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IBA: Take the 'Work' out of Networking with the Indy Attorneys Network

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iba-networkBy Liz Shuster and Chuck Schmal, Woodard Emhardt Moriarty & McNett & Henry LLP

Like most attorneys, we always enjoy meeting lawyers from other practice areas and interests, but while it is easy to say “go network,” we found it somewhat a daunting task.

While the IndyBar offers a wealth of opportunities to meet other attorneys, usually meetings tend to focus toward specific areas of law or particular topics of interest, which are not always conducive for networking. We’ve all been to CLEs where most attorneys stick to the schedule, arriving just a few minutes before the presentation begins and leaving promptly when it ends, leaving little to no time for networking.

There are other sections and committees within the IndyBar that provide opportunities to meet other attorneys; but not everyone can join the same committee or actually wants to join all the various sections. While cold calling other attorneys to network is another option, most attorneys we know aren’t comfortable with calling other attorneys out of the blue because it can be somewhat awkward.

To address this problem, we wanted to establish a group that solely focused on networking amongst attorneys. While we thought it was a good idea, we weren’t certain whether other attorneys would agree so we decided to conduct a survey to see if our hunch was right. The survey was used to determine if there was in fact an interest in such a networking group and, more importantly, what activities attorneys would be most interested in for the networking group. The results of our survey showed that there was an overwhelming interest in forming such a networking group, and most expressed an interest in one-on-one type networking meetings rather than large group type meetings.

We felt that the IndyBar would be the perfect fit to establish this group. We presented this idea to the IndyBar board, and they approved the creation of a new section with the sole focus on networking amongst IndyBar members. The newly created section, the “Indy Attorneys Network,” will hopefully build professionalism, promote collegiality, and provide opportunities for networking with other members. It is envisioned the membership will be diverse, including judges, in-house counsel, members of law firms, solo practitioners, law professors, and other law practitioners.

The Indy Attorneys Network is a voluntary group that IndyBar members can choose to join by paying an annual section fee. All members of the IndyBar are eligible and welcome to join; however, only those IndyBar members who join the group will have access to the networking events.

Our initial focus for the group, based on our survey results, has been establishing a program for facilitating one-on-one meetings. As part of joining the Indy Attorneys Network, you will be randomly paired with a different attorney each month. Every month, you will receive an email that introduces you to the member you have been paired and provides you with his or her contact information. Each matched pair then decides when and where to meet. The nice part is that this format of networking will be flexible on time, location, and activity. For example, the pair can arrange to meet over coffee, breakfast, lunch, or however they see fit. These one-on-one meetings remove the discomfort or stigma associated with networking because both of you go to the meeting with the full knowledge that the other is there to network with you as well.

In addition to making networking easier and more fun, the Indy Attorneys Network also allows you to network with someone new on a regular basis. Plus, there’s even greater flexibility to the group—there might be certain months when networking might not fit into your schedule because of holidays, trials, or vacations. If this happens, simply contact a committee member to temporarily remove your name from the pool of participants for that month. An initial committee was formed and we are currently working out the bugs in this one-on-one meeting program by performing test runs with committee members, and our current plan is to role out the program in January 2013.

We are also planning future activities for the group such as social events and CLEs with an emphasis on networking. While some attorneys are natural networkers, we understand that typically networking is a learned skill. In view of that, we are working on creating some exciting programs that will help attorneys hone their networking skills. It is our hope that the Indy Attorneys Network will not only build new friendships but will foster long-lasting relationships within the IndyBar, so the next time you attend a bar event you won’t see a room full of strangers—you’ll see a room full of friends.

The Indy Attorneys Network section can be joined by adding the group on your member profile online at www.indybar.org.

If you have any questions about the Indy Attorneys Network, please feel free to contact us. There may be a few bumps to work out as the group gets off the ground, but we are hopeful that members keep the momentum going and keep networking!•

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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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