Reinstated legal basketball league sees growth, gender diversity

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One year after resurrecting a recreational lawyers’ basketball league, organizers are already setting the bar high for future success.

First formed in the 1980s, the lawyer’s basketball league traveled from location to location for its games until finally settling at the Indianapolis Basketball Academy, 3800 Bauer Drive West, Indianapolis. Lee Christie, partner at Cline Farrell Christie & Lee, helped orchestrate the league’s re-creation in November 2017 after it went dormant several years ago. Now that it’s up and moving again, he has hopes for even more growth.

During its comeback season, the league hosted 13 teams made up of law firms and individual attorneys from the Indianapolis area. This year, 15 teams signed up, and Christie aims to jump that number to more than 20 teams next year.

Christie, who has played in the league since the ’80s, said he’s grateful players have kept the competition in proper perspective since its revival. 

“I was really pleased with the way people approached the league,” he said. “It was competitive, yet teams were respectful of each other.”

He was also encouraged to see an increased number of women players, noting the league has previously lacked gender diversity. Law firms and their employees, individual attorneys, law students, law clerks and legal spouses are all invited to participate, Christie said.

The individual cost to join the league depends on the number of players on each team, he noted. Last season, the cost per team was $1,075. In an effort to ease monetary struggles for the younger players, Christie said his team decided to split up the entry costs for law students who wanted to participate. That way, everyone could play and enjoy themselves.

During his time with the league, Christie said he has formed new friendships and seen many professional partnerships form between experienced attorneys and younger law clerks.

“I’ve met many lawyers that have become friends and confidants,” Christie said. “It’s a great opportunity for the collegiality and comradery and for young lawyers to meet others in a non-legal adversarial setting that sometimes you get stuck in.”

Those interested in joining the league can contact Christie at [email protected] for more information.

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