Originally published on November 20, 2013 in The Indiana Lawyer
Christopher J. Braun has distinguished himself as a preeminent attorney, teacher and mentor. He represents the principles which all attorneys and educators should emulate. Chris is a role model in the community and in the field of legal education. On behalf of all of the members of the Indianapolis Bar Association, the Standing Committee on Professionalism extends its gratitude and appreciation for Chris’ dedication to the profession and to the development of future attorneys.
Chris has been a partner and leader of Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP since 1994, practicing complex litigation, transactional and environmental law, and has served as an adjunct professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law since 2001, teaching Advanced Trial Techniques and Mediation. In one instance, Chris stepped in at the last minute to fill in for a professor who fell ill at the beginning of the semester. He quickly organized members of his firm to “team teach” a class of 40 environmental law students who were “stranded” by the circumstances.
Chris invests a great deal of his time and passion to develop students who are ethical and effective. His students will attest to the fact that he spends a great deal of effort preparing for each of his classes. Chris’ teaching method differentiates his classes from the classic law school process through the use of practical application instead of rote memorization. Chris encourages his students to engage interactively in his classes and to view the law as a practical problem-solving profession. Role-playing is a tool Chris frequently uses to give his students a competitive advantage over their peers. He creates an environment in which students think deeply about simulated problems and help the parties arrive at mutually acceptable outcomes. This approach inspires his students to think critically and find creative solutions to resolve complex disputes. Chris’ commitment to legal education and empowerment of young lawyers is an invaluable service to the Indianapolis community and beyond.
Coupled with his enthusiasm for teaching, Chris promotes a love for learning, having served on the board of directors of Park Tudor School for nine years, and is currently the board’s president. Chris was also a founder and served as chairman for the creation and construction of St. Maria Goretti Catholic Grade School and Guerin Catholic High School. Chris takes an active role in mentoring young attorneys and devotes his personal time to promote community involvement by attorneys throughout his firm. He makes presentations to the associates in his firm as to setting personal goals and milestones, brings associates to conventions and business lunches, and ensures attorneys in his firm have an opportunity to serve the community by making key introductions and nominating them for non-profit board positions.
Through his teaching, his practice of law and his community service, Chris has positively impacted the lives and careers of a vast number of law students and attorneys. His commitment to servant leadership is a model for all members of the Indianapolis Bar Association. The Standing Committee on Professionalism is proud to congratulate Chris on his remarkable achievements and leadership in the classroom and the legal community.
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