The Association of Corporate Counsel – St. Louis Chapter Receives 2020 Innovation Award

ACC STL Recognized for 2019 Diversity & Inclusion Summer Internship Program

Dec. 3, 2020 (St. Louis) – The Association of Corporate Counsel – St. Louis Chapter (ACC STL) received the 2020 Innovation Award from the national Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) for its 2019 Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Summer Internship Program.

Started in 2012, the D&I Committee began work to launch the Summer Internship Program as part of the Chapter’s commitment to develop diversity programs and initiatives throughout the St. Louis region. The program places a diverse student who has successfully completed his or her first year of law school in the legal department of a corporation, and in 2019 there were 6 student interns.

The Summer Internship Program is designed to provide students with exposure to and experience in in-house practice. It is also designed to be a “diversity pipeline,” opening up opportunities to populations within law schools that may lack access to and/or knowledge of in-house legal practice, such as students from demographic groups who are under-represented in the legal profession and students whose family backgrounds lack in professional careers, college degrees or exposure to the law, explained Vikas Sunkari, 2020 ACC STL D&I Summer Internship Program Chairperson, and Senior Legal Counsel, System Legal Affairs, SSMHealth.

Members of the D&I committee work with local companies to provide an in-house counsel internship for students to gain hands-on experience and receive valuable career advice from seasoned veterans. Each internship is a 40-hour work week over a 10-week period. The interns are exposed to issues in-house counsel of the host company experience each day.

“We are thrilled to receive the Innovation Award. The ACC STL has made a commitment to expand the programming, education, and events of the D&I Committee. This year, we’ve introduced and co-hosted with the ACC Kansas City Chapter a book club that has been extremely successful among our members and generated meaningful conversations,” said, Tamee Reese, 2020 ACC STL D&I Chairperson, and Assistant Vice President, Senior Legal Counsel, AT&T Mobility & Entertainment.

Introduced this year, the D&I Committee book club brings members together to learn from one another to discuss topics individuals may experience in their corporate environments and personal lives on matters regarding race, cultural, and interpersonal relationships. The programs involve Diversity & Inclusion experts who serve as moderators to guide the book discussions among the members.

About the ACC STL:

The Association for Corporate Counsel of St. Louis (ACC STL), the pre-eminent professional development organization serving in-house counsel, was founded in 1987. The St. Louis chapter has more than 620 members who represent more than 169 organizations.  The ACC STL has been recognized as one of the leading chapters in the country by the national Association of Corporate Counsel, having received the 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 Gold Level Award of Distinction, and selected for the 2018 Best Membership / Recruitment Award. To learn more, please visit