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Blomquist: Meaningful, Relevant and Fun, Oh My!

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blomquist-kerryFlashback: As a young mom living in Boulder, Colo., at the foot of the Flatirons, I would spend every day, all day, with my toddler Mike while his dad worked at the local university. Mike and I were inseparable, backpacking our way around the foothills, experiencing every trail, library, playground, dog (it was BOULDER after all—leashes were unheard of) and museum we could find. I was grateful for the time to be with my son and in retrospect, I enjoyed every single second of it.

In reality however, I went a little screwy at times. I remember vividly calling my husband and reciting the words to the newest Barney song: “I like my head, how about you, it lets me know I’m alive….”

Seriously? For THIS I went to law school?

The point here is that not too long after we arrived, I realized I needed to find some grown-ups with whom to spend a small part of my day, lest I become one of those overeducated and under stimulated moms who tries to teach their baby how to speak French or swim underwater before they can walk.1 I was certain it was in my son’s best interest to seek out a peer group that used complete sentences on a regular basis.

Thus was discovered the hippie play group. It was marvelous. I found a group of overeducated, slightly affected young moms who wore shoes made out of hemp, breastfed their children until they walked away, were incredibly well read and volunteered their time (with their babies on their backs) for everything and anything. It was meaningful, relevant and fun. I belonged.

Fast forward to today when spending even a lunch hour away from your desk, laptop, smart phone or iPad seems nearly absurd. When the demands on our time far outweigh the time that we have to give, and when the laser beam focus on our work precludes us from getting out of our heads for even a short period of time to learn, socialize, give back and to just grow. In short, sometimes we need to be with people who speak in complete sentences.

Therein lies the challenge for today’s bar association. The proverbial gauntlet has been thrown. How do we win the race for relevancy? How do we establish that emotional connection that our members need and often seek to get them out of their heads? How do we provide our membership with opportunities to make a positive difference? When time, technology and specialization challenge us to stay engaged, how do we as a bar association stay meaningful, relevant and fun?

Bluntly, this was where the IndyBar shines bright, arguably the brightest in the land. IndyBar staff and leadership work hard to invest your dues in programs, services and initiatives designed to benefit you, and in 2013, the return on your investment has never been higher.

In 2013, you have CLE on your schedule and on your device. Online CLE is just days from launching, giving you access to content from your desktop, laptop, iPad or smartphone with the click of a button, all when YOU have the time. CLE during soccer practice? That is meaningful.

Expanded investment in your business success: The Lawyer Referral Service and IndyLawyerFinder.com bring clients to you and are available ONLY to IndyBar members. IndyBar is committed to growing your practice and to your success as a professional, in the most time efficient way possible. That is meaningful.

IndyBar has gone mobile! 2013 has brought even more website development, including a new mobile-optimized site for registering for programs or accessing the member directory on the go. Plus, we’re developing tools that allow you to customize exactly what and how you receive information that matters to you and your practice and updates from the bar. That is relevance.

Pro bono and mentoring opportunities abound no matter what your practice area or interest. IndyBar is collaborating with organizations like Heartland Pro Bono Council and Shortridge Legal Magnet High School to provide expanded opportunities to give back. That is meaningful.

We are gearing up for favorites like the 20th Annual Bench Bar Conference in Louisville in June and the revamped quarterly Meetings of Members with “Jim Voyles approved” speakers — these are things that are designed to get us out of our offices and classrooms and remind us why we love to be with our colleagues. That is fun.

Membership to any organization only has value if members take the time to use it. That is why we are always evolving to meet the changing needs of our members. Our timeless goal is to keep this dialogue moving forward. Double check to make sure you have renewed for 2013, and if you haven’t, why not? Tell us what you need. How can we continue to excel? Because when you have excellence in your organization, membership is a given.
__________

1 I have no illusions. This is a high functioning readership. I am sure some of you have bred French speaking champion swimmers or the equivalent. Call me. I have a lot of these columns to write.

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  1. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

  2. Wow, over a quarter million dollars? That is a a lot of commissary money! Over what time frame? Years I would guess. Anyone ever try to blow the whistle? Probably not, since most Hoosiers who take notice of such things realize that Hoosier whistleblowers are almost always pilloried. If someone did blow the whistle, they were likely fired. The persecution of whistleblowers is a sure sign of far too much government corruption. Details of my own personal experience at the top of Hoosier governance available upon request ... maybe a "fake news" media outlet will have the courage to tell the stories of Hoosier whistleblowers that the "real" Hoosier media (cough) will not deign to touch. (They are part of the problem.)

  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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