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Lucas: Send us your 2014 Leadership in Law award nominations

Kelly Lucas
July 31, 2013
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EidtPerspLucas-sigRegardless of our career paths, we’ve all experienced a moment when we’ve watched a peer in action – doing his or her job and doing it very well – and the realization came that this person truly is a role model for our respective professions. Whether the admiration you feel is the result of a big win in court and is splashed across newspapers and TV screens, or the quiet day-to-day way the person works with clients and mentors young lawyers, the Indiana Lawyer would like to recognize the work ethic and dedication that makes certain lawyers stand out.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 Leadership in Law awards. Each year, IL recognizes and honors members of the legal profession who have demonstrated commitment and skill in the practice of law.

Because success is achieved in stages, our Distinguished Barrister and Up and Coming Lawyer awards are categorized by years of practice. This year, we’ve altered the categories slightly. After talking with Indiana attorneys and bar association leaders, IL determined that the revised “years of service” criteria more accurately reflect the awards and the way today’s lawyers work.

The 2014 Up and Coming Lawyer Award takes notice of young attorneys who have been practicing 10 years or less. While their careers are still developing, these are professionals whose work has made their peers, law firm partners or even legal adversaries take notice of their dedication, talent and skills. Successful nominations in past years have showcased work ethic, involvement in professional organizations, unique approaches to problem-solving, or community involvement.

The 2014 Distinguished Barrister Award honors lawyers who have practiced law 20 years or more. As the name implies, these are lawyers whose work the community respects and who young lawyers aspire to emulate. Again, the reason for nominating a person can vary – the person is a skilled legal strategist, she is a dedicated mentor to young lawyers, he is a leader in civic or bar association efforts, or the attorney’s storied career in government or social service shows society the best of what the profession offers.

I encourage you to nominate an up-and-coming lawyer or distinguished barrister who you believe is deserving of this recognition. More information about the Leadership in Law nomination criteria and submission process, online and print forms, and a list of past winners can be found at www.theindianalawyer.com/nominations.

You will be asked to complete a nomination form that includes providing a narrative explaining why you believe this lawyer deserves to be recognized. The nominee’s résumé and letters from others in the legal community supporting your nomination are welcomed. This, as well as any other anecdotal information you wish to share, assists the awards committee in its decision making.

The deadline for submitting nominations for our next group of Leadership in Law honorees is Jan. 22, 2014. If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact me at 317-472-5233 or klucas@ibj.com. The Indiana Lawyer looks forward to honoring another group of up-and-coming lawyers and distinguished barristers in 2014!•

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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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