Stafford: Resolve to honor attorneys who honor the law

editor-perspective-stafford.jpgNot enough attention is paid to the good that lawyers do — not just for their clients or their profession, but for their communities and, indeed, the world. That’s a refrain we hear often, and often from some of the best in the legal community.

Working on this Year in Review edition, something occurred to me. We write about so many attorneys whose good works are crucial that we sometimes lose track of the contributions these lawyers make simply by doing what they do and being who they are. Their work may change one life, or it may change the lives of nations and institutions.

In this season of reflection, I hope you’ll think about friends and colleagues who live up to and exceed the profession’s loftiest ideals. Think of those who embody the very best of what it means to be a great lawyer. Those are the people we seek to honor in Indiana Lawyer’s 2019 Leadership in Law Awards.

Indiana Lawyer has been honoring Up and Coming Lawyers and Distinguished Barristers since 2006, and our list of past honorees is a who’s who of Hoosier legal standard-bearers. You may nominate someone for the 2019 Leadership in Law Awards at

Nominations will remain open until noon Friday, Jan. 25. And you can see the criteria we value to select award recipients at

Each year, we honor 15 Up and Comers who’ve been in practice less than 10 years and 15 Distinguished Barristers who have practiced more than 20 years. And we rely on you to convince us who is most deserving of those honors and why.

Last year, we honored lawyers from big firms, small firms, nonprofits, in-house and public service. We recognized attorneys in the corporate suites and those whose clients simply cannot afford to pay. Whether our award winners were from Evansville, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis or elsewhere, they stood out for their achievements as attorneys and for what they have given back to their communities.

The holiday season is an ideal time to consider the peers who have earned your respect. Who do you believe is worthy of an honor based on a career that represents the best of an essential profession?

As we enter a new year, I hope you’ll resolve to put forth the names of attorneys who are deserving of recognition as Up and Coming Lawyers and Distinguished Barristers. The voluminous nominations we receive every year for these unique, peer-nominated honors tell us Indiana’s legal community is in good hands.

Closing on a warm thought, Indiana Lawyer will honor our Leadership in Law Award recipients with a celebration and recognition event on a hopefully warm, sunny day in May. Until then, on behalf of all of us at Indiana Lawyer, thanks for reading, happy holidays and best wishes for a fulfilling 2019.•

Dave Stafford [email protected] — is editor of Indiana Lawyer. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

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