By Susanne Johnson, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
With the new year now underway, the Indianapolis Bar Association is embracing new places and traditions. Key among them is the IndyBarHQ transformation, but the IndyBar is also serving up new events for our members to engage with each other and the community. On Wednesday, March 11, from noon to 1 p.m., the IndyBar will host its inaugural Hour of Power at the Tap. Hosted and promoted by the IndyBar Professionalism Committee, the purpose of this event is twofold: (1) to gather members in one location for a casual lunch with other Indianapolis professionals every other month to network with one another; and (2) to support our local businesses with the aim of eventually obtaining partnerships that will permit a portion of proceeds at each event to support the Indianapolis Bar Foundation.
Now I can hear a proverbial groan from our readers about yet another networking event. But networking events do not need to be stuffy evening events with name tags, table assignments and plated dinners. Rather, networking encapsulates a variety of different events—a potluck dinner with your friends and their significant others, an interesting event or CLE you attend with a colleague, or a coffee with a law student or new attorney to the area. You network when you introduce new circles of friends to one another, have a toddler playdate with a family at daycare, a doggy date at the local park, or when you welcome a new neighbor into your neighborhood. The opportunities are endless and the returns, both professionally and personally, are exponential.
Not only does it introduce you to people who may eventually become a client or provide you a referral, but with each new contact you become a little more connected to your community and to other legal professionals. Our worlds become a little friendlier and less isolated when we get out and meet one another.
Networking also is one of the best antidotes to incivility in the practice of law—a key priority for the Professionalism Committee. We recently asked our new IndyBar President Andy Campbell about how networking promotes civility and his response aptly describes how networking can make you a better lawyer:
"The practice of law is inherently stressful and contentious. When those sentiments collide, it can have a corrosive effect on the civility of the practice. The best way to combat incivility is to know and respect your legal opponents," Campbell said. "While networking is often seen as a purely business-development activity, it does wonders for getting to know and building respect for other lawyers in the community. When lawyers involved in contentious litigation or transactions know and respect one another, they are far more likely to act with civility. IndyBar’s networking opportunities, like the Hour of Power series, is a wonderful way to develop relationships with other lawyers that help build respect and civility in the profession."
Registration is not required for this event, but you can see details online here. We hope to see you at our inaugural event, and look for details for upcoming Hour of Power locations and events.
If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Professionalism Committee, please email Kara Sikorski at firstname.lastname@example.org.