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Posted on: Jul 1, 2016

Why I Loved Bench Bar: Emily Angel Eads

By Emily Angel Eads, Kids' Voice of Indiana

I feel extremely fortunate to have received a scholarship from the Family Law Section to attend the 2016 Indy Bench Bar Conference at French Lick Resort. This was my very first Bench Bar experience and it was really nice to get together with other local attorneys to learn and have fun.

Since my practice almost exclusively deals with children’s issues, I attended the Family Law CLE track. All of the speakers in that track did a great job on their respective topics and kept the audience engaged. Plus, the “TED talk” format of the CLEs made them seem less like lectures and more like conversations, which was very valuable for me. As a young attorney, I am often still just trying to figure out what the law is, so getting to hear experienced attorneys discuss the nuances of different topics was especially helpful for me. I loved it!

My experience was also greatly shaped by the wonderful social programming at Bench Bar. The organizers managed to cram a week’s worth of fun in just two short days. From the pool party on Thursday (which served as ice-breaker for this newbie) to Trivia Night on Friday night (by the way, my team won!), I had a blast the entire time. I made connections with attorneys I had never met and also developed relationships with attorneys I had only met previously as opposing counsel or in other strictly professional settings. I honestly believe getting to know the people you work with regularly on a more personal level is important for the work we do as legal counsel, especially in family law. It produces healthier professional relationships with increased levels of trust and civility. Plus, it’s good for us to commiserate and blow off some steam together.

Overall, the conference provided a much needed networking and learning experience for me and I am thankful for the opportunity. I very much look forward to attending Bench Bar in 2017!

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