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IBA: Nominations open for education, pro bono awards

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Help the Indianapolis Bar recognize the many ways lawyers and legal professionals inspire us and help our community. Nominate your peers for IndyBar awards — to be presented at the Recognition Luncheon on November 29, 2011.

Nominations are being sought for the Dr. John Morton Finney Jr. Award for Excellence in Legal Education and the Pro Bono Awards. The deadline for all nominations is 5 p.m. Tuesday, November 1, 2011. You may e-mail your nominations to iba@indybar.org, or download the form at www.indybar.org.

Additional awards are chosen by the board or designated committees.

Please join us as we present these annual awards to deserving IndyBar members at the Recognition Awards Luncheon at noon on Tuesday, November 29, 2011, at the Conrad Hotel (corner of Illinois and Washington streets). Register for the luncheon at www.indybar.org.

The 2011 Class of Indianapolis Bar Foundation Distinguished Fellows will also be featured, as well as lawyers who have practiced for 50 years and 25 years.

Award criteria

The Dr. John Morton Finney, Jr. Award for Excellence in Legal Education was established in 1998 to honor the memory of Dr. Finney who, during his lifetime, demonstrated the value of education and a love of the law. The successful candidate for this award will have made significant and unique contributions to further legal education within our community. Those active in legal education projects, public education or working within Indiana’s law schools shall be considered. The recipient will be chosen by a selection committee appointed by the IndyBar President.

The recipients of the Pro Bono Awards need to be members of the IndyBar. Under consideration are actively practicing lawyers, retired lawyers, in-house and corporate counsel, law firms, law students, and paralegals who have made outstanding contributions toward delivering volunteer legal services to the poor and disadvantaged.

Typically, the awards are presented in the following categories:

Practicing Attorney, Aiding Individuals — This attorney participates in advice as well as representation pro bono programs, not necessarily all sponsored by the IndyBar.

Practicing Attorney, Aiding Entities that Serve the Indigent — This attorney practices case representation pro bono through programs or agencies that support the poor.

Law Student — This student is involved with pro bono activities, through the IndyBar, their law school, and potentially work experience with legal providers for the poor, etc.

Law Firm — This firm’s management shows wholehearted support of pro bono service by the efforts of its partners and associates. The firm accepts pro bono cases from many avenues, shows support by naming a pro bono coordinator, participates as a firm in advice programs, in addition to individual’s participation in case representation pro bono.

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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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