Hebenstreit: One Lunch Hour You Shouldn't Skip

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IBA-hebenstreitHow long has it been since you were a law student? For some of us, it has been quite a few years (or decades, truthfully!), but some memories are still vivid. Do you have those “frustration dreams” where you are entering the lecture hall only to find that it is the final exam and you have not even bought the book? Do you remember the uncertainty and angst of trying to narrow down what type of law you were interested in practicing…and with whom? And trying to answer the questions of your parents and friends about when you are going to land a job?

I, for one, am very happy that those days are behind me. Law school was actually a fun time for me, but that uncertainty and apprehension are still embedded in my memory. Some things never change. The students today have all of those emotions, but also have a very competitive market place. In a legal world of increased specialization, the pressure has increased for them to know what type of law they want to practice, even before they have tried any areas. Many are getting close to the end, with no clear game plan. Others are just starting and want a little direction.

On March 24th, the IndyBar hosts its annual “Take a Law Student to Lunch” from noon to 1 PM at the Conrad Hotel. This lunch is the perfect opportunity to be a mentor for a law student. As a law student in the mid 1970’s, I responded to a notice about a similar event sponsored by the IBA. As a result of the IBA pairing, a lawyer named Tom Cobb called me and invited me to his office so he could share his thoughts about his practice, what it was like to practice Bankruptcy law, and what it was like practicing law in Indianapolis. I had no real idea what Bankruptcy even was, but over 35 years later, I still remember Tom and the fact that that he took an hour of his time to be randomly paired with me and share his experiences with me. You also can make that impact.

Don’t talk yourself out of coming just because you are not the hiring or managing partner or do not have a job to offer the student. While I am sure most would love to land a great job, the students are interested in the program because they want to learn more about lawyers and the profession they are planning to enter. Networking is very important to them.

Every year, the IndyBar receives requests from far more students who are interested in attending than lawyers who agree to host a student. This is quite unfortunate. They want to know what members of the “big” Bar do on a daily basis. We have all been in their shoes. But don’t procrastinate. The IndyBar staff needs to know how many lawyers are willing to be paired with a student. The sooner we know the numbers, the sooner we can confirm for each student that they will, in fact, be able to attend. It only costs a total of $60 which includes your lunch and the lunch of your student. If you are really feeling flush, you may host more that one student.

Once the pairings are made, the student is instructed to contact you. Although it is not a requirement, you may want to consider having the student meet you at your office a few minutes before the lunch. Although our offices are not particularly exciting, many of the students probably have never been in a law office before. Besides, it allows you the opportunity to get to know your student a little better and avoid trying to find your student at the Conrad.

If you are not already convinced to jump on the website and sign up, there is an added bonus. Starting with the March meeting, we are introducing a new feature for our monthly meetings. We will have a tech savvy member of the IndyBar present at least one helpful hint how to better use tech and/or social media to improve your efficiency and your practice.

Let’s consider it a challenge to have at least one lawyer for each student this year. They very much appreciate the contact with our members – and remember, they will be our colleagues and fellow members soon.•


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.