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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. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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