Leadership in Law 2014: Scott Evernham

Senior vice president, assistant general counsel and assistant corporate secretary, Old National Bancorp, Evansville • University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, 2003

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15col-Evernham.jpg Scott Evernham (Photo/ David Greene, DIA Photography)

It was a bit of a gamble for Old National Bancorp to hire Scott Evernham straight out of law school as just the second in-house attorney for a rapidly growing company. But the gamble has paid off in a big way. He’s grown into a true leader within the company’s management team and is the “go to” attorney for all regulatory and compliance issues and merger and acquisition activity. He was honored in 2010 by the company’s executive leadership team as the Larry Dunigan Leader of the Year. Scott and his late wife, Robin, founded the Robin’s Nest Charitable Fund after she was diagnosed with cancer to assist those battling the disease.

Your boss described the position you were hired into directly out of law school as a “sink or swim” opportunity. Clearly, you’ve swam. What skills or traits helped you succeed?

There are several traits my parents encouraged that I try to utilize in everything I do, including my work at Old National. My parents instilled in me and my siblings to work hard, be unselfish, be accountable and develop a plan for your life, but be willing to adjust it and accept unforeseen opportunities.

Why practice in the area of law that you do?

I work as in-house counsel and represent a single client. As a result, I am able to become more deeply involved in the business of the company and develop a closer relationship with my business counterparts. I think it can be more rewarding to be a part of the company, its mission, strategy and success.

The Robin’s Nest Charitable Fund has raised more than $100,000 to help area families in their battle against cancer. What do you hope the organization will achieve in the future?

Our mission is to ease the financial burden for cancer patients so that they can focus on the fight of their life. Our hope is to be able to shut down Robin’s Nest because that will mean a cure for all cancer will have been discovered.

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

Learn to say no. I believe strongly in community involvement, but it is impossible to be involved and a part of everything. I feel that you better serve your family and the community when you only say yes to initiatives you are passionate about, and more importantly, when you have sufficient time to be committed to the organization.

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

Admit it when you do not know the answer. A phrase that he taught me to use when I first started practicing (and I still use a lot today) is, “I do not know, but let me look into it and get right back to you.” As lawyers, we often feel that we need to have an immediate answer to every question. One of the worst mistakes a lawyer can make is to give inaccurate advice.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Turoni’s Pizza – House Special

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

I am not sure. Maybe it would be something in the medical profession. I have a lot of respect for medical professionals. In my experience, they are very passionate about their work and they make a difference in people’s lives every day.

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

My first paying job was in high school working as a delivery driver for a pharmacy my dad owned. That was my first and only experience witnessing him run his business. He passed away a couple years later.

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

There are numerous negative stereotypes that people have about lawyers and each stereotype has its own reason. It would take several paragraphs to analyze why that is the case. In my short career, I have been fortunate to work with many lawyers that are passionate about representing the best interests of their clients and upholding the professional and ethical responsibilities of a lawyer.

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

There are moments from every day that I would handle differently if I could do it over again. I view them all as learning opportunities, attempt to handle those moments better the next time and try not to dwell too much on the past.

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

Domestic relations. There was nothing positive about the divorce cases we studied in law school.

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

Abraham Lincoln

Who is your favorite fictional lawyer?

Lt. Daniel Kaffee – “A Few Good Men”


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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues