ILNews

Leadership in Law 2013: Katherine A. Brown-Henry

Associate, Cline Farrell Christie & Lee P.C., Indianapolis Valparaiso University Law School

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katherine-brown-henry01-15col.jpg (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Katherine A. Brown-Henry is known around her office as a bit of a probate guru. In fact, she’s overhauled the system by which Cline Farrell Christie & Lee P.C. handles wrongful death estates and guardianships. She’s also taught two continuing legal education programs on probating wrongful death estates. Kate has served as a judge for the We the People and Indiana Mock Trial programs. She also manages her firm’s law clerk program and initiated a book club where she and the clerks read and discuss legal books the firm has found instructive.

If you could take a sabbatical from the law for a year to work your fantasy job, what job would you choose?
High school college counselor.

Would a world without 24/7 technology be a good or bad thing?
Good thing. Face time should be more than an app on my iPad.

What class in law school did you find the most difficult?
Property, too many archaic words. 

What civic cause is the most important to you?
The We the People program.

What’s the most important thing your mentor has taught you?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help and give help where you can.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I would want Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth.

In life or law, what bugs you?
I think it’s important to be respectful of a person’s time, so being late without calling is my biggest pet peeve.

Working on medical cases, you’ve probably seen a lot. Is there something that still makes you squeamish?
Autopsy and intraoperative photos.

If you could pick a theme song to describe your life, what would it be?
“Life is Wonderful” by Jason Mraz.

If a drink or sandwich were to be named after you, what would it be called and what would be in it?
“Kate’s Tenderloin Sandwich” - grilled pork tenderloin, Indiana tomatoes, lettuce, a little mayo and a whole-wheat roll.

Numerous TV shows center around lawyers and their practices. Are any of them close to realistic?
Not really, but a show without a twist in the fact pattern or an “Ah Ha!” moment wouldn’t be very interesting.

If you could go back in time, “when” would you go to and what would you do?
Being a “Downton Abbey” fan, I wouldn’t mind being Lady Grantham.

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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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