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Leadership in Law 2013: Daniel P. Cory

Associate, Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP, South Bend Notre Dame Law School

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dan-cory02-15col.jpg (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

When Daniel P. Cory decided that he wanted to pursue a career in environmental law, he rented an apartment near the Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP offices in Indianapolis during a summer break from law school. This allowed him to meet many of the attorneys from the firm and led to PSRB offering him an associate position after graduation. PSRB believes Dan will be an important contributor to the life of the firm for years to come. Not only has he developed expertise in complex areas of the law, but he devotes many hours to community service and pro bono work.

If you could take a sabbatical from the law for a year to work your fantasy job, what job would you choose?
Musician, playing guitar in coffee shops or in larger venues somewhere.

What civic cause is the most important to you?
Education and mentoring. Children have so much potential, and I’m always amazed how much impact even a small amount of positive influence can have on them.

If you could meet and spend a day with one lawyer from history, who would it be and why?
Thomas Jefferson. I think it would be fascinating to talk with him about the changes he saw over his lifetime, moving from the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence to the practical realities of governing as president and to discuss with him how the political and legal structures he helped create have evolved into the systems we know today.

If you could go back in time, “when” would you go to and what would you do?
I would travel back to when my grandparents were my current age. I never got to know them very well so it would be great to spend time getting to know them and discussing life and our shared family history.

In life or law, what bugs you?
The misuse of the phrase “begs the question” – in life and in law. I inherited this pet peeve from someone else and now I notice it everywhere!

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
The ability to read minds would certainly make trials and depositions easier.

What do you find scary?
Sharks. I find them terrifying.

If a drink or sandwich were to be named after you, what would it be called and what would be in it?
I once ate a 72 oz. steak dinner at the Big Texan steakhouse in Texas, so my sandwich would have to be called the “Big Dan”and include large amounts of steak.

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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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