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Why I love the law

IL Staff
February 12, 2014
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In honor of Valentine’s Day, we asked Indiana Lawyer readers to tell us why they love the law. The responses contain a common theme – people – whether it’s working with talented colleagues, teaching others about the law or helping people navigate through the legal waters.

If you’re inspired to share why you love the law after reading these responses, feel free to comment on our blog, First Impressions, at www.theindianalawyer.com. We’ll have a post up Feb. 12 specifically for your love letters to the law.


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york-robert-otm.jpg York

I love the law because I like lawyers – well, most of them – particularly those who recognize we should solve rather than create problems and those who follow the advice of a wise judge that “collegiality costs nothing.” I love the law because it requires mutual adherence to established rules resulting in orderly resolution of disputes that no other part of our society can resolve. I love the dignity of the courtroom, the privilege of representing others and the wisdom and experience required to do so effectively. I love that no day brings the same challenges as the day before.

Bob York

Robert W. York & Associates

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stevnson Stevenson

Tonight at dinner my mom asked if I like my job, to which I said, “Yeah, I guess I do.” She said she asked because I never have anything negative to say about it. I love the law for three main reasons. First, I love the honesty of when people address real problems. Second, I get to work with extremely bright and talented people, both in my office and on the opposite side of the bar. Third, my kids think the law enforcement badge I received after my first year as a deputy prosecuting attorney is very cool.

Caroline (Kennedy) Stevenson

Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office

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smith Smith

Aristotle said, “At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.” Look around the world at places where the rule of law does not exist or is in serious peril and I think you find that Aristotle was absolutely correct. That is why I love the law.

Hon. Mark A. Smith

Hendricks Superior Court

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cox-dina-mug.jpg Cox

I love the law because it enables me to be both teacher and student on a daily basis. Every new case presents a unique set of circumstances, an interesting cast of characters, and often novel and challenging legal issues, requiring me and those with whom I work to learn and grow both professionally and personally.

Dina Cox

Lewis Wagner LLP

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dugan-joseph.jpg Dugan

I love the law because it is cross-disciplinary, continually evolving and rich with permutations and surprises. I love that the foundation I am gaining in law school will empower me to embark on a lifelong educational pursuit – one with very practical implications for my clients. A career in the law, it seems, offers endless opportunity for community service coupled with personal intellectual enrichment. I’m glad I’ve chosen this profession.

Joseph C. Dugan

Indiana University Maurer School of Law, J.D. Candidate 2015

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kuhl-laurie.jpg Kuhl

Weddings and light bulbs. Last year on Valentine’s Day, my wedding ceremony was performed by one of my best law school buddies, now a judge, in one of those gorgeous small town county courthouses. Also last year, because I’m the attorney in the family, my brother asked me to officiate at his wedding. Had I not been a lawyer, I could not have participated in this way. Law is often at the heart of life’s most touching moments.
As far as the light bulbs go – When a person comes to you with a question, maybe not even a legal matter but just because you’re a lawyer, and you have the ability to give them a new way of thinking to solve it, then you get to see the “Aha!” moment of realization cross over their faces. It’s like there’s a light bulb shining right there above their head, lighting up. And you’ve just made their day a lot easier. That’s the kind of empowering stuff lawyers get to do.

Laurie Kuhl

Director, Business Account Management Incentive Team, Indiana Economic Development Corp.

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faulkenberg-lindsay.jpg Faulkenberg

I love the law because it protects those that need protecting … especially children. Those that are neglected, abused and at risk are given a voice. I work as an attorney for Kids’ Voice of Indiana, and I see the law protect children every day. The law can save a child’s life and provide a better and brighter future for children and the community. When a child is safe and loved, there is no telling what they can do! “In serving the best interests of children, we serve the best interests of all humanity.” (quote by Carol Bellamy)

Lindsay Faulkenberg

Kids’ Voice of Indiana & The Children’s Law Center

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trimble-john-2014 Trimble

At the risk of sounding corny, I wake up every single day and look forward to going to work. Why do I feel that way? The people. I love other lawyers, judges, colleagues, clients and everyone who we encounter in the legal world. By and large they are honest, intelligent, caring, interested (and interesting) people who live life as problem-solvers. They not only seek to solve the problems of their clients, but also the problems of our profession, our judicial system and our community. I am enriched by all of them!

John Trimble

Lewis Wagner LLP

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maley-john-mugNew013013 Maley

I love the law because:

• the law is fascinating;

• law intersects everything in life;

• law is made by people and affects people; and

• lawyers are smart, creative, passionate people.

John Maley

Barnes & Thornburg LLP

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kurzendoerfer-vivian.jpg Kurzendoerfer

I love that the law makes sure that all involved in a legal proceeding, citizens and non-citizens, have the same right to a fair trial. As the daughter of an attorney, I grew up loving the law. Today, I am still involved with the law from a different perspective. I am a Spanish legal interpreter. In this country, not only do defendants have the legal right to “have their day in court,” but they have the right to understand what is happening in a courtroom in their own language. Not all countries have laws like this, but we do.

Vivian Kurzendoerfer

Piña Colada Interpreting Services LLC

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dubovich-debra.jpg Dubovich

For some, the law is a green-eyed mistress who jealously demands attention every waking hour, sucking the life from their souls. Those lawyers probably do not practice family law. I am a family law practitioner, which is a fancy way of saying I help people through difficult times. One day, the client might be a father desperately trying to reconnect with his young son. Other times, the client is a single mom trying to collect child support. Making a difference in people’s lives and in the lives of their children is a blessing. How could anyone not love that?

Debra Lynch Dubovich

Levy and Dubovich

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  • I'll see you and raise ya one
    I wonder if China and Japan suffer from a "lack of cultural diversity." They don't seem too broke up about it. I could be wrong I guess. Does Nigeria value diversity? How about Zimbabwe? European-ancestry people shouldn't feel a second of shame in their backround. Apropos of this article, the "law" as we understand is itself a cultural artifact of the West, ie, Europe. All the way from Socrates to Cicero to Blackstone right up to the lives still in being, not much of it was made by "diversity." That may not be what they teach in primary schools these days, but its true. On the other hand, come to think of it ancient Rome did have a lot of diversity, at least religious diversity, I suppose that is what got Saint Valentine fed to the lions in the first place.
  • Diversity much?
    Where is your diversity Indiana lawyer? Do only European ancestry attorneys and judges love the law? Shame!

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    4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

    5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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