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Leadership in Law 2014: Rubin Pusha III

Associate, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Indianapolis • Indiana University Maurer School of Law, 2012

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15col-Pusha.jpg Rubin Pusha III (IL Photo/ Eric Learned)

Although still in the early stages of his career, Rubin Pusha is growing and developing into one of the best and brightest in the legal profession. Rubin has demonstrated leadership at Barnes & Thornburg LLP and in the Indianapolis community at large that will leave a lasting positive impact. As a member of the firm’s finance, insolvency and restructuring department, Rubin is emerging as an attorney ready to take a lead role in cases, develop strategy and bring matters to resolution.

Rubin has created and participated in numerous panels designed to educate Indiana high school and law students. In addition, he’s been a driving force for bringing young African-American lawyers together to support one another in attaining their career goals. His commitment to diversity in the legal field allows him to be a trailblazer within the community.

You are a member of the Indianapolis Zoo’s Associate Council, which works to advance animal conservation. Which animal/exhibit is your favorite at the zoo?

The dolphin exhibit is my favorite. If only I could teach my dog a few of the tricks the dolphins have learned.

If you couldn’t be a lawyer, what would you do for a living?

A chef. It would be awesome to mesh my passion for food in a way that brings other people joy.  

You serve on the firm’s recruiting and diversity committees. Why is it important that firms recruit talented attorneys with diverse backgrounds?

Diversity is important from both a moral and financial perspective. I think our profession more than others should take great care to hire talented lawyers that look like or can relate to the clients we serve.

If you could meet and spend the day with one lawyer from history, who would it be and why?

Thurgood Marshall, because he is one of the most prolific and accomplished African-American lawyers in history. Not to mention we share membership in the same fraternity.

What are some tips for achieving a work/life balance?

Balancing work and life is more like a juggling act. Create rituals and stick to them. 

What is the most important lesson you learned from your mentor?

When clients make an issue a priority, you are best served by making it your priority as well.

What was the worst or most memorable job you had prior to becoming an attorney?

My most memorable job was working at the YMCA as a sports camp coordinator. Young people are awesome and interesting.

What civic cause is the most important to you?

Helping African Americans and members of other minority groups gain access to higher education and narrow the achievement gap. Minorities are still largely underrepresented in most of the upper-echelon professions and need more mentoring from members of said professions.

Who is your favorite fictional lawyer?

Joe Miller from the film “Philadelphia.”

What’s something about you not many people know?

I am a descendant of the Gullah people.

Why practice in the area of law that you do?

The creditors’ rights department at B&T affords me the unique opportunity to develop both litigation and transactional skill sets.

Is there a moment in your career you wish you could do over?

Not really. I have enjoyed every good and bad moment of my short career. I have learned to appreciate the bad moments as they are great teachable moments.

What class do you wish you could have skipped in law school?

Property. No offense to the professor, but the rule against perpetuities is something I could have lived without.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Amazing food. I love trying new restaurants.

Why do you think people often have negative stereotypes about lawyers?

Misinformation or an awful personal experience. It is our job to educate non-lawyers and maintain the integrity of the profession.


 

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  1. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  2. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  3. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  4. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  5. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

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