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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  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.