Leadership in Law 2013: Gary R. Roberts

Dean, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis Stanford Law School

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gary-roberts01-15col.jpg (IL Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Gary R. Roberts’ six-year tenure at the law school has been called transformational, with the most obvious sign the renaming of the Indianapolis school in 2011 after $24-million donor Robert H. McKinney. Gary has also overseen the addition of 15 faculty members and a doubling of the student financial aid budget. The nationally recognized sports law expert teaches several classes at the school, including labor law and, of course, sports law. Despite his demanding schedule, he has immersed himself in the legal community and community-at-large. He often attends Indianapolis Bar Association board meetings, bar retreats and events. He dedicates time to several community organizations, including the International School of Indiana and the Indianapolis Humane Society.

If you could take a sabbatical from the law for a year to work your fantasy job, what job would you choose?
Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

If you could meet and spend a day with one lawyer from history, who would it be and why?
Bill Clinton, because he seems to enjoy life to the fullest every day in every sense of the word.

What class in law school did you find the most difficult?
I really didn’t find any class to be that difficult. I loved law school, but perhaps it’s just been so many years ago that I can’t remember. Like the song says, “What’s too painful to remember we simply choose to forget.”

What civic cause is the most important to you?
The Indianapolis Humane Society. (I’m on its board.) I truly love animals, especially dogs, and cannot imagine why people are neglectful or cruel to them.

You’re a leading expert in sports law. What’s your favorite sport to watch?
This is a tough one. I’d like to say curling (at least it’s the most amusing), but really it’s probably either NFL football or college basketball.

In life or law, what bugs you?
Hands down, stop and go lights. I’d publicly like to tar and feather the fools who time those lights and who leave them operating all hours of the day and night when there is almost no traffic. A close second is the bureaucracy within Indiana University that creates unnecessary hurdles, delays, and paperwork for almost everything one tries to do.

What do you find scary?
Professor Jegen.

Would a world without 24/7 technology be a good or bad thing?
A bad thing. As frustrating (and even scary) as it can be sometimes, technology has made our lives so much richer and allowed us to do and learn so many more things than would be conceivable without it.


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.