Leadership in Law 2014: Rubin Pusha III

Associate, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Indianapolis • Indiana University Maurer School of Law, 2012

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15col-Pusha.jpg Rubin Pusha III (IL Photo/ Eric Learned)

Although still in the early stages of his career, Rubin Pusha is growing and developing into one of the best and brightest in the legal profession. Rubin has demonstrated leadership at Barnes & Thornburg LLP and in the Indianapolis community at large that will leave a lasting positive impact. As a member of the firm’s finance, insolvency and restructuring department, Rubin is emerging as an attorney ready to take a lead role in cases, develop strategy and bring matters to resolution.

Rubin has created and participated in numerous panels designed to educate Indiana high school and law students. In addition, he’s been a driving force for bringing young African-American lawyers together to support one another in attaining their career goals. His commitment to diversity in the legal field allows him to be a trailblazer within the community.

You are a member of the Indianapolis Zoo’s Associate Council, which works to advance animal conservation. Which animal/exhibit is your favorite at the zoo?

The dolphin exhibit is my favorite. If only I could teach my dog a few of the tricks the dolphins have learned.

If you couldn’t be a lawyer, what would you do for a living?

A chef. It would be awesome to mesh my passion for food in a way that brings other people joy.  

You serve on the firm’s recruiting and diversity committees. Why is it important that firms recruit talented attorneys with diverse backgrounds?

Diversity is important from both a moral and financial perspective. I think our profession more than others should take great care to hire talented lawyers that look like or can relate to the clients we serve.

If you could meet and spend the day with one lawyer from history, who would it be and why?

Thurgood Marshall, because he is one of the most prolific and accomplished African-American lawyers in history. Not to mention we share membership in the same fraternity.

What are some tips for achieving a work/life balance?

Balancing work and life is more like a juggling act. Create rituals and stick to them. 

What is the most important lesson you learned from your mentor?

When clients make an issue a priority, you are best served by making it your priority as well.

What was the worst or most memorable job you had prior to becoming an attorney?

My most memorable job was working at the YMCA as a sports camp coordinator. Young people are awesome and interesting.

What civic cause is the most important to you?

Helping African Americans and members of other minority groups gain access to higher education and narrow the achievement gap. Minorities are still largely underrepresented in most of the upper-echelon professions and need more mentoring from members of said professions.

Who is your favorite fictional lawyer?

Joe Miller from the film “Philadelphia.”

What’s something about you not many people know?

I am a descendant of the Gullah people.

Why practice in the area of law that you do?

The creditors’ rights department at B&T affords me the unique opportunity to develop both litigation and transactional skill sets.

Is there a moment in your career you wish you could do over?

Not really. I have enjoyed every good and bad moment of my short career. I have learned to appreciate the bad moments as they are great teachable moments.

What class do you wish you could have skipped in law school?

Property. No offense to the professor, but the rule against perpetuities is something I could have lived without.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Amazing food. I love trying new restaurants.

Why do you think people often have negative stereotypes about lawyers?

Misinformation or an awful personal experience. It is our job to educate non-lawyers and maintain the integrity of the profession.



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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.