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IBA: Networking Today for Opportunities Tomorrow

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Never before has networking been more important to professional growth. In fact, some would argue in today’s business climate it’s not what you know, but who you know that can make the difference in a lawyer’s career.

Judge Tim Oakes of the Marion Superior Court recently addressed a group of law students on the topic of networking. Though he didn’t promise to provide a magic bullet for successfully building relationships, he did give several helpful tips particularly for those seeking to practice in the Indianapolis area.

 

iba networking The Honorable Tim W. Oakes of the Marion Superior Court shares his ideas for successful networking.

“Indy is a big town with a small legal community,” he said. “Don’t overlook someone you meet at the grocery, your kid’s school, a playgroup or even your neighborhood bar. You are always networking or should be.”

He noted that knowing who you is essential in relationship building.

“Don’t be superficial. It’s a turn-off for attorneys when networking,” Judge Oakes said. “Relax, and know yourself. Know what you want and where you want to be realistically. You can’t be afraid of your weaknesses. Everybody in the room knows what they are. It’s obvious. The trick is flipping them to your advantage.”

He also suggested that those seeking to widen their circle of contacts try new things. Be a servant leader by getting out and helping others.

“It’s about working hard to be a good person and hopefully being even better to others than they are to you,” he said.


iba networking Joel Tragessor of Frost Brown Todd, and Nancy Goldberg and Maria Castetter of the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office give their time to mentor evening students at Indiana University School of Law–Indianapolis.

Interestingly Judge Oakes mentioned that he has never received a job from an interview, though he’s had many career opportunities. He said, “There’s always an “in”. It just may not be through the front door. Search for it! Do your homework.”

Most importantly, he concluded, “Networking isn’t about now; it’s a long-term proposition,” Judge Oakes said. He emphasized, “Contacts you make today aren’t about the May 2011 job. It’s the 2016 job that you’re working toward.”•

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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