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Leadership in Law 2013: Briana Clark

Associate, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, Indianapolis Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

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briana-clark01-15col.jpg (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Briana Clark has balanced a demanding career in business litigation with training and racing in cycling, all while serving both the legal and local communities in meaningful ways. She’s handled a number of complex business litigation cases and has demonstrated legal and client relations skills beyond the level expected from a relatively new attorney. Briana’s dedication to cycling has garnered her several awards and takes her around the country for races.

She’s active with the Indianapolis Bar Association and Indianapolis Bar Foundation and has participated in her firm’s Street Law program teaching people about law, democracy and human rights.

If you could take a sabbatical from the law for a year to work your fantasy job, what job would you choose?
I should say professional cyclist, but honestly, I would LOVE to do something artistic – marketing, painting, graphic design, music, something that you can lose yourself in all day long.

What civic cause is the most important to you?
I could not be more passionate about all of the amazing things that Riley Children’s Hospital provides for our community and families nationwide. Every time I go to Riley, I am astounded by the talent, brilliance, commitment and passion that everyone at the hospital exudes. I am so proud to race for a team that raises money and awareness for such an incredible place.

If you could meet and spend a day with one lawyer from history, who would it be and why?
John Grisham, he makes my career sound so fun that I want to read about it when I’m on vacation!

What class in law school did you find the most difficult?
The second semester of torts, which is hilariously ironic given that that is all I do every day of my legal career. I’m blaming it on an inability to work the blue clickers.

You’re an elite cyclist. Where is your favorite place to ride?
Unquestionably Chattanooga, Tenn. We train in Chattanooga three to four times each winter. I am not kidding when I say Motel 6 + Waffle House + nearly 7,000 feet of climbing up three mountains at ridiculous grades in 100 miles followed by terrible Mexican food and karaoke makes for the Best. Day. Ever.

If a drink or sandwich were to be named after you, what would it be called and what would be in it?
“The OCD.” The ingredients are irrelevant, but it would be made two weeks in advance with exactly perfect measurements.

What’s the most important thing your mentor has taught you?
Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know and reach out to those who do know.

In life or law, what bugs you?
Do I only get to pick one? Anyone with a sense of entitlement. Life doesn’t come to you. If you want something, make it happen!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
The ability to “pause” life, either to catch up or to enjoy the greatest moments for just one more second.

What do you find scary?
Fish. No really, I’m terrified of fish.

If you could pick a theme song to describe your life, what would it be?
If I did not say Kid Rock’s “Cowboy,” all of my family and friends would accuse me of lying.

Would a world without 24/7 technology be a good or bad thing?
I can’t stand not to be aware of or understand anything, so I Google absolutely EVERYTHING. I’m not sure a world without 24/7 technology is possible.

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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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