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Abrams: Get Involved – Lots to Feel Good About

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abrams-jeff-indybarI walked around the office at the end of last month asking attorneys if they had any interest in getting more involved with the Indianapolis Bar Association. A few of the attorneys looked at me with a “deer in headlights” look and told me that they really did not know a lot about the opportunities for participation with the IndyBar. I then mentioned to them several committees, programs and other opportunities where the glaze in their eyes became much more focused.

The Indianapolis Bar Association provides numerous programs, benefits and services to our community and provides you with an opportunity to give time or resources to those that interest you. Please consider getting more involved with the IndyBar in any of the following, which are not entirely inclusive since we provide in excess of 75 opportunities for involvement.

Bar Leader Series, Bar Leader Projects and Bar Leader Graduate Series. Each year the Bar Leader Committee selects 25 young lawyers to serve in the Bar Leader Series. These attorneys meet monthly and learn about all aspects of the legal community, with notable public leaders educating them about all aspects of the law and Indianapolis. They also participate in smaller groups to provide some benefit to a local organization. These have ranged from helping students at an inner-city school learn about golf and the disciplines attendant to it as well as seeking donations from friends and co-workers for Dress for Success.

You can serve on the Pro Bono Committee and/or assist in any of the numerous projects they have including Ask A Lawyer, Commonly Asked Questions About Indiana Law, Homeless Project, Hospice Project, Legal Line, Marion Superior Court Pro Bono Project or Pro Bono Alliance with the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society. I could go on and on about the benefits and how rewarding it is to participate in any of these programs, but I would not have any space left on this page for any other programs. Suffice it to say that they are incredibly worthy programs that help people in dire need of our legal services and advice.

Our Public Outreach Committee provides opportunities for students at Shortridge High School to shadow you for a day if the student has any interest in the legal profession. Students spend part of a day with you, watching you, sitting with you and attending all daily activities. This can be incredibly rewarding for students interested in legal careers and personally very gratifying to know that you may have encouraged someone who otherwise would not have dreamed about becoming a lawyer to seriously consider how he or she can ultimately join our Bar following graduation.

The Paralegal Committee and Criminal Justice Section hold collection drives for the city’s “Bears on Patrol” program, where stuffed bears are donated to law enforcement, fire fighters and EMS personnel who give them to children when they are involved with traumatic experiences. This can be amazingly comforting to young people during a difficult time in their life.

The Law Student Division provides opportunities for students to have breakfast with bar leaders on a regular basis. These informal meetings are small in size where attorneys educate a law student on the workings of the practice of law and the Indianapolis Bar Association. Some of these breakfasts have led to good friendships between lawyers and law students and also job opportunities.

Our Senior Counsel Division (attorneys with 25 years of practice or over the age of 50) provides a Safe Ask Program where inexperienced attorneys can contact senior counsel and ask any questions relating to the practice. These are great mentoring programs that not everyone is aware of, and we can always use more seasoned attorneys to help a young attorney pursue a better career.

The Women and Law Division provides assistance to Coburn Place every year by bypassing the traditional division holiday party in favor of hosting a holiday celebration for women and children staying at the home, complete with food, games and activities.

The foregoing list is only a handful of programs, benefits and services that the Indianapolis Bar Association provides to its members and the community. The rest can be found at our website indybar.org. Get involved. Call the Indianapolis Bar Association at 317-269-2000 and find out how you can participate in any of those that pique your interest.


It is a New Year with new year’s resolutions.
If you get involved with the Bar, you won’t be at risk for prosecutions.
The services you provide will be appreciated by so many.
You could retire if for every soul you touch you were to receive a penny.
So call 269-2000 when you get near a phone.
And join all the happy lawyers who never feel alone.

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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