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Law School Trio Trades Briefs for Brews

By Robyn Hagan Cain on February 19, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It may not be a good life choice, but law school can be pretty amazing. Thanks to the lockers -- and Barrister's Ball -- it's essentially your second shot at high school.

Except in law school, you can drink beer legally. Hell, the school may even provide it.

Perhaps it was in one of those glorious law school moments -- under the influence of awesomeness, nostalgia, and just a few beers -- that a trio of friends decided to trade lives as members of the bar for lives behind the bar.

Jordan Gleason, Justin Miller and Steve Ruby met as law students at Indiana University's Robert H. McKinney School of Law, according to The Indiana Lawyer. (Brief thanks, Above the Law.) Two semesters before graduation, the classmates decided that the home brew they had been making in their spare time would make for a better life than doc review. So they started a brewery.

With a nod to the legal beginning that brought them together, Gleason, Miller, and Ruby started Black Acre Brewing Company in Indianapolis.

Next month, their pub -- which The Indiana Lawyer describes as "a cross between an English Pub and a coffee house" -- will celebrate its first anniversary. And they owe it all to the bad legal economy.

After watching their classmates and other lawyers struggle to find work, the three friends decided to take their home-brewed dreams to the big time. They drafted a business plan, lined up investors, and started making beer. Thanks to their legal training, the corporate suits actually took them seriously.

Now, Black Acre Brewing Company is pouring beers like a Street Lamp Blonde made with lemon peel, a Chai Guy Chai Tea Milk Stout infused with black tea, ginger, clove and cinnamon, and a Late Christmas Gingerbread Porter spiced with molasses, ginger and cinnamon.

While we usually roll our eyes at optimists extolling the virtues of the "versatile" law degree, maybe it yields a few more careers paths than we thought.

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