2014 Forty Under 40: Angela Adams

Lou Harry
February 1, 2014
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
adams_angela_1col.jpg (IBJ Photo/Aaron P. Bernstein)

Caught in the middle: When selected for Forty Under 40, Adams was a partner at Lewis & Kappes. She later accepted a position as associate general counsel for immigration at Indiana University.

Active cultures: Interest in immigration issues built over the years thanks in part to studying Spanish in high school, taking mission trips to Native American reservations out West, studying in Spain during college (public affairs/management major at IU), then taking a teaching job in Saltillo, Mexico.

Back in the USA: A job with the Indiana Department of Education in its minority and migrant program led to the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, then Lewis & Kappes, where she consulted on immigration policy in the General Assembly and on Capitol Hill. She organized and led the Indiana Compact, which defined principles to guide immigration debate; served as co-counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union in lawsuits challenging Indiana immigration law; and led a statewide effort to pass Senate Bill 207, allowing in-state tuition at Indiana universities for some undocumented students.

Complex issues: A pet peeve is “when people think immigration is as simple as a bumper sticker. It’s not. It’s extremely complicated. It’s not about, ‘Let’s deport them all’ and it’s not about amnesty for all. It’s everything in between.”

AGE 39
Hometown: Carmel

Family: husband, John; children Erin, 5, and Johnny, 3

Memorable cases: “Whether it’s someone who has to go back to Mexico to get a waiver and is separated from his wife and children, or a removal case and we have to prove that that person deserves to stay here,” said Adams, “seeing someone’s family separated and then being able to reunite that family is the best feeling in the world. I was at an American immigration lawyers conference in Nashville on the day Obama announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [which allow some prosecutorial discretion toward unlawful immigrants who arrived as children]. I cried. Then I picked up the phone and called everyone I could think of off the top of my head who could qualify.”

Sidelines: Adams is past president of the Immigrant Welcome Center, chairwoman of the Indiana chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and on the board of the Mexican Scholarship Fund.

Down time: A cabin in Brown County. “It’s my happy place.”•


  • A beneficiary of Angela's work
    Angela helped us through our immigration process which was part of the "everything in between"; the path wasn't always smooth. Angela was amazing in her handling of our case at all steps and her genuine concern for us. We are one of the reunited families thanks in no small part to her help in our case. Thanks always, Angela!
  • Well deserved
    One of my most favorite people in the world. Angela continues to amaze me through the years as I watch her heart and mind propel her on to success. Can't wait to see what you do next!
  • Congrats!!
    Way to go Angela, you deserve it!

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Only half a million TV Viewers? And thats an increase? I knew Indycar was struggling but I didn't know it was that bad. Hell, if NASCAR hits 5 Million viewers everyone starts freaking out saying its going down hill. It has a long way to before Indycar even hits NASCAR's bad days.

  2. IU has been talking that line for years with no real progress even with the last Dean, Dr. Brater. Why will an outsider, Dr. Hess, make a difference? With no proof of additional resources (cash in the bank), and a concrete plan to move an academic model that has been outdated for decades with a faculty complacent with tenure and inertia, I can count on IU to remain the same during the tenure of Dr. Hess. One ought to look to Purdue and Notre Dame for change and innovation. It is just too bad that both of those schools do not have their own medical school. Competition might wake up IU. My guess is, that even with those additions to our State, IU will remain in its own little world squandering our State's tax dollars. Why would any donor want to contribute to IU with its track record? What is its strategy to deal with the physician shortage for our State? New leadership will not be enough for us to expect any change.

  3. How do you think the Bridges got approved? I spent a couple days researching PAC's and individual contributions to some city council members during that time. My printouts were inches thick on the two I concentrated on. Finally gave up. Was disgusted with all the donations, and who they were from. Would have taken me days and days to compile a complete list. Tried to give it to the Star reporter, but he thought it was all just fine. (and apparently he was treated well himself) He ended up being laid off or fired though. And then of course, there was land donated to the dad's club, or city, as a partial payoff. All done in the shining example of "charity." No, none of these contributions are a coincidence.

  4. I agree what kind of help or if any will be there for Dr. Ley's patients. I was a patient myself.

  5. What about the hundreds of patients who sought this doctor for the right reasons, to quit drugs. what option do these patients now have, experience horrible withdrawl or return to heroin?? those are the choices. what about the children of these former addicts who's parent(s) WILL not b able to maintain their job, for @ least 2 weeks.. There needs to b an emergency clinic opened for these patients.