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Together, there’s no limit to what we can accomplish

Indiana is a great place to practice law, and that fact is no more evident than in the small towns, courthouse squares and neighborhoods across our state. The lawyers who make up the local and specialty bars are the backbone of our state. They are the attorneys who sit on the boards of directors for an untold number of not-for-profits. They are the attorneys who volunteer their precious little time for our cities and towns. They are the community leaders and, where appropriate, the followers who keep our state strong. They are out there, doing good, but they may be unaware of other resources that might help them do even more.

Many of the accomplishments I have witnessed over the years have been the result of people and/or organizations working together, each playing vital roles.

This year, with the help of the Young Lawyers Section and the staff at the ISBA, we plan to reach out to every local and specialty bar in the state. Shortly before I assumed the office of president, the State Bar hired the extremely capable Catheryne Pully as our Local & Specialty Bar Liaison. Her job is literally to do what she can to communicate with and, where she can, provide assistance to local and specialty bars here in Indiana. With this newly filled position we hope to identify a liaison in every local and specialty bar who will have the opportunity to be in regular contact with our State Bar staff.

This effort to improve such lines of communication is only the first step in what I hope will, if only in a myriad of small ways, increase the value of being a lawyer in Indiana. With the help of the officers of the local and specialty bars and their liaisons, I want to determine the projects with which they are involved that might be of interest to the rest of the state. I also want to determine what projects our local bars may wish to explore. With this information accumulated and with the permission and cooperation of the bars originating the programs, the Young Lawyers and the State Bar will compile a list of “Yours, Mine & Ours: Best Bar Projects” that will include a how-to guide for each project. This guide will provide step-by-step instructions on how to plan and successfully execute a number of programs in our local communities and trumpet the accomplishments of the bars that created these programs or projects. These “Best Bar Projects” can then be available to all the bars across the state with the hope that our local and specialty bars can benefit from the initiatives of others who are willing to share.

If a local or specialty bar has an interest in serving the community in a way that has yet to be developed by other such bars in the state, we will search for a good fit from among ISBA projects, those of our sections and committees, those available at the ABA or through our contacts in other states. Ultimately, my goal is to strengthen our local and specialty bars and to reinforce a supportive relationship between the ISBA and the other bar associations around the state.

We are all more than just lawyers. Each of us has served or continues to serve where we see a need. With any luck (and a little hard work) we at the Indiana State Bar Association may make some of your efforts easier or enable your efforts to have even more of a positive impact. We are not, nor have we ever been, competitors. We share many common interests. Together, we may be able to get more of what we value accomplished and in the interim learn a bit more about what each of our organizations does and what we all value.

If we know what you are doing, we can spread the word about your good deeds. If we know what you want, we may be able to help.

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