I went to Churchill Downs a couple weeks ago as part of the IndyBar Bench Bar Conference, and I bet on several horse races. But, despite my best efforts, I did not win any cash (this will not come as a shock to anyone who knows my betting skills).
However, I still won the jackpot by nourishing my mind, my body and my soul. Here are just a few of the personally and professionally enriching things I experienced at Bench Bar:
Listening to four of our Indiana Supreme Court justices share their personal journeys to the Supreme Court, their beliefs about the importance of public service and the inside scoop on the inner workings of the court;
Hearing from Rev. Harrison of the Ten Point Coalition that one caring person really can make a difference in the life of a youth who is struggling to overcome poverty and a community filled with violence;
Running along the river in downtown Louisville with an Indiana Supreme Court justice (and 20 other crazy people who got up at the crack of dawn) and managing to keep pace with the justice for a whole eighth of a mile;
Being reminded by Andrew McKenna, our opening plenary speaker, that no matter how successful one may appear to be on the outside, if you have untreated mental health issues, your entire world could come crumbling down and you could lose everything;
Reconnecting with old friends and laughing at old stories;
Meeting first time Bench Bar attendees and being reminded of why I wanted to go to law school in the first place;
Watching one of my co-workers try yoga for the first time (there really are no words to accurately paint a picture of that visual experience);
Playing trivia for the Indianapolis Bar Foundation with about 100 of my friends and colleagues and being reminded why I never considered trying out for Jeopardy;
Watching the sheer beauty of race horses run around the famed track at Churchill Downs;
Smiling at the thought of our Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry driving down the street while listening to Shade 45 so that he knows what the “young kids” are listening to these days;
Listening to James Bell talk about the difference between pro bono and “pro sucko” and the need to make me, the lawyer, the most important person in my case; and
Dancing on Fourth Street like nobody was watching, even though every muscle in my body screamed at me for the next two days.
I wish I could capture all of the great moments from Bench Bar, but hopefully I have shared enough to pique your interest in joining us back in Louisville next year. We’ll return to the Derby City June 14 through June 16, so mark your calendars now!
None of this would have been possible without the incredible work of our Bench Bar Conference Co-Chairs, Judge Alicia Gooden and Eric Engebretson, and our IndyBar staff. I am truly grateful for all of their hard work to make this conference a success. See you next year!