By Morgan A. Decker, Moreno & Villarrubia LLP
After nearly 10 years of practice, this year was the last year I qualified for IndyBar’s Bar Leader Series, an annual leadership program for lawyers aimed at developing them for future opportunities in leadership roles in the business and legal communities. Applications are now being accepted for the 2019-2020 class, which will begin in October, and I’d like to tell you four reasons why I’ve loved my experience so far and encourage you to apply!
1. The Bar Leader Series Retreat (the first “icebreaker” event of the program) is like camp for lawyers! Blindfolds in the woods and multiple (FUN) activities to meet a lot of cool, smart people who are also lawyers were just the beginning. (You don’t HAVE to sing Disney tunes and talk “Game of Thrones” around the campfire with your fellow participants the first night, but trust me, you’ll be a tight-knit bunch after the blindfolds.)
2. You learn about yourself (both your strengths and your flaws) and learn that there are other people like you! You’ll learn that you’re merely scratching the surface of what you are able to achieve professionally and personally. Being around other lawyers with the same amount of experience as myself and learning we all have the same doubts, same goals and same types of clients was a relief.
3. The monthly Bar Leader Series sessions allow a new and varied perspective to occupations, organizations and administrative systems that intersect all of our lives (not only as lawyers, but as members of our Indianapolis community). Whether it’s a trip to Eli Lilly, a local law firm, the Indiana Legislature, or United States District Court, a monthly field trip to expand our knowledge and our network of local Indiana people making a difference in our community has been one of the highlights of this program. Real talk with judges, partners and CEOs is invaluable, and the connections are too.
4. Our group projects this year have allowed each of us to network with others across the IndyBar organization and to make lasting relationships. We have built skills by planning events, troubleshooting programs and benefits within the IndyBar that we can help with for years to come.
I am extremely glad to have met many leaders throughout the community. I am even prouder to know that my fellow Bar Leader Series participants and I are going to be the future of the legal community.
If you are a good lawyer who wants to be a great lawyer and wants to contribute to the beautiful city of Indianapolis or surrounding areas, apply early to this fantastic opportunity. If you apply this year and don’t get selected, PLEASE try again. I cannot stress how fun and professionally satisfying this program is, and I am forever changed by what I have learned and who I have met.
We’re from a variety of backgrounds and professions: we are a group of attorneys in the public and private sector (solo firms to large firms), nonpracticing law school graduates and in-house counsel. No matter what you do or who you are, this is a great opportunity so don’t let it pass you by! Apply for the Bar Leader Series by July 1 at indybar.org/barleaderseries.•