Prior to Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard’s retirement last month, I had the opportunity to talk with him about some of his most memorable experiences as an Indiana Supreme Court justice. One of the highlights he recalled was reading over applications and interviewing those lawyers who, over the years, had thrown their hats in the ring to be considered for openings on the state’s Supreme Court or Court of Appeals. Shepard told me that he wished more citizens could see the quality and commitment of the people who applied, because it would give them great confidence in the judicial branch and the legal profession.
I could relate to the feeling that Shepard was trying to convey, because I think the same could be said about many of the attorneys who are nominated for the Indiana Lawyer Leadership in Law awards. In this issue, we are pleased to present and congratulate the 2012 Leadership in Law Distinguished Barrister and Up and Coming Award winners.
The nominations received tell the story of impressive court victories and decisions that have had an impact on Indiana law. But even more telling is the passion that comes through in many of the nomination packets and letters of recommendation from colleagues, peers and even adversaries who say they are better lawyers for having worked with the individual nominated. It is clear that Indiana lawyers are making a huge impact in their communities, and these individuals are using their time and talent – both professional and personal – to make our state a better place.
We hope that the profiles included in the Leadership in Law supplement will help you get to know each of this year’s honorees in a personal and professional way. Information provided by the nominators introduces each lawyer, and following that, we asked the honorees to tell us a bit about themselves. Our 2012 class of Distinguished Barristers and Up and Coming Award winners revealed themselves to be accomplished, adventuresome, thoughtful, caring and, sometimes, quirky individuals.
Being involved with the Leadership in Law Award program is inspiring for the staff of the Indiana Lawyer. The only negative aspect of the experience is that there are far more very deserving lawyers nominated than we are able to honor annually. I encourage you to begin thinking about attorneys you know who deserve to be called a Distinguished Barrister or Up and Coming Lawyer, and nominate those individuals for the award in 2013.•