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IndyBar: IBF Scholarship Recipients: Where Are They Now?

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By Tracy N. Betz, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

While many are aware of the good the Indianapolis Bar Foundation does for the Indianapolis legal community, some might not be aware that the IBF has been responsible for awarding more than 75 scholarships to law students since 1983. These scholarships help alleviate the high cost of law school and provide students more affordable access to post-graduate education.

The IBF is proud of its work awarding scholarships and is especially proud of the success stories of its scholarship recipients. I recently caught up with two such recipients, Teresa Hall and Matthew Albaugh, to find out more about their practices.

Teresa Hall, Marion County Prosecutor’s Office
F. Emerson Boyd Scholarship, 1999

Q: While in law school, where did you see yourself after graduation?
A: I always thought I would go into health law. I had been a paramedic for 10 years before starting law school and had worked as a supervisor for the ambulance service at Wishard. Once I started working in an internship in health law I quickly discovered that it was not what I wanted to do, and I refocused to pursue my dream of being a trial attorney.

Q: What path did you take to end up in your current position as a Marion County prosecutor in a major felony division?
A: I became a certified legal intern while in law school and actually tried 14 jury trials during that time. After graduation, I joined the public defender’s office for several years until I became the chief of staff for Madame Clerk Beth White. From there I went to work in a non-legal role for Clarian Hospital as a director of its Lifeline program. In April 2010, I became a master commissioner of the Marion County Superior Courts. After about two-and-a- half years as a commissioner, I went into private practice handling family law and criminal cases. I was recently offered the tremendous opportunity to be a deputy prosecutor in the major crimes division.

Q: What did you learn about practicing law by being a commissioner?
A: To always look at both sides of an issue, and understand that nothing is black and white and there are two sides to everything.

Q: What type of community organizations do you devote time to?
A: I am very active in my church and in the EMS (emergency medical service) community. I am still certified as a paramedic and often serve as a guest lecturer for paramedics and EMTs.

Q: What advice would you give to a new lawyer who wants to end up in position like yours?
A: Pull from your own life experiences when handling your cases. Make a concerted effort to understand and learn where both sides are coming from and you will be become a better trial attorney.

Q: What is your most memorable experience as a lawyer? 
A: I was prosecuting a defendant for ­­operating a vehicle after being suspended for life. The defendant testified that his wife was driving the car and not him. During my cross examination I actually got him to confess on the stand to committing the crime. After he confessed, I just stopped talking. I didn’t want to mess that up!

Matthew Albaugh, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
Hon. S. Hugh Dillin Scholarship, 1999

Q: While in law school, where did you see yourself after graduation?
A: At the time, I thought I’d end up in academia. I loved (and still love) school and really admired my professors, like Professor James Nehf. I’ve channeled my inner-educator, and am active in mentoring and recruiting young associates. I use the same skills to help navigate my clients through complex business issues.

Q: Walk me through the career path that led to your current position.
A: I clerked for Randall T. Shepard, chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, after law school. I then worked as a litigation associate at Jenner & Block in Chicago until 2005, when I joined the business litigation group at Baker & Daniels in Indianapolis. I’ve been a business litigation partner at Faegre Baker Daniels since 2010, specializing in class-action defense, mass torts, and trade secret misappropriation.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 
A: I enjoy what I do and the colleagues and clients with whom I work, so exactly where I am at Faegre Baker Daniels. That said, I always strive to be a better writer, advocate, and lawyer.

Q: What type of community organizations do you devote your time to?
A: I’m a big fan of Indy’s urban neighborhoods. I’ve been active with the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association for years, and I also serve on the Midtown Economic Council, an organization empowered to oversee various Midtown Indianapolis neighborhoods’ interests in the North Midtown TIF District.

Q: What advice would you give to a new lawyer that wants to end up in position like yours?
A: Courtesy of Jay Ham, a retired Faegre Baker Daniels partner and one of my mentors: “Don’t get in the mud with pigs. You’ll only get dirty, and the pigs like it.” Be thoughtful, professional, and polite. Don’t be a jerk.

Q: What’s your most memorable experience as a lawyer?
A: As part of a representation of a Hollywood movie studio, I worked on-site from sunrise until midnight one day. I was exhausted and my eyes were getting blurry, so I got up to stretch my legs. I ducked into a restroom that was just outside one of the massive sound stages. I splashed water on my face, grabbed a towel to dry my face, and then turned around. Standing three feet in front of me was a muscular, 6’5” actor in full Star Trek Klingon make-up and costume. I screamed like a little girl and jumped behind a bathroom stall. We had a good laugh once I figured out what I was looking at. The next day, I walked by the same sound stage, and eight or so similarly attired actors were sitting outside on a staircase smoking cigarettes. To this day, I regret not grabbing a photo with them.•
 

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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