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Lucas: 2013 Leadership in Law Award winners revealed

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EidtPerspLucas-sigIn the news supplement you will find inserted in this issue of the Indiana Lawyer, we are pleased to introduce and congratulate our 2013 Leadership in Law Distinguished Barristers and Up and Coming Lawyers. While the interests, practice areas and geographic locations of these individuals are diverse, the common threads are the drive these men and women display in their work and the commitment they’ve shown to support fellow attorneys and the pursuit of justice.

Through the profiles in this award supplement, it is our goal to introduce IL readers to the men and women behind the public and professional personas. Lawyers, like members of other professions, can be the victims of stereotypes, and what we learned is that it is sometimes wise to expect the unexpected. We asked our honorees a few questions, and some of their answers surprised us. We hope that you will take a moment to get to know these accomplished and intriguing individuals a bit better.

For example, when asked whether a world without 24/7 technology would be a good or bad thing, I assumed that our Up and Comers would balk at the idea of disconnecting. Surprisingly, a number of these young lawyers expressed a desire to temporarily put down their beloved smartphones, making comments like “face time should be more than an app on my iPad.”

There seemed to be consensus that today’s fascination with legal drama on television and in the movies doesn’t accurately represent the reality of practicing law – although several suggested that scenes from “My Cousin Vinny” came very close. When asked what lawyer from history he or she would most like to spend a day talking with if given the chance, Thurgood Marshall received multiple votes. The collection of individuals suggested by our 2013 class would likely make the most fascinating panel ever assembled.

Responses to our “what scares you” question made us laugh, cringe and nod heads in agreement. As an editor, I particularly appreciated Judge L. Mark Bailey’s answer: missing a deadline.

The “advice I would give to my 25-year-old self” provided by our Distinguished Barristers and “the most important thing my mentor has taught me” relayed by our Up and Coming Lawyers provide valuable insights and common-sense suggestions for lawyers at all stages of their careers. I hope that you will take a few minutes to peruse these profiles.

Again this year, we received a number of impressive nominations and, as I’ve said before, the most difficult thing about the Leadership in Law Award is that not all deserving nominations can be selected. But to that, I say, there is always next year. Very soon, we will open the 2014 award nomination process, and I hope that you will consider submitting a nomination.

As you consider 2014, I’d like to make one observation. While an abundance of outstanding nominations for the Distinguished Barrister Award were received this year, the number of female attorneys nominated who fit the award criteria in this category was low. Why did this happen? We are unsure. We know that many qualified women have been practicing law for 15 years or more in Indiana. It was rather apropos that Judy Woods’ nominator told us that many times in Judy’s career she has found herself to be one of a few females or the only female in the room, and that she “has quietly opened doors for women and patiently held them open for the women who have come after her.” Clearly, the work is not done.

Please join me in congratulating the Indiana Lawyer’s 2013 Leadership in Law honorees. These very deserving individuals – some relatively new to the profession, some seasoned in their work – inspire those around them, representing the profession admirably.•

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