INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA) has honored Barnes & Thornburg partner Alan K. Mills with its annual Rabb Emison Award for his many contributions to diversity and equality in the legal profession. Mills was chosen by his peers through a nomination process open to all ISBA members.
Mills, a business lawyer, attributes his diversity and equality work, in part, to his time spent on the board of visitors for the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. During that time, he encouraged the law school to become more diverse by increasing the number of minorities as students and faculty at the law school. He also previously served as president of the Marion County Bar Association, a historically black bar association.
“I am very appreciative and humbled that the ISBA has chosen to honor me,” Mills said. “Anytime people notice your efforts, you do feel a level of accomplishment and encouragement that makes you want to continue along the same path. I also think it’s an indication of how crucial mentoring is to a young lawyer’s development and continued progress in the legal profession.”
In addition to mentoring several younger lawyers during his legal career, Mills has actively recruited minority lawyers to Barnes & Thornburg.
His contributions have also been noticed over the years by several IU McKinney student groups. In 2019, the Black Law Students Association, Hispanic Law Society and Asian Law Students Association awarded him the Champion of Diversity at its annual Champions of Diversity Award Diversity Dinner.
Mills credits much of his legal professional career success to being a child of a career military parent. His family moved multiple times, including to Madrid, Spain, which put him in sometimes challenging circumstances where he had to make friends quickly.
About Alan K. Mills
Mills focuses his business practice on selling and acquiring commercial real estate and other assets. He also represents clients in complex commercial litigation and bankruptcy matters, including financial institutions, special servicers, equity and hedge funds, and secured creditors.
He currently serves as official financial institutions counsel to the government of Mexico. A former chair of the firm’s Finance, Insolvency and Restructuring practice, Mills has also served on the firm’s management, recruiting and client relations committees, where he helped develop the firm’s diversity goals.
He is admitted to practice in Indiana and before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for District of Delaware, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
He earned his J.D., summa cum laude, from IU McKinney School of Law, where he received the Faculty Prize and served Indiana Law Review as a Note and Development Editor. He also earned a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Carthage College, where he sits on the Board of Trustees. He is a Harry S. Truman Scholar.
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