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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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    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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