CROWN POINT | A prominent Indianapolis-based legal publication has named Lake Superior Court Judge Calvin Hawkins to its 2013 roster of leaders in the law.
Hawkins, who presides over the East Chicago court, has been named a Leadership in Law Distinguished Barrister, one of 15 awards statewide given by The Indiana Lawyer.
The publication annually honors members of the legal profession who have shown a commitment to their profession, their communities and the clients they represent.
Hawkins, who has served on the Lake County bench since 2007, was credited with handing down rulings found to be even-handed and solidly based on the law, according to the announcement.
Hawkins, an ordained minister, also was lauded for his efforts in education. The judge created the It's Cool to Stay in School program, which encourages high school students to graduate and offers two scholarships each year.
Hawkins was nominated by the League of United Latin Citizens.
"They underscored the work I had done in getting the (court) building named on behalf of (former Circuit Court) Judge Lorenzo Arredondo," Hawkins said.
An East Chicago native, Arredondo, now retired, is active with a justice center named for him.
"I was truly honored and humbled to be chosen," Hawkins said Wednesday of the award. "It was shocking."
In a profile provided with the announcement, Hawkins counts education as the civic course most important to him.
His own "fantasy job" if he were to take a sabbatical from the law is teaching at the university level, he says.
But as judge, he finds the greatest challenge "dealing with other judges who have forgotten they were once lawyers," Hawkins said Wednesday.
"Sometimes we forget and make things more difficult and complex than they are," he said.