Dwight D. Eisenhower defined leadership as “the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”
Successful leaders in the practice of law have developed analytical and persuasive skills. They are decisive yet collaborative, meticulous yet flexible, self-motivated yet cognizant of their responsibility to serve a greater good. As former President Eisenhower inferred, leadership is an art, and those who master this craft rise to the top.
Each year, the Indiana Lawyer recognizes and honors members of the legal profession who have demonstrated leadership in the practice of law. Because success is achieved in stages, the Leadership in Law awards are categorized by years of practice.
The Up and Coming Lawyer award takes notice of young attorneys who have been practicing seven years or less. While their careers are still developing, these are professionals whose work has made their peers, law firm partners or even legal adversaries take notice of their dedication, talent and skills. Successful nominations in past years have showcased work ethic, involvement in professional organizations, and unique approaches to problem-solving or community involvement.
The Distinguished Barrister award honors lawyers who have practiced law 15 years or more. As the name implies, these are lawyers whose work the community respects and who young lawyers aspire to emulate. As with the up-and-coming category, the reason for nominating a person can vary – the person is a skilled legal strategist, he is a dedicated mentor to young lawyers, she is a leader in civic or bar association efforts or the attorney’s storied career in government or social service shows society the best of what the profession offers.
I encourage you to nominate an up-and-coming lawyer or distinguished barrister you admire. I realize that time is limited and when it comes to discretionary projects like completing a nomination form, while our intentions are good, our follow-through can fall short. But there is something about the feeling derived from taking the time – sometimes making the time – to do something like this that is so satisfying. It has been my experience that the nomination process is sometimes as rewarding to the person nominating as receiving the award is to the honoree.
Some have asked if nominations can be made anonymously. While the newspaper requires the nominator’s name for verification purposes, we recognize that there are reasons that a person may want to remain “under the radar.” Nominators may request that his/her name not be used in publications or the awards presentation, and that request will be respected.
More information about the Leadership in Law nomination process can be found at www.theindianalawyer.com. The process involves completing a nomination form that includes providing a narrative explaining why you believe this lawyer deserves to be recognized. We hope that the online format will make this process as efficient and effective as possible. Nominations may be delivered to the IL offices as well. The nominee’s resume and letters from others in the legal community supporting your nomination are welcomed. This supplemental information, as well as any other anecdotal information you wish to share, assists the awards committee in its decision-making process.
The deadline for submitting Leadership in Law nominations is Feb. 15, 2012. If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact me at 317-472-5233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Indiana Lawyer looks forward to honoring another group of up-and-coming lawyers and distinguished barristers this spring!•