Admission ceremony reminds new attorneys of their duty


Marilyn Odendahl for

Indiana’s newest lawyers were sworn in Monday morning as their families and friends took pride in their accomplishment and members of the Indiana judiciary offered advice.

The Indiana Supreme Court Admission Ceremony was held for close to 300 individuals who had passed the 2017 Indiana Bar Exam. Participants took the oath to be admitted to the Supreme Court of Indiana as well as the district courts for the Southern and Northern Indiana Districts.

Justices from the Indiana Supreme Court along with the Indiana Court of Appeals, Indiana Tax Court and the Southern and Northern Indiana District Courts were present. Also, representatives came from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Valparaiso University Law School and Notre Dame University Law School as well as the Indiana State Bar Association and the Indiana Bar Foundation.

The speakers all emphasized the intangibles of being a lawyer and reminded the newest members of the bar that they now belong to a profession. Society will expect more from them as they now have the responsibility of helping others, seeking truth, solving problems, and standing up against oppression all while being respectful and ethical.

Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik told the new attorneys the numbers that so mattered in their past — grade point average, LSAT score, class rank — were no longer important. Their legacies would be built on how they make their part of the world better.

Both Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana Paul Cherry and Indiana Justice Geoffrey Slaughter advised the lawyers to always make time for family and friends outside of the law.

“No success at the office is worth failure at home,” Slaughter said.

The Indiana oath was administered by Marion Superior Judge Sheila Carlisle and Indiana Legal Services executive director Jon Laramore, who both had children participating in the ceremony. Laura Briggs, clerk of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, and Robert Trgovich, clerk for the Northern Indiana District Court, administered the oaths for their respective courts.

As the new lawyers stood to take the oaths of the courts, many family and friends in the audience took photos and videos with their cameras and cellphones.

“’New occasions teach new duties,’” Senior Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the Southern Indiana District Court told the attorneys while quoting from James Russell Lowell’s poem, ‘The Present Crisis.’ “Today, for you is a new occasion and new duties are coming to you.”