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Hebenstreit: Collaborating to Provide Services for All

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IBA-hebenstreitService has always been important, but in today’s frenetic world, receiving good and prompt service is critical. We stopped in a new restaurant for breakfast the other day (no, I am not trying to compete with Jenny Lukemeyer and Fred Vaiana in the restaurant review business). Everything looked good from the outside, but when we were told that they did not offer crepes for breakfast, only lunch and dinner, it seemed a little odd. But, when their espresso machine was not working, and they could not make any espresso drinks, things started to go downhill pretty quickly. Our server was polite, and I may try it again, but probably not immediately. Service is important.

This year, one of my goals for the IndyBar has been to provide impeccable service to you, the members. Thanks to the hard work of Aubrey Kuchar and the Membership Committee, we are close to our goal of exceeding 5000 members by year end. Hopefully the new members have joined because of what we offer to them and the long time members still believe they get good value for their membership.

With 5000 attorneys as the audience, it takes a variety of services to be of benefit to everyone. Most of our members interact with the IndyBar through the various practice sections. It is natural to associate with those who have common interests and practice areas. It is also the means by which many of us receive our CLE.

Every quarter, we have a meeting with all of the Section and Division chairs. The purpose is to learn what other Sections are doing and share ideas. These meetings are quite enlightening. In fact, this year, I asked all chairs to prepare a short report detailing what they had accomplished during the first half of the year. Soon you will receive your electronic copy of those reports. I was astounded at the number of events and CLE seminars hosted by the Sections. All of the Sections have been quite active and busy this year; however there are a few developments that are worth sharing.

The Women and the Law Section decided to host an all day seminar dealing with a variety of issues that are very important and germane to their members. They have secured a nationally recognized expert to be the keynote speaker at the opening dinner on Thursday evening. The following day is filled with a wide variety of substantive sessions taught by an impressive lineup of presenters. This is a major undertaking for a Section.

This year collaboration has been a new and successful tool for providing service to the members. Due to the overlap in practice areas, the Estate Planning & Administration Section planned, and held, a joint event with the Family Law Section. It started with CLE of interest to both groups and then followed with a reception designed to allow the members of each section to interact and network with each other. They are planning on a repeat next year.

In addition to CLE some of the sections have collaborated to serve the public. On September 15th, the second annual Mediation Day will be held. It is a joint effort of the ADR Section and the Pro Bono Section designed to assist lower income and indigent litigants—a benefit to both sections and the general public.

As a young attorney, I was attending a pre trial conference with the late Judge Walter Bell. A legal issue came up and the Judge said he would refer to his “rolodex encyclopedia.’” Over the years, Judge Bell had created a rolodex full of the names and phone numbers of attorneys he could call upon to get a quick answer about a specific area of the law. The Senior Counsel Division and Young Lawyers Division have collaborated on a first ever “speed dating “ event. It will allow younger lawyers to stop by a table manned by members of the Senior Counsel Division who have certain expertise in a given area. The young attorneys can ask any questions about the given area of law and gain the wisdom and practice knowledge of the senior members. In addition to providing substantive answers, the event is designed to be an opportunity for the younger members to meet face to face with possible mentors and to acquire their names and phone numbers (or e mail addresses) so they can build their own “Outlook encyclopedia.”

As practice areas become more specialized, I hope that the Sections and Divisions will continue to look for commonality to collaborate with each other. Joint events provide not only enhanced service to the members, but also an opportunity for collegiality among the lawyers.•

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