ILNews

Leadership in Law 2012: Elizabeth L. White

Clerk, Marion County, Indianapolis Georgetown University Law Center

April 25, 2012
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Beth White (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Elizabeth White is a strong advocate for civic education and outreach and a champion for voter rights. Her leadership in election law makes her a “stand-out” among her peers, specifically in her work to expand access to voting for people with disabilities, the elderly and otherwise vulnerable citizens. Beth is a hard-working, bright and generous person who continues to positively impact her community through initiatives such as yVote!, a youth-outreach program that brings hands-on civics lessons to schools and has registered thousands of students to vote.

The best advice I ever received was
the race is long, so do the right thing and it will turn out right.

I wish I had known when I graduated law school that
relationship is everything.  Be nice to everyone, you never know when you will encounter them again.

My best stress reliever is
playing with my 3-year-old son. He is so funny and joyful and crazy.  He makes me laugh, and being with him helps me keep things in perspective.

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d be
a teacher.  My parents are teachers and I teach a SPEA course at IUPUI. I love being in the classroom, which is why our yVote! program has been so much fun and very rewarding.  There is nothing like the look on a student’s face when they really understand.

In 2012, I’d like to
run two good elections.

The three words that best describe me are
loyal, optimistic and humorous.

In the movie about my life,
Tina Fey would play me because my job requires a sense of humor.

In my community, I’m passionate about
voting! Civic education is the key to making sure we have an engaged and participating electorate.

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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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