In House Forum
  • June – Diversity best practices


There are two subcommittees of this Section.  The first is the Women’s General Counsel subcommittee, which meets to quarterly to collaborate on the particular issues, challenges, and achievements of those women serving in the GC role.  The second subcommittee is focused on nonprofits and the unique matters that surround those who are in-house at nonprofit or similar entities.   

Pro Bono Initiative

The section is currently working on a mentorship program to assist minority lawyers on their path to In-House positions.  This initiative will be cultivated over the next fiscal year and launched in July of 2021. 

Did you know you can see your fellow section members through your account access?  Simply sign in and head to the "Current Participation" tab and click on your section. You'll then have access to fellow section members' public profiles.





Lisa Gasbarre Black
  Matt Kucharson
  Beth Ann Schenz
  Edward H. Blakemore
  Jeffrey Caso
 Co-Chair   Co-Chair   Vice-Chair
  Head of Programming
  Head of Communications
Catholic Charities Diocese of Cleveland 
   RPM International Inc.
  Huntington National Bank Legal Dept.
  Rockwell Automation
  Atlas RFID Solutions, LLC