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Abrams: We Will Provide Value And Be Meaningful

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abrams-jeff-indybarI am embarking on the presidency of the Indianapolis Bar Association. I see my role as the manager of a phenomenal team willing to sacrifice their time to serve others and provide unique benefits to the public. It is my role to be sure that our outstanding staff at the IndyBar consisting of Julie, Kari, Mary Kay, Chris, Tara, Ashley, Caren, Natalie, Stephanie and Tabitha help you in your careers and implement the programs we have decided to provide the public. I was once told that you do not have to be the smartest person in the room, just be sure you surround yourself with smarter people. I have done that. The officers and board of directors of the Indianapolis Bar Association and chairs of the sections, committees, divisions and task forces will help me successfully achieve our goals for 2014.

Bar associations all over the country are changing and evolving. Many of them are slow to make changes and improve the services that they provide to its members. We have been at the forefront of embracing change and welcoming new and creative programs for the benefit of our members. The Indy Attorneys Network Section is a good example.

A couple of years ago, two young intellectual property/patent attorneys wanted to meet more Indianapolis lawyers since their scope of practice limited the attorneys they met. They brainstormed with other attorneys to determine that there was a need being underserved with our bar association. They put together a proposal to the Executive Committee of the IndyBar, which was overwhelmingly supported in its presentation to the board of directors. The board also saw the creativity and genius behind this new section to provide Indianapolis attorneys with an opportunity to meet other attorneys to help them grow individually, socially and professionally.

This section currently has in excess of 175 attorneys. Each attorney receives an email each month introducing them to another member of the section and encouraging them to meet. They have also had a couple events for the entire section where speakers were brought in a social setting to advance the personal growth of each of these attorneys. We are unaware of any other bar association that had this type of section or program, and its membership total after just its first full year is impressive.

I remember when I was first asked to get involved with the Indianapolis Bar Foundation. I spent almost 25 years being a member of the IndyBar but participated in very few events. I always saw the organization primarily as a resource for litigators and the court system. I am a commercial real estate attorney, not a litigator.

Within the first couple of years of serving on the board of the IBF, a fellow officer referred me a case that was only partially related to real estate but primarily a litigation matter. He knew I would not be primarily involved in the case, but he trusted me to be sure the client was well taken care of.

Our firm received in excess of $100,000 in legal fees all as a result of my involvement with the IBF and getting to know this attorney. I was forever grateful for the opportunity to have gotten to know this attorney better and for him to have referred this case to me, which I never would have seen had I not been involved. I hear other stories like this from many attorneys including those with whom I have sent cases and work as a result of their participation with the IBF and the IndyBar.

I have also gotten to know hundreds of attorneys, primarily in the litigation world, that I never would have gotten to know but for my involvement with the IBF and the IndyBar. I can honestly say that my life has been enriched by meeting these people and calling them friends. I do not know how anyone else could see it any other way if you get involved with the IndyBar and meet other lawyers.

We will endeavor to provide additional services and benefits for the members of the IndyBar so that each of you, if not currently members, will consider joining in 2014 and give us an opportunity to show that there is real value in being part of the IndyBar. Give us a chance. I know that we can make a difference for each of you and for the community that we serve.

One of my mentors enjoyed writing poetry for special occasions to express his thoughts. I have enjoyed honoring him by trying to provide some humorous and thoughtful prose that just happens to rhyme. So one unique aspect of my column will be for it to end with a poem.

It is my honor to serve as the president of the IndyBar.

If we have not yet met, I hope our paths cross and we meet someday.
Join the IndyBar and give us a chance to provide value during your working day.
I know we can be successful in helping you be a rising star and not lead you astray.
The IndyBar is here for you in everything that you may do.
So that the senior partner or employer gives you a glowing annual review!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!•

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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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