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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. Call it unauthorized law if you must, a regulatory wrong, but it was fraud and theft well beyond that, a seeming crime! "In three specific cases, the hearing officer found that Westerfield did little to no work for her clients but only issued a partial refund or no refund at all." That is theft by deception, folks. "In its decision to suspend Westerfield, the Supreme Court noted that she already had a long disciplinary history dating back to 1996 and had previously been suspended in 2004 and indefinitely suspended in 2005. She was reinstated in 2009 after finally giving the commission a response to the grievance for which she was suspended in 2004." WOW -- was the Indiana Supreme Court complicit in her fraud? Talk about being on notice of a real bad actor .... "Further, the justices noted that during her testimony, Westerfield was “disingenuous and evasive” about her relationship with Tope and attempted to distance herself from him. They also wrote that other aggravating factors existed in Westerfield’s case, such as her lack of remorse." WOW, and yet she only got 18 months on the bench, and if she shows up and cries for them in a year and a half, and pays money to JLAP for group therapy ... back in to ride roughshod over hapless clients (or are they "marks") once again! Aint Hoosier lawyering a great money making adventure!!! Just live for the bucks, even if filthy lucre, and come out a-ok. ME on the other hand??? Lifetime banishment for blowing the whistle on unconstitutional governance. Yes, had I ripped off clients or had ANY disciplinary history for doing that I would have fared better, most likely, as that it would have revealed me motivated by Mammon and not Faith. Check it out if you doubt my reading of this, compare and contrast the above 18 months with my lifetime banishment from court, see appendix for Bar Examiners report which the ISC adopted without substantive review: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

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  3. So if I am reading it right, only if and when African American college students agree to receive checks labeling them as "Negroes" do they receive aid from the UNCF or the Quaker's Educational Fund? In other words, to borrow from the Indiana Appellate Court, "the [nonprofit] supposed to be [their] advocate, refers to [students] in a racially offensive manner. While there is no evidence that [the nonprofits] intended harm to [African American students], the harm was nonetheless inflicted. [Black students are] presented to [academia and future employers] in a racially offensive manner. For these reasons, [such] performance [is] deficient and also prejudice[ial]." Maybe even DEPLORABLE???

  4. I'm the poor soul who spent over 10 years in prison with many many other prisoners trying to kill me for being charged with a sex offense THAT I DID NOT COMMIT i was in jail for a battery charge for helping a friend leave a boyfriend who beat her I've been saying for over 28 years that i did not and would never hurt a child like that mine or anybody's child but NOBODY wants to believe that i might not be guilty of this horrible crime or think that when i say that ALL the paperwork concerning my conviction has strangely DISAPPEARED or even when the long beach judge re-sentenced me over 14 months on a already filed plea bargain out of another districts court then had it filed under a fake name so i could not find while trying to fight my conviction on appeal in a nut shell people are ALWAYS quick to believe the worst about some one well I DID NOT HURT ANY CHILD EVER IN MY LIFE AND HAVE SAID THIS FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS please if anybody can me get some kind of justice it would be greatly appreciated respectfully written wrongly accused Brian Valenti

  5. A high ranking Indiana supreme Court operative caught red handed leading a group using the uber offensive N word! She must denounce or be denounced! (Or not since she is an insider ... rules do not apply to them). Evidence here: http://m.indianacompanies.us/friends-educational-fund-for-negroes.364110.company.v2#top_info

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