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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. I like the concept. Seems like a good idea and really inexpensive to manage.

  2. I don't agree that this is an extreme case. There are more of these people than you realize - people that are vindictive and/or with psychological issues have clogged the system with baseless suits that are costly to the defendant and to taxpayers. Restricting repeat offenders from further abusing the system is not akin to restricting their freedon, but to protecting their victims, and the court system, from allowing them unfettered access. From the Supreme Court opinion "he has burdened the opposing party and the courts of this state at every level with massive, confusing, disorganized, defective, repetitive, and often meritless filings."

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  4. He called our nation a nation of cowards because we didn't want to talk about race. That was a cheap shot coming from the top cop. The man who decides who gets the federal government indicts. Wow. Not a gentleman if that is the measure. More importantly, this insult delivered as we all understand, to white people-- without him or anybody needing to explain that is precisely what he meant-- but this is an insult to timid white persons who fear the government and don't want to say anything about race for fear of being accused a racist. With all the legal heat that can come down on somebody if they say something which can be construed by a prosecutor like Mr Holder as racist, is it any wonder white people-- that's who he meant obviously-- is there any surprise that white people don't want to talk about race? And as lawyers we have even less freedom lest our remarks be considered violations of the rules. Mr Holder also demonstrated his bias by publically visiting with the family of the young man who was killed by a police offering in the line of duty, which was a very strong indicator of bias agains the offer who is under investigation, and was a failure to lead properly by letting his investigators do their job without him predetermining the proper outcome. He also has potentially biased the jury pool. All in all this worsens race relations by feeding into the perception shared by whites as well as blacks that justice will not be impartial. I will say this much, I do not blame Obama for all of HOlder's missteps. Obama has done a lot of things to stay above the fray and try and be a leader for all Americans. Maybe he should have reigned Holder in some but Obama's got his hands full with other problelms. Oh did I mention HOlder is a bank crony who will probably get a job in a silkstocking law firm working for millions of bucks a year defending bankers whom he didn't have the integrity or courage to hold to account for their acts of fraud on the United States, other financial institutions, and the people. His tenure will be regarded by history as a failure of leadership at one of the most important jobs in our nation. Finally and most importantly besides him insulting the public and letting off the big financial cheats, he has been at the forefront of over-prosecuting the secrecy laws to punish whistleblowers and chill free speech. What has Holder done to vindicate the rights of privacy of the American public against the illegal snooping of the NSA? He could have charged NSA personnel with violations of law for their warrantless wiretapping which has been done millions of times and instead he did not persecute a single soul. That is a defalcation of historical proportions and it signals to the public that the government DOJ under him was not willing to do a damn thing to protect the public against the rapid growth of the illegal surveillance state. Who else could have done this? Nobody. And for that omission Obama deserves the blame too. Here were are sliding into a police state and Eric Holder made it go all the faster.

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