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Rising bar association memberships linked to jobs and social activities

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A boost in membership rolls at some bar associations around the state is credited to the changing employment landscape in the legal community. People are joining the organizations because they are getting jobs or because they want to network to get future jobs.

The Evansville Bar Association has recorded a surge in new memberships, increasing its size by 10 percent in 2013 alone. Susan Vollmer, executive director of the bar association, attributed the growth to a wave of new hiring by law firms in Vanderburgh County. All the big firms and many smaller offices have added attorneys.

“It’s kind of amazing what we’ve had this year,” Vollmer said.

Since Jan. 1, 2009, the association has added 156 lawyers. A third of those, 55, have joined since Jan. 1, 2013, bringing the organization a record membership of 550.

In Indianapolis, the Marion County Bar Association continues to add members as well. TaKeena Thompson, president, believes the group’s increased visibility and activities, rather than an uptick in hiring, have inspired more lawyers to join.

The MCBA had almost ceased to exist. Regular meetings were often canceled, few social events were offered, and even getting a response from the association was difficult.

New leadership in 2012 brought in more energy and revitalized the organization. The MCBA has upgraded its website, gotten on social media, and introduced a variety of events such as the “coffee chats,” which enable members to meet informally with Marion County judges.

“We want to give something back to our members,” Thompson said. “We want our members to feel that they are getting something from the organization.”

Like the Marion County Bar Association, the Allen County Bar Association has concentrated its efforts on offering its members more continuing legal education courses and social activities. This has kept the current membership steady at roughly 700.

In Bloomington, the Monroe County Bar Association has had new interest from students at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

President Joyce Jewell believes the students are motivated to join not only so they can network with attorneys but also because some want to stay in Bloomington after they graduate.•

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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