The firm’s founder, Clarence J. Donovan, was born in 1908 and graduated from Bedford High School. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1931, and passed the bar examination that was the first such examination conducted by the Indiana Supreme Court. Up until that time, lawyers had been admitted by the various Circuit Courts in the State on the motion of an attorney who was a member of the bar. The only qualifications required for admissions before 1931 was that the person be at least 21 years of age and of “good character”.
Mr. Donovan, who was nicknamed “Oonie”, established his office for the practice of law in 1931 in the Citizens National Bank Building located at the corner of 15th and “J” Street in Bedford. He was the Democrat party’s candidate for Indiana Secretary of State in 1948, but lost in a close election. At Notre Dame, he was captain of the basketball team. He served as counsel for the Citizen National Bank and the Bedford Federal Savings Bank. He passed away in 1990.
Gordon K. Emery was born in 1935 and also graduated from Bedford High School. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1958 and the Indiana University Law School in Bloomington in 1961. He served as Law Clerk to the to the Hon. Cale J. Holder, Judge of the United States District Court of the Southern District of Indiana. In 1963, he joined Oonie in the practice of law and the firm became known as Donovan and Emery. Gordon served as Bedford City Attorney for 24 years and has served as Counsel for the Bedford Federal Savings Bank since 1990. He passed away in 2016.
Bruce A. Hewetson was born in 1951 and graduated from Bedford High School. He graduated from Indiana University in 1973 and the Indiana University Law School in Indianapolis in 1976. He joined Oonie and Gordon in the practice of law that same year. The firm later became known as Donovan, Emery and Hewetson. Bruce served as Chief Deputy Prosecutor in Lawrence County for eight years. He passed away in 2008.
The law firm represented the Bedford City Schools and organized the North Lawrence Community Schools that came into existence in 1965. The firm currently serves as attorneys for both the North Lawrence Community Schools and the Mitchell Community School Corporation. The firm incorporated the East Lawrence Water Corporation in 1967 and continues to represent it. In 1992, the firm incorporated the Lawrence County Community Foundation which became the Community Foundation Partnership, Inc. in 2004. The firm organized The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence County in 2013.
As Lawrence County’s oldest law firm, Pittman | Woodward continues to provide a broad range of legal services to Bedford and the surrounding area and continues to be actively involved in the community.