Chinn: 3 Ways to Help at the End of 2012

Scott Chinn
December 19, 2012
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iba-chinn-scottAt bottom, the IndyBar is a member service organization. The IndyBar Board of Directors and staff spend considerable time trying to find ways to serve the membership, including by soliciting feedback. That is mission critical – and it should never change.

But as we near the end of the year, I want to turn the tables a bit and ask you to consider three ways that you could help the IndyBar. I hope (and believe) that these end-of-the-year “asks” are reasonable, even as we all appropriately focus on closing out various professional obligations and draw close to our families for the holidays.

First, please renew your IndyBar membership. If you haven’t already sent in the renewal form (or renewed online at, then the notice is sitting on your desk or is in your briefcase. Please take a moment to renew your membership before the end of the year. We need you, and want to continue to serve you. And when you are reviewing your notice, pay special attention to the Section Plus CLE pilot program involving four of our substantive sections. In those sections in 2013, you can get a minimum of four one-hour CLEs built in to your section dues payment.

Second, please consider making a contribution to the Indianapolis Bar Foundation. Several weeks ago, I highlighted in this space the good works the IBF does for the IndyBar and for the legal community. There is simply a direct correlation between your contribution to the IBF and the number of people in our community that we can assist in pro bono, educational and other programs. I know, of course, that many charitable organizations are also making their year-end pushes as well – and there are many worthy causes. My ask on this score is as follows: if you’ve given to the IBF before, please consider making a contribution commensurate with your prior support; if you aren’t a regular IBF contributor, please give something. To donate online, visit

Finally, I’ve mentioned a few times the work of our Lawyers Helping Lawyers Task Force. I am thrilled to announce that the first initiative of the Task Force will be launched in Feb. 2013. Initiative number one has been dubbed the Attorney Apprentice Program, an effort to provide skills training for lawyers. The kickoff begins with a program on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the IndyBar offices and is aimed at new or inexperienced lawyers and upcoming law school graduates. We anticipate the agenda to include sessions on networking, law practice management and an introduction to litigation. Subsequent offerings will include transactional, civil litigation and criminal practice tracks.

On a final note, let me say how much I’ve enjoyed being IndyBar President this year. In January, I remarked how much I love lawyers, because they help people. In meeting many new lawyers and delving more deeply into our profession this year, that view has only been reinforced. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. Best wishes to Kerry Blomquist as she takes the gavel in 2013.

That’s it. No more asks from me for this year. Thanks for your membership and your support of the legal community. Have a wonderful and peaceful holiday season.•


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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well