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Girl Scouts learn law, bar offers scholarships

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Bar Crawl is Indiana Lawyer’s section highlighting bar association news around the state. The IL strives to include bar association news and trends in its regular stories, and we would like to include more news from specialty and county bars. If you’d like to submit an update about your bar association or a photo from an event your bar association has hosted, or if you have questions about having your bar association news included in the newspaper, please send it to Jennifer Montgomery at jmontgomery@ibj.com, along with contact information for any follow-up questions at least two weeks in advance of the issue date.

Girl Scouts learn law, legal careers

About 75 Girl Scouts learned about legal issues that may affect them and heard from practicing female lawyers about what it takes to become a lawyer or a judge at the Indiana State Bar Association’s Women in the Law Committee inaugural “Lady Justice” event March 26. The event took place at Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis.

In addition to the Girl Scouts in third, fourth, and fifth grade, 23 troop leaders and parents participated in the program. About 15 attorney volunteers interacted with the girls.

The girls completed two projects, had lunch, listened to a panel discussion, and watched a mock trial. The work will culminate in the Scouts earning a badge.

One of the activities involved the girls making a bracelet out of beads, with each bead representing a civil right that they have, such as the right to counsel. Another activity involved a drawing exercise where girls drew themselves at age 15, 25, and 50, after learning about how to set goals and make smart decisions. This portion of the event also had attorneys explain to small groups of girls how to plan to become a lawyer or judge, including how to prepare for college and law school.

After the projects, the girls listened to a panel discussion of women who shared their perspectives of becoming attorneys. Patty McKinnon talked about her experience as a solo attorney in Indianapolis; and Kelly Scanlan, an associate at Bose McKinney & Evans, gave her perspective as an attorney at a large firm. Marion Superior Judge Cynthia Ayers also shared her experience of becoming a judge.

The Girl Scouts also had lunch with the volunteer judges and attorneys, and witnessed a mock trial for the Big Bad Wolf. The script for the mock trial was written by Holly Wanzer, an attorney at Jocham Harden Dimick Jackson, and a Girl Scout troop leader.

Another attorney at Wanzer’s firm, name partner Stephenie Jocham, has been credited by other organizers as the person to first suggest the idea of a Girl Scout badge about the law.

The girls will earn a “Scales of Justice” patch after completing this program.

“We didn’t want to dumb this down for the girls,” said Marion Superior Magistrate Vickie Ransberger, one of the organizers of the event. “They’re a lot more knowledgeable than some people might give them credit for. They care. They think about things that are important to them.”

Ideally, Ransberger said, the program could be replicated for Girl Scouts all over the state or even around the country. Organizers worked closely with the Girl Scout organization to make sure it had the right qualifications for a badge.

While it is not the only law-related badge for Girl Scouts, it is the only one where the girls learn about how the law affects them and how they can someday become lawyers or judges.

– Rebecca Berfanger

Johnson Co. Bar offers scholarships

The Johnson County Bar Association is awarding at least two $1,000 scholarships to local students who plan to enroll in a four-year baccalaureate program at an accredited public or private university.

Interested seniors may obtain scholarship applications by contacting Stephen L. Huddleston at 317-736-5121. Applications must be submitted by April 15 to Stephen L. Huddleston; 98 W. Jefferson St.; Franklin, IN 46131.

– IL Staff

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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