ILNews

Robel and Fruehwald honored by Barnes & Thornburg

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

At a special gathering Wednesday, attorney Scott Barnhart pointed out the legacy of the late Shirley Shideler – women lawyers are now commonplace in the legal profession.

Barnhart, representing the Indiana Bar Foundation at the event, said he practices with so many female attorneys that he forgets individuals like Shideler had to break down the obstacles that were blocking women from entering the profession.

Barnes & Thornburg LLP honored its former colleague Shideler at the second annual Shirley’s Legacy reception at the firm’s Indianapolis office. As part of the evening event, Lauren Robel, provost of Indiana University in Bloomington and executive vice president of Indiana University, and Kristin Fruehwald, retired of counsel at Barnes & Thornburg, were recognized for their contributions to the legal profession.

Shideler became the first female at any major law firm in Indiana when she joined Barnes & Thornburg as an associate attorney in 1964. In 1971, she was promoted to partner, becoming the first woman to join the partner ranks at a large Indiana firm. Then in 1998, she became the first women president of the Indiana Bar Foundation.  

“She wasn’t just a good legal mentor, she was a great lifestyle mentor,” said Fruehwald, who during her career at Barnes & Thornburg worked closely with Shideler. “She struggled. She was a single parent, she had a daughter, she had a lovely mother that helped her out but, you know, her life was harder than mine. I think she made sure that my life wasn’t as hard as it could have been.”

During the reception, Barnes partner Nicholas Kile presented the awards to Robel and Fruehwald and highlighted their accomplishments. He recalled as a student in Robel’s constitutional law class, he was inspired by her passion for the law. He described Fruehwald as exemplifying what it means to be an excellent lawyer.

Robel served as the first female dean of Indiana University Maurer School of Law from 2003 until she was named interim provost at IU Bloomington in 2011. She was inspired to pursue a career in the law by watching the fight for Civil Rights unfold around her home in Alabama in the mid-1960s.

“I loved it so much and I felt so privileged to be able to study the law,” Robel said. “There were always places along the way where I was the only woman in the room but that was just a condition of the time. I always felt that gave me a possibility to open the door for others.”

Shideler had been a legal secretary at Barnes prior to becoming an attorney. She continued to work at the firm while she went to law school at night and raised her daughter.

Robel feels a kinship to Shideler because she, too, had a daughter and worked while studying the law. She said honoring Shideler’s trailblazing career is important because it gives new attorneys, both women and men, a reminder that they can overcome any hardship.

Fruehwald joined the legal profession after a career as a special education teacher. Being a lawyer was something she always wanted and despite her father’s objections, she eventually decided to go to law school.

“I have enjoyed it and I would encourage women to go into the law,” she said. “I don’t see this as being a bad place for women at all. I see this as a welcoming place and a place where there are opportunities.”
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Bob Leonard killed two people named Jennifer and Dion Longworth. There were no Smiths involved.

  2. Being on this journey from the beginning has convinced me the justice system really doesn't care about the welfare of the child. The trial court judge knew the child belonged with the mother. The father having total disregard for the rules of the court. Not only did this cost the mother and child valuable time together but thousands in legal fees. When the child was with the father the mother paid her child support. When the child was finally with the right parent somehow the father got away without having to pay one penny of child support. He had to be in control. Since he withheld all information regarding the child's welfare he put her in harms way. Mother took the child to the doctor when she got sick and was totally embarrassed she knew nothing regarding the medical information especially the allergies, The mother texted the father (from the doctors office) and he replied call his attorney. To me this doesn't seem like a concerned father. Seeing the child upset when she had to go back to the father. What upset me the most was finding out the child sleeps with him. Sometimes in the nude. Maybe I don't understand all the rules of the law but I thought this was also morally wrong. A concerned parent would allow the child to finish the school year. Say goodbye to her friends. It saddens me to know the child will not have contact with the sisters, aunts, uncles and the 87 year old grandfather. He didn't allow it before. Only the mother is allowed to talk to the child. I don't think now will be any different. I hope the decision the courts made would've been the same one if this was a member of their family. Someday this child will end up in therapy if allowed to remain with the father.

  3. Ok attorney Straw ... if that be a good idea ... And I am not saying it is ... but if it were ... would that be ripe prior to her suffering an embarrassing remand from the Seventh? Seems more than a tad premature here soldier. One putting on the armor should not boast liked one taking it off.

  4. The judge thinks that she is so cute to deny jurisdiction, but without jurisdiction, she loses her immunity. She did not give me any due process hearing or any discovery, like the Middlesex case provided for that lawyer. Because she has refused to protect me and she has no immunity because she rejected jurisdiction, I am now suing her in her district.

  5. Sam Bradbury was never a resident of Lafayette he lived in rural Tippecanoe County, Thats an error.

ADVERTISEMENT