There’s a place for you!

By Carol M. Adinamis, ISBA President

Would your dating advertisement read as follows: “Quiet person, enjoys being alone or with small groups of people, happy to attend large parties as long as downtime follows.” For those of you who know me, it probably comes as no surprise that I don’t volunteer for karaoke, and I’ve never been the first one to raise my hand in a classroom. My personality is much more reserved. Many of you may be able to relate to this description because this is exactly how you are. Others probably have no idea why some people would even hesitate to call attention to themselves.

And yet here I am, president of the Indiana State Bar Association – a position you would think would be held by those who are much more outgoing. I recently had the opportunity to read the book, Quiet, by Susan Cain. This book gave me great insight into how I work and what I need to do to be an effective leader. Ms. Cain, a Harvard lawyer, gives fantastic examples of well-known “quiet” people who have led others in tremendously valuable ways: Steve Wozniak, Rosa Parks, Warren Buffet, Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, J.K. Rowling and Bill Gates to name a few. She explains how these quiet leaders were effective because they brought their own thoughtful and calming presence to the table. It’s not that they don’t enjoy being with a lot of people; it’s just that they require alone time to recharge their batteries. On the other hand, more extroverted people require interaction with others for the exact same reason. Ms. Cain explains that the most successful organizations are those that allow a mixture of people’s personalities to make contributions. The ISBA is one such organization.

From personal experience I can tell you that whatever your personal qualities, there is a place for you in our bar association. I encourage you to get involved in the Indiana State Bar’s committees and sections and make your personal contribution to Indiana’s legal profession. Your opinions and thoughts are what drive this organization and what allow it to be a valuable resource to all legal professionals.

Being the largest organization representing lawyers in the state of Indiana, the ISBA takes its responsibility very seriously. It is a place where I have found myself interacting with Indiana Supreme Court justices, attorneys from all around the state in solo, small, large and mid-sized firms, law school deans and other people who I may never have met in my transactional law practice. Here, our voices are all valuable, and everyone can make a contribution that strengthens the organization and its mission to represent the Hoosier legal profession.

I encourage you to pick up the phone and call Chauncey Lipscomb at the ISBA (800/266-2581) or email him (clipscomb@inbar.org) to join a committee or section, apply to the Leadership Development Academy, submit an article for this magazine, volunteer for one of many pro bono opportunities or volunteer to do something else and make your voice heard. The ISBA is a place where you can make your contribution to our profession as a whole, whether you want to get extremely involved or just focus on something of interest to you. Our website, www.inbar.org, lists all of our sections and committees. There is definitely one there that will interest you. In addition, our member benefits are extraordinary, and I know you will find they assist you whether it is through the substantive-law forums, Casemaker, continuing legal education or one of the other many valuable member benefits.

Regardless of your personal views, your personality or your job in the legal profession, the Indiana State Bar Association has a place for you to contribute to change and improve our legal system – even if you are a quieter person like me.

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