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Nominations sought for numerous awards

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If you know of a lawyer or judge who demonstrates dedication and professionalism above and beyond most, there are several awards for which they may be considered. Deadlines are quickly approaching.

Nominations are still being accepted for the Excellence in Pro Bono Publico Randall T. Shepard Award, which is given to someone who contributes significant work and dedication to the development and delivery of legal services to Indiana’s poor. More information can be found here. Sponsored by the Indiana Pro Bono Commission, complete nomination packages should be submitted by Aug. 9 to Monica Fennell, executive director, Indiana Pro Bono Commission, at 230 E. Ohio St., Suite 400, Indianapolis, IN 46204 or mfennell@inbf.org.

The Indiana State Bar Association is accepting nominations for several awards that will be presented at the bar’s annual meeting. Nominations are due Aug. 9. Awards include the Affiliate Member Award for paralegals, legal administrators, law librarians or court administrators; the Gale M. Phelps Award, given in memory of Gale M. Phelps, a former chair of the ISBA Family & Juvenile Law Section and one of the most active members of the section, who passed away in 2003; Civility Awards to recognize an attorney and judge for outstanding civility and professionalism in their dealings with fellow judges, attorneys, parties, witnesses, and the public; Rabb Emison Awards, which recognize an individual and an organization that have demonstrated a commitment to promote diversity and equality in the legal profession; and the Hon. Viola Taliaferro Award, which recognizes an individual who best exemplifies Judge Taliaferro’s courageous leadership in addressing the unmet legal needs of children and in raising the public’s awareness of these needs.

There are other awards as well. For more information and nomination forms, contact the ISBA at (317) 639-5465 or (800) 266-2581, or visit the bar’s website.

The Allen County Bar Association is accepting nominations for the Niemann Citation, which honors the memory of Scott T. Niemann and recognizes ACBA members who, like Scott, exemplify professionalism and excellence in the practice of law, as reflected in distinguished legal work, professionalism, public service, and leadership. Nominations are due Aug. 2; the form can be found here.

The Indianapolis Bar Association is accepting nominations until July 31 for the Antoinette Dakin Leach Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of female attorneys in central Indiana. It also is seeking nominations for: the IBA Professionalism Award that recognizes an attorney, and the IBA Silver Gavel Award that honors a judge. The nominations for these are due Aug. 5. Nominations may be submitted to the IBA, 135 N. Pennsylvania St., Suite 1500, Indianapolis, IN 46204. For more information, call (317) 269-2000.

In addition, the Indiana Judges Association seeks to recognize those members of the judiciary who have made special contributions to the judicial profession by their efforts in community relations. Nominees should have in the past year conducted programs, projects or sustained efforts that inform and educate the public or otherwise enhance the image of the judiciary. The nomination form for the 2010 Commendation for Excellence In Public Information and Education is here.  

The association also will recognize individual reporters or newspapers, radio or television firms that sustained efforts that inform and educate the public about the judiciary. The nomination form for this award is here.


Nominations for both IJA awards are due Aug. 17 to the Indiana Judicial Center, 30 S. Meridian St., Suite 900, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

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  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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