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Hickey: Be one, have fun

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As I write this article, it will have been but few days since my installation as the 132nd President of the Indianapolis Bar Association. Leaders and volunteers in many different capacities came together to celebrate on that day, which marked the first joint installation of the 2010 IBA Board of Directors, Indianapolis Bar Foundation Board of Directors and Presidents of both the IBA and IBF. Special guests filled the room, including distinguished representatives of our courts, government agencies, the law school, and solo, small- and large-firm lawyers alike.

In assuming the role of President of the Association, the journey can be a long one. For me, it took me back to a steering committee many years ago, chairing various committees, serving several Board terms and serving as President of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation. I looked forward to being installed as President of the Association with much anticipation and the day did not disappoint.

As each Board member was called to take the oath, I was reminded that the strength of our Association comes from the diverse people who raised their hands and promised to serve us well, and from those who watched and applauded in support. The spirit of the legal community that day was very real and very alive. For those who were unable to attend, I would like to share my message for the occasion that consisted of three thoughts to carry us through the year:

Be One

This year, our challenge to each of you is to be one of those attorneys and judges who gets involved in the Bar - who attends our gatherings and gets to know the legal community that is our membership. The IBA brings so many opportunities to the practice of law that you simply cannot get from the next client or case.

Whether your practice is local or national, litigation or transactional, you simply cannot be an attorney in our metro area and get all you can from this profession without being a member.

Get involved and get others involved. Be one of our members who reaches out to young lawyers, brings them to events and encourages their participation in the Bar.

Be one of those members who brings new members to our Association and one who takes advantage of all that the Bar has to offer.

Have Fun

As a Board, our plan for the year is to work hard and have fun. Rather than offer a famous quote or a flowery phrase, the message is simple: our hope is that you will do the same. That you will enjoy this year and all that it has to offer. That you will enjoy our legal profession and that you will look to the Bar with the same enthusiasm and excitement that we do.

Thank You

Thanks first go to Immediate Past-President, Jim Voyles, and the 2009 Board for the year of outstanding service they just completed for the Bar. As our President, Jim brought much to our Association; he served us with a good heart and great leadership. He brought a sense of humor to all that we did, and he made the year one to remember.

Looking ahead, I know the same will be true for the incoming leadership in Mike Hebenstreit as President-Elect and Scott Chinn, our First Vice President.

Thank you to those members sworn in to represent the Association and Foundation this coming year for the hard work that they will do as volunteers and leaders of this legal community. In addition, to the many people who have answered my call to head a committee, lead a task force, or take on a project this year. Those people began dedicating their time and talents to the IBA months ago, and my appreciation goes out to them.

To our Bar professionals, who are the ever-present face of our Bar: Julie Armstrong, our Executive Director; Kari Hartman, our Assistant Executive Director; and every other staff person who answers the phone with a smile and greets our members with the warm welcome that we have come to expect. Thank you for making our Association one of the best in the country.

Finally, thank you to the IBA members. Reflecting back on the heartfelt well wishes, handshakes and hugs that filled the day, it is clear to me that the installation luncheon was a tribute to the many legal professionals who are the good friends that we call our Indianapolis Bar Association.

I am honored to serve as your President and I look forward to a great year ahead.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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