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Editor's Perspective: Indiana Lawyer honors outstanding Hoosier attorneys

May 3, 2017

nelson-jennifer-editorHave you ever met someone and been so impressed by their work, community service and family life, you wonder, “How do they do they have time do to all that?” (And, also, “When do they sleep?”) If not, let me introduce you to 30 people who will undoubtedly impress you — this year’s Leadership in Law Award winners.

Since 2006, Indiana Lawyer has recognized our state’s top-notch attorneys and we continue to be impressed by the caliber of attorneys in Indiana.

We reached out to past honorees and stakeholders in the legal community and asked for nominations, and you delivered. This year, we received the highest number of nominations in the 12-year history of the Leadership in Law Awards, and there were many quality candidates. It was not an easy process to narrow it down to just 30, but we believe you too will be impressed by this year’s honorees. They come from large and midsized firms, legal aid, in-house roles and government service.

These 15 Distinguished Barristers and 15 Up and Coming Lawyers demonstrate leadership, collegiality, intelligence, hard work and humor (and great time-management skills). They set out to make a positive impact at their firms or companies and in the community, and they have succeeded.

For the last several years, we’ve asked our honorees to answer questions to feature in our Leadership in Law supplement (inside this issue) so that readers can learn a little more about the honorees’ thoughts on the profession and their lives outside of the office. There’s been talk in the legal profession for years about diversity, so we asked what can be done to make the profession more diverse. Many agreed that mentoring is key, as well as reaching young adults as early as high school to let them know that law can be a fulfilling career. It’s also imperative for attorneys to have many opportunities to be leaders.

And almost all agreed that while technology is wonderful in letting them respond to clients and handle matters anywhere, at any time — allowing for more time with family or a bit of that coveted work-life balance — it also makes it difficult to ever truly unplug and be off the clock.

The Up and Coming Lawyers pass along great advice they’ve received in their careers — “Be fearless.” “Don’t get too comfortable.” “Know the local (court) rules.”

I always enjoy reading what advice the Distinguished Barristers would give to their younger selves. This year’s class wish they would have had more self-confidence, stayed in contact with more people throughout their career, and bought Apple stock in 1978.

I encourage you to read more about this year’s honorees in the Leadership in Law supplement. I also invite you to join us in honoring them at the Leadership in Law Awards reception May 9 in Indianapolis. More details are available on our website, www.theindianalawyer.com.•

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