My Hero

It is official: Indiana has a new Lawyer admitted to the Indiana Bar

By Mary Anna Violi |@MaryAnnaVioli

Have you ever wanted something so badly that it consumed you? Have you ever been willing to go the distance to obtain that dream? Have you ever passed restless nights and fearful days when you questioned whether or not you had what it takes to seize that dream? Have you ever squared your shoulders and said, “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!” [Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, United States Navy, Civil War]?

I have the privilege of knowing such an individual: my daughter.

On Monday, October 16, 2017, I had the supreme pleasure of witnessing the Indiana Supreme Court Admission Ceremony as my daughter stood and was sworn in to “…support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Indiana.” Thus she became a practicing member of the Indiana State Bar.

It had been a long road. In her third year as an undergraduate at Indiana University Bloomington as both a Journalism Major and as a Classical Studies Major with an emphasis in Art History, I well recall the day she informed me she had decided to pursue a Juris Doctor degree in Law. My reaction was positive and supportive of her decision. Fully aware of the competitive nature of a Law Degree, I knew if she wanted it, she would give it her all. For when she set her sights on something, she pursued it until she held it in the palm of her hand. The first challenge was sitting for the LSAT Exam. As I thumbed through her LSAT prep books, I was taken aback. These prep questions abounded in logic and reasoning. She was a most logical and reasonable person, except for those times we held conflicting opinions, but that is the nature of a parent-child relationship. She hunkered down for hours in libraries and sometimes at home when visiting for a holiday, or the odd weekend.

After the LSAT results came the Law School applications, and the Law School visits. Since these visits included family, I tagged along to learn more about the Law Schools, meet faculty and knosh away at the receptions for accepted students. Finally, she narrowed her decision to two Law Schools she very much liked: The University of Dayton and The Valparaiso School of Law. Within months of her decision to attend Valparaiso, came the New Law Student Orientation, and two weeks later, Law classes began in earnest. The next three years consumed her with the vitality of the Law. Classes in Constitutional Law, Property Law, Cyber Law, Business Law, among the many, challenged and invigorated her. She joined organizations as an active member and officer in the Women Law Students Association, Valparaiso Amnesty International Chapter, Phi Alpha Delta, and the Valparaiso Law Blog. The lawyers she met through networking events further spurred her on, as did Law Internships over the course of several summers.

Graduation arrived, her J. D. Degree she held in her hands. Next came the Indiana Bar Exam. More studying, the Bar prep courses, and then the two-day Bar Exam itself [one day of six hours’ worth of multiple choice questions; the second day of seven hours of eight essays] stared her in the face. All of this amid anguish, grit, tears, followed by determination to succeed. I internalized her highs and lows all the while praying God smile upon her for her tenacity, her love of the Law, and her willingness to pursue her dream of becoming a Lawyer. In the end, it paid off: she passed the Indiana Bar Exam, she has been admitted to the Indiana Bar, and is now interviewing for Law positions so that she may begin working in her profession in earnest.

Anjelica strove against obstacles, and she emerged victorious. I am gratified for her. She is a testament to intelligence, tenacity, kindness, faith, and true grit. God lover her, she is indeed my hero.

Ciao for now.


May 14, 2016

Anjelica Violi, J.D., May 14, 2016 -
Anjelica Violi, J.D., May 14, 2016 –



















By Mary Anna Violi | @MaryAnnaVioli

She did it! She graduated from Valparaiso School of Law, Class of 2016. She smiled the entire day, throughout the ceremony, reception, photos, luncheon, cake, and gifts. She deserved all of the happiness and joy. She had earned it every step of the way throughout the past three intensive years and internship summers.

Last night in the quiet of her abode as we talked, I shared with her my admiration of her accomplishments. My stance has long been to be the support, her cheerleader, but not her career path dictator. She has to decide the course of her life, not I. I told my darling daughter how courageous she has always has been, how she has always stood firm, and followed the path she decided would be hers. It has not always been a smooth journey, she has experienced doubts, anxieties, and confusion along the way, but her grit and determination have paid off time and time again.

Her choosing the local public over private high school, selecting IU Bloomington over the smaller private universities, pursuing degrees in Journalism and Classical Studies, and a minor in Art History, and then recruitment in a campus based sorority, were enormous decisions for this once shy child of mine.

And then, in her third year at IU, she announced to me she was going to take the LSAT and go to Law School.

