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IBA: Celebrating the Journey

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By Kevin Morrissey, Lewis & Kappes PC

On May 22, 2013, the 25 members of the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Bar Leader Series (BLS) Class X gathered at the Skyline Club to cap off another successful iteration of the program. The five sub-groups of BLS X also presented the results of the various community service projects completed as part of BLS X. Overall, the presentations demonstrated that each group dedicated significant time and effort to each of the projects. It was clear that these community service projects were a labor of love for each of the participants.
 

bls-1-15col.jpgCongratulations Bar Leader Class X graduates!

What’s more, this event was the culmination of a rewarding nine-month long leadership experience for which I know every member of BLS X is extremely grateful to have been part. And so, for my final installment on BLS X, I would like to share some reflections and memories from my classmates about the program as well as our gratitude to the people that made it possible.

“The thing I enjoyed most about the Bar Leader Series was seeing motivated people work with people they have never met before to complete a common goal. Before the Bar Leader Series I did not know anyone in my five-person project group. [O]ur group used our various strengths to come up with a service project that made a difference in the lives of many people. It was great to see the smile on the children’s faces at Damar when they were trying on suits that we had donated for their prom…The families at Washington Community School were very appreciative of the donations that will hopefully give them a slight respite from their challenging day-to-day activities. It would be difficult for one attorney to tackle these projects on his own, but working with other leaders in the bar, we were able to make a large impact.” –Colin Connor, Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP

“One theme stood out to me…in order to be an effective leader, you need to be an excellent listener. By nature, attorneys are anxious to start talking and solving problems before they fully understand the issue at hand. Listening is a key component in leadership, practicing law and life.” –Marc Pfleging, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

“The Bar Leader Series provided me with the opportunity to meet important individuals in our community and to meet and build relationships with attorneys outside of my firm. Also, our female-only team was far superior in the water pour event.” –Kiamesha Colom, Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aranoff LLP

“Our service project involved giving talks on Financial Literacy to Vocational Education students at Ben Davis High School. We gave the talks on two different days. When we arrived for the second day, the classroom teacher had asked the school’s vice-principal to come see the presentations as well. Afterwards, the vice-principal’s reaction was, ‘why aren’t we doing this for all of our kids?’ The teacher told me afterward that out at the construction site, the students were talking about our presentations, and were very interested in the topic.” –Carly Turow, Katz & Korin PC


bls-2-15col.jpgThe IndyBar Bar Leader Series Class X concluded with team presentations and graduations at the Skyline Club on May 22, 2013.

“Working on the community service project with my team was by far the most rewarding experience of the program. Our team, appropriately named ‘Women helping Women,’ organized an in-kind fundraiser to gather professional accessories for the women served by The Julian Center and Dress for Success. We were able to secure a generous sponsor, the Skyline Club, that provided us with a fantastic venue for the event—‘Give a Little, Get A Little.’ We chose that name since we asked our guests to bring a donation of professional accessories and at the event they were able to make a pair of earrings from the supplies we provided. We held the event in March during one of the worst snow storms of the year, and still so many of our friends and co-workers showed up to support the cause—we were floored. Their generosity and support was truly overwhelming. Presenting the donations to the Julian Center and Dress for Success was an absolute honor and one that would have not been possible without the Bar Leader Series program.” –Kendra Conover, Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman PC

On a personal note, I want to extend my sincere appreciation to Kevin McGoff, John Trimble, David Herzog, and all of the members of the Steering Committee of BLS X for their hard work and dedication to the program. Each of those attorneys made sacrifices to volunteer their time and talents that made the program a resounding success. For that we are extremely grateful. Finally, I am confident I can speak on behalf of each of the members of BLS X in expressing our gratitude to Caren Chopp, Pro Bono and Legal Services Coordinator for the Indianapolis Bar Association, for all she does to organize and execute the Bar Leader Series.

Congrats to my fellow classmates who graduated from BLS X, and many thanks to those who spent time, money, and energy on the program. I know the community looks forward to seeing how the 24 other members of this group continue to emerge as leaders in the Indianapolis area and within the bar.•

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  1. Ah yes... Echoes of 1963 as a ghostly George Wallace makes his stand at the Schoolhouse door. We now know about the stand of personal belief over service to all constituents at the Carter County Clerk door. The results are the same, bigotry unable to follow the directions of the courts and the courts win. Interesting to watch the personal belief take a back seat rather than resign from a perception of local power to make the statement.

  2. An oath of office, does it override the conscience? That is the defense of overall soldier who violates higher laws, isnt it? "I was just following orders" and "I swore an oath of loyalty to der Fuhrer" etc. So this is an interesting case of swearing a false oath and then knowing that it was wrong and doing the right thing. Maybe they should chop her head off too like the "king's good servant-- but God's first" like St Thomas More. ...... We wont hold our breath waiting for the aclu or other "civil liberterians" to come to her defense since they are all arrayed on the gay side, to a man or should I say to a man and womyn?

  3. Perhaps we should also convene a panel of independent anthropological experts to study the issues surrounding this little-known branch of human sacrifice?

  4. I'm going to court the beginning of Oct. 2015 to establish visitation and request my daughters visits while she is in jail. I raised my grandchild for the first two and half years. She was born out of wedlock and the father and his adopted mother wantwd her aborted, they went as far as sueing my daughter for abortion money back 5mo. After my grandchild was born. Now because of depression and drug abuse my daughter lost custody 2 and a half years ago. Everyting went wrong in court when i went for custody my lawyer was thrown out and a replacment could only stay 45 min. The judge would not allow a postponement. So the father won. Now he is aleinating me and my daughter. No matter the amount of time spent getting help for my daughter and her doing better he runs her in the ground to the point of suicide because he wants her to be in a relationship with him. It is a sick game of using my grandchild as a pawn to make my daughter suffer for not wanting to be with him. I became the intervener in the case when my daughter first got into trouble. Because of this they gave me her visitation. Im hoping to get it again there is questions of abuse on his part and I want to make sure my grandchild is doing alright. I really dont understand how the parents have rights to walk in and do whatever they want when the refuse to stand up and raise the child at first . Why should it take two and a half years to decide you want to raise your child.The father used me so he could finish college get a job and stop paying support by getting custody. Support he was paying my daughter that I never saw.

  5. Pence said when he ordered the investigation that Indiana residents should be troubled by the allegations after the video went viral. Planned Parenthood has asked the government s top health scientists at the National Institutes of Health to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine.

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