ILNews

Leadership in Law 2012: James B. Godbold

Attorney, Kightlinger & Gray, Evansville Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

April 25, 2012
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James Godbold (IL Photo/Jordan Barclay)

James Godbold is diligent about having a positive influence on society and potential attorneys. The litigation attorney is active in the Evansville community, working with Teen Court and the Evansville Bar Association High School Mock Trial. He is also involved with the federal court’s Mediation Assistance Program and the Indiana Appellate Pro Bono Project. His professionalism and community service is a blend of competence, experience and dedication.

In 2012, I’d like to
see the Cubs win the World Series (nobody said this had to be realistic).

My long-term career goal is
to make partner with my firm, and maybe eventually become a judge. 

The best advice I could give a recent law school graduate is
to be yourself.  If you try to carry yourself and practice law in a way that does not fit your personality, you will end up being miserable.  Be yourself in the way you handle clients, in the way you deal with opposing counsel, in the way you interact with partners or supervisors.  You will be happier and more successful in the long run if you do this.

The three words that best describe me:
I’m never good at talking about myself, so I asked my wife.  She said humble, compassionate and easy-going. 

If I weren’t an attorney, I’d be
a teacher.

My escape from work is
spending time with my family, reading and Crossfit.

My mentor has taught me
to always remember to be courteous.  You will run into situations and people in this profession that will bother and frustrate you.  The only thing you can control in those situations is yourself, so remember to be courteous. If you develop that reputation early, it will stay with you for a long time and will benefit you in the future.  
 

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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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