Having taken a battery of career placement test in the spring of her junior year of high school, the renowned, Indianapolis based career counselor met with us to discuss in depth the results. After analyzing and interpreting the data, he announced what she would pursue at the graduate level.

“Graduate level?” asked an incredulous Anjelica. “I haven’t even graduated from high school!”

“No matter,” he replied. “You will get an undergraduate degree, and then,” he paused dramatically, “you will get a Law Degree.”

“What? You’re joking!” She was stunned.

“No joke,” he said. “It will happen. You. Law School.”

I reminded her of this conversation she had forgotten. Last night I brought up what he had said eight years ago. She smiled.

She smiled throughout the
The new  J.D. graduate smiled throughout the



















After eight years of stifling traditional elementary school, she breathed more freely in high school. At IU Bloomington, she truly came into her own through journalism, leadership in the sorority, via volunteerism at the campus Museum of Art, the Union Board, serving on the Student Judicial Board, and her decision of Law School.

The Law student organizations opened doors for her through the Women’s Law Student Association; Amnesty International; Phi Alpha Delta; and writing for the Law Blog. Holding offices in several of these organizations further honed her leadership skills. She has always been passionate about victims’ rights, animal rights, and human rights overall. On the Trial Advocacy Team she competed nationally. Her moral courage, compassion, leadership, strength of conviction, intelligence, humor, and heart have flourished, and will, I know, stand her in good stead as she continues to evolve.

The white cake with raspberry filling was delicious! -
The white cake with raspberry filling was delicious! –



















Now, as she sets her sites on the Bar Exam at the end of July, and turns her attention to the intensive kick-ass Bar Prep course, her command of what it takes to get her where she wants to be in Law will steer her onwards. She comes from a long line of self-starters and visionaries imbued with ideals.

I cannot help but smile over my daughter, my shining star.

Ciao for now.









Opera, Art, and Rain



Woodburn Hall, IU Bloomington –


Last weekend I visited my daughter on her college campus.  Since she moved back to the campus in mid-August, I had assiduously avoided going downstate while she studied for the LSAT exams.  Between her coursework, media lab work, and LSAT preparation, the last thing she needed was The Good Mama hovering for a weekend.


Mid-August to mid-October was the longest we had gone without seeing one another, even though we talk almost daily, albeit briefly, on the phone.  Mother Nature saw fit to deluge my drive with a torrential downpour throughout my one hundred and eighty mile journey.

IU Bloomington campus –


We decided to go to the opera that night since it was still raining.  Better to sit in the Indiana University opera house and immerse our aesthetics in Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow.  The university’s world famous School of Music rarely disappoints its opera audience.  Most of the soloists go on to operatic careers at other opera houses both here and abroad.  This production of The Merry Widowenjoyed new sets, lavish new costumes, an amazing orchestra, and a cadre of fantastic singers.  The sheer beauty of the three-hour performance transported us beyond the rainy outdoor environs.

Autumn on the IU Bloomington campus –


Saturday dawned sunny with a crisp tinge to the air.  We brunched at one of our favorite eateries, Farm.  After a brisk walk, we landed in the university’s Art Museum to see its special exhibitions.  Barry Gealt:  Embracing Nature, proved provocative with a kaleidoscope of blues, purples, and greens. Prior to observing Gealt’s artwork, the thickest paint on a canvas I had ever seen was that of Vincent Van Gogh’s.  Since Maine’s harbors are some of my favorites; as a result, it was a treat to view Gealt’s rendition of various Maine waterfronts.  Another exhibit entitled Pioneers and Exiles:  German Expressionism at the Indiana University Art Museum, proved less thrilling for my taste, although I noted with pleasure a work by Kandinsky, an artist I very much admire.  Threads of Love:  Baby Carriers from China’s Minority Nationalities perplexed us as to how babies were held in the exquisite carriers of woven threads and fabric. I found the carriers created by the Hmong people particularly intricate and fine.


Under the autumn sun we lost no time in embracing the last of the spectacular foliage on the forested campus.  We crunched through leaves, stopped to snap photographs, and conversed with others partaking of the fine day.

October on the IU Bloomington campus –


All too soon Sunday afternoon reared its head.  Anjelica and I bid each other adieu.  I settled myself into the SUV for the journey home; she climbed the steps up the steps to her house to hunker down to study.  As I waved goodbye, I missed her already.


Ciao for now.