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Hickey: State of the Bar Association

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IBA-Hickey-ChristineIt is hard to believe, but the year is officially half over. Reflecting on the first six months, it has been a very productive, very good time for the Bar. The State of the Bar is indeed very good.

Membership. In June, volunteer Bar leaders personally called lapsed or prospective IBA members during the first-ever “membership week”. At a time when other volunteer organizations have suffered unusually high rates of attrition, the IBA boasts a membership stronger than ever. Current membership stands at 4,585.

E-Filing Task Force. The Marion County Circuit and Superior Court Electronic Filing Pilot Project is underway and members are using the system. According to recent figures, approximately 20% of filings are currently electronic. The Task Force is soliciting comments via email to iba@indybar.org. All input is encouraged. The Task Force will meet with the Marion County judges this fall to share feedback on the project.

Legal Services Advisory Committee. Lawyer Referral Service is on the verge of launching a new online referral management system thanks to the hard work of the LSAC Committee and IBA staff. Panel members will find the web-based referral and reporting system both efficient and user-friendly. Referrals to panel members this year total 10,454.

Website. The current IBA website will be a thing of the past in months to come. The IBA has contracted with a website design and development firm and is working diligently on the creation of a new website that is as amazing functionally as it is visually appealing. The projected launch date is late fall.

Solo-Small Firm. This Section is planning a “Boot Camp” aimed at practical tips for sole practitioners and small-firm attorneys on everything from vendor relations to the day-to-day running of a law practice, with a focus on younger lawyers. Being held in conjunction with the Professionalism Committee Surviving and Thriving Program, save the date on October 8, 2010 for a not-to-be-missed event.

Bar Leader. In May, the Bar graduated 25 attorneys from the seventh class of its kind, unveiling an impressive array of community projects. Applications have been accepted for the next class which will begin in September and the Bar Leader Steering Committee is already in the planning stages for another successful program.

Bench Bar. In June, the Bar had a record number of first-time attendees at the Bench Bar Conference in Louisville. A first-ever special reception to welcome these attendees was hosted by the Membership Committee. Overall, registration for the conference exceeded 300, there was exceptional CLE programming, and the networking opportunities were plentiful. The conference was a success in all respects and volunteers are already in the planning stages for Bench Bar 2011.

Meetings of Members. Our members have come out to these monthly events, from luncheons to evening cocktail hours. As a Bar, we have met with lawyer-legislators, celebrated paralegals, had cocktails with opposing counsel, and there are many more to come.

Professionalism. This committee has created a resume bank for displaced/unemployed lawyers. Resumes for those who are interested can be emailed to cchopp@indybar.org.

Programs. The IBA has presented 91 programs so far this year, including social events and continuing legal education. The remainder of the year has a calendar packed with additional program offerings.

Bar Review. The Summer 2010 session of IndyBar Review was sold out and has just concluded.

Destination CLE. The Bar is taking the show on the road to Las Vegas. On November 18-19th, save the date to travel with friends and colleagues for an impressive line-up of programs, speakers, and fun while getting CLE on a trip to the strip. Be on the look-out for details in coming issues of the Indiana Lawyer and the IBA EBulletin.

Leadership. An organization is only as good as those who belong and those who lead. IBA Board members are working hard on your behalf. Board meetings are monthly, and each member has taken on a project or initiative for the IBA. Section, Division, and Committee Chairs and volunteers likewise are responsible for all of the great things happening at the Bar. IBA Staff has guided every project and daily continues to insure that the State of the Bar is and continues to be not just good, but better than ever. And that is the State of the Bar.•

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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