I walked around the office at the end of last month asking attorneys if they had any interest in getting more involved with the Indianapolis Bar Association. A few of the attorneys looked at me with a “deer in headlights” look and told me that they really did not know a lot about the opportunities for participation with the IndyBar. I then mentioned to them several committees, programs and other opportunities where the glaze in their eyes became much more focused.
The Indianapolis Bar Association provides numerous programs, benefits and services to our community and provides you with an opportunity to give time or resources to those that interest you. Please consider getting more involved with the IndyBar in any of the following, which are not entirely inclusive since we provide in excess of 75 opportunities for involvement.
Bar Leader Series, Bar Leader Projects and Bar Leader Graduate Series. Each year the Bar Leader Committee selects 25 young lawyers to serve in the Bar Leader Series. These attorneys meet monthly and learn about all aspects of the legal community, with notable public leaders educating them about all aspects of the law and Indianapolis. They also participate in smaller groups to provide some benefit to a local organization. These have ranged from helping students at an inner-city school learn about golf and the disciplines attendant to it as well as seeking donations from friends and co-workers for Dress for Success.
You can serve on the Pro Bono Committee and/or assist in any of the numerous projects they have including Ask A Lawyer, Commonly Asked Questions About Indiana Law, Homeless Project, Hospice Project, Legal Line, Marion Superior Court Pro Bono Project or Pro Bono Alliance with the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society. I could go on and on about the benefits and how rewarding it is to participate in any of these programs, but I would not have any space left on this page for any other programs. Suffice it to say that they are incredibly worthy programs that help people in dire need of our legal services and advice.
Our Public Outreach Committee provides opportunities for students at Shortridge High School to shadow you for a day if the student has any interest in the legal profession. Students spend part of a day with you, watching you, sitting with you and attending all daily activities. This can be incredibly rewarding for students interested in legal careers and personally very gratifying to know that you may have encouraged someone who otherwise would not have dreamed about becoming a lawyer to seriously consider how he or she can ultimately join our Bar following graduation.
The Paralegal Committee and Criminal Justice Section hold collection drives for the city’s “Bears on Patrol” program, where stuffed bears are donated to law enforcement, fire fighters and EMS personnel who give them to children when they are involved with traumatic experiences. This can be amazingly comforting to young people during a difficult time in their life.
The Law Student Division provides opportunities for students to have breakfast with bar leaders on a regular basis. These informal meetings are small in size where attorneys educate a law student on the workings of the practice of law and the Indianapolis Bar Association. Some of these breakfasts have led to good friendships between lawyers and law students and also job opportunities.
Our Senior Counsel Division (attorneys with 25 years of practice or over the age of 50) provides a Safe Ask Program where inexperienced attorneys can contact senior counsel and ask any questions relating to the practice. These are great mentoring programs that not everyone is aware of, and we can always use more seasoned attorneys to help a young attorney pursue a better career.
The Women and Law Division provides assistance to Coburn Place every year by bypassing the traditional division holiday party in favor of hosting a holiday celebration for women and children staying at the home, complete with food, games and activities.
The foregoing list is only a handful of programs, benefits and services that the Indianapolis Bar Association provides to its members and the community. The rest can be found at our website indybar.org. Get involved. Call the Indianapolis Bar Association at 317-269-2000 and find out how you can participate in any of those that pique your interest.
It is a New Year with new year’s resolutions.
If you get involved with the Bar, you won’t be at risk for prosecutions.
The services you provide will be appreciated by so many.
You could retire if for every soul you touch you were to receive a penny.
So call 269-2000 when you get near a phone.
And join all the happy lawyers who never feel alone.