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Hebenstreit: IndyBar - Where Leadership and Learning Come Together

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IBA-hebenstreitJohn F. Kennedy once said that “leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Twenty five young members of the IndyBar are living proof of that. This group has just completed the Bar Leader Series VIII. What started 9 years ago as a new concept has erupted into a highly sought after program. This year almost 50 attorneys submitted their applications to be considered for one of the 25 slots. The resumes are impressive, and their impact will be lasting.

To be considered for the Series, an attorney must have been in practice between 3 and 10 years. Once selected, the members participate in monthly all day meetings dealing with a wide variety of topics designed to assist the students understand leadership and the need for leadership in Central Indiana. One day, the students toured the State Capitol and met with a host of high ranking government leaders; another month, they toured the Marion County jail and met with the Public Safety leaders including Prosecutor Terry Curry. Another month they were dazzled by Allison Melangton, the head of the Indy Super Bowl Committee. Each guest speaker spoke about their respective role in making our City and State operate, and each provided insight for the students to understand what it takes to succeed and to advance their careers and professional lives.

The Series is funded by the Indianapolis Bar Foundation, and this year, donors to the IBF were invited to attend the “graduation.” None who attended were disappointed. In addition to attending the monthly educational sessions, the group was divided into five teams and each team was charged with completing a service project. Each team was provided $1000 of “seed” money for their project but encouraged to use as little as possible. Many teams returned a good part of that money this year.

The projects were required to provide some form of sustaining assistance to satisfy a need in the community. Each team submitted its proposed project and at least one of the projects was initially rejected. The volunteer staff of the BLS Series takes its responsibility very seriously that the projects must meet the established criteria. At the graduation, each group made a presentation about their projects. One team worked with a group that uses dog training at the Juvenile Detention Center. They learned that being responsible for a dog can create self respect and responsibility. Another sought “dress for success” clothing to be dispensed at the Indianapolis Convention Center in connection with the Homeless Project. Another used a running event to help young ladies establish self respect. Another created a computer lab for a local homeless shelter and implemented it with software to prevent viruses from ruining the computers. The other group worked with foster children in connection with arranging college visits and assistance in the application process.

It was both eye opening as well as heart warming to listen to the teams describe their project as well as the process they went through to complete the task. Each first needed to determine an area in Central Indiana that had a need and then develop a strategy for meeting and fulfilling that need. We hear about networking, but it was interesting to note that each team spoke about having “a guy.” None of the projects would have been a success but for a team member knowing a friend or contact that helped them open a door or provide a solution. All of the projects morphed a little as the teams encountered obstacles and difficulties in implementing their strategy. But, through the teamwork of the group, each team was successful and they could not wait to talk about their set backs as well as their successes. One team sought and received substantial free dry cleaning services from Curley’s Cleaners and free moving services from Two Men and A Truck. Others used their law firms and friends to provide computers and other materials to make their project possible. All found creative ways to provide services to the needy and underprivileged, and all appeared to feel very proud of their efforts.

Through the Series, this group of 25 graduates has not only heard about leadership, but also demonstrated it through their projects. Applications for the Series IX are now being accepted. I would encourage any young attorney who has visions of being a leader either in the IndyBar or the community to apply. It is time consuming and a good bit of work, but as in most things worthwhile, you get out of life, what you put into it. The graduates of BLS VIII have certainly demonstrated that leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.•

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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