RebeccaBerfanger

Rebecca Berfanger joined the Indiana Lawyer staff in 2006. She typically covers law schools, bar associations, pro bono and social justice issues, and interesting things lawyers do when they're not working.

She reported for legal publications in Boston from 2001 to 2004, and earned her MSJ in magazine publishing from Northwestern University in 2005. She has taught magazine publishing as an adjunct professor at her alma mater Ball State University, where she majored in French and journalism and graduated with honors in 2000.

The Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has honored her work annually since 2006. In 2008, she received the ACLU of Indiana's Media Defender of Liberty award.

She has also written for non-legal publications while living in Indianapolis, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

Recent Articles

Attorneys discuss pros and cons of practicing in 2 states

April 13, 2011
Attorneys in Indiana know that they must meet certain ongoing requirements to maintain their law licenses: CLE hours, and staying abreast of procedural changes. Why, then, would anyone want to be licensed in two states?
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Protective Order Pro Bono Project offers training

March 30, 2011
For the last 10 years, volunteer attorneys and students in central Indiana have been helping domestic violence victims obtain protective orders, but before embarking on this process, volunteers must be trained on various matters.
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Girl Scouts learn law, bar offers scholarships

March 30, 2011
Girl Scouts from Indiana recently learned about the law and legal careers. Also, the Johnson County Bar Association is offering scholarships to local students.
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Law School Briefs - 3/30/11

March 30, 2011
Two Indiana law schools ranked in the top 20 of U.S. News & World Report's annual list of top graduate schools. The American Bar Association has recognized Valparaiso University School of Law.
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Legal analysts use media to educate public about issues

March 30, 2011
Lawyers and judges who eat, sleep, and breathe the law might find it easy to forget that not everyone understands the finer points of how the justice system works. This is where legal commentators – analysts of the inner workings of the legal system – come into play.
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Law school dean on NFL Network as legal analyst

March 16, 2011
If you watch the NFL Network, you may have recognized a familiar name among the commentators. Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis Dean Gary R. Roberts has been serving as an on-air legal analyst for the network discussing the current labor dispute between NFL owners and players.
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Loan repayment assistance now available

March 16, 2011
Applications for the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program are due March 31 to the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.
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Insider's look at FBI

March 16, 2011
To continue to improve community relations, the Indianapolis office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation has expanded its Citizens’ Academy programs. Sessions around the state offer individuals the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the federal law enforcement agency.
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President shares MCBA goalsRestricted Content

March 16, 2011
Minority bar associations continue to benefit the Indiana legal community by offering diverse perspectives. Members benefit from networking opportunities, and the bars help to maintain a positive professional presence in the communities they serve.
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Race for LACE supports Kenyan Legal Aid Clinic

March 16, 2011
A few years after several Indianapolis judges and attorneys helped form a legal aid clinic in western Kenya, that clinic is thriving. Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Patricia Riley, a co-founder of the Legal Aid Centre of Eldoret, traveled there earlier this year to see progress being.
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Recent Blog Posts

Do parades and other big events interrupt your work?

March 17, 2011
Has today being St. Patrick’s Day been a cause for celebration or inconvenience, especially if you’re office is on or near a parade route?
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We the People seeks support

March 14, 2011
To express their concerns over proposed budget cuts eliminating the We the People civic education program, a group of that program’s alumni from Indiana have started a Facebook petition to tell Congress to continue the program’s funding.
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Museum focuses on justice system

March 7, 2011

Museum offers response to dramatization of crime and punishment using history, artifacts of crimes and criminals throughout U.S. history, and simulators used to train police.

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Happy Valentine's Day

February 14, 2011
The Marion County Clerk’s Office has raised more than $5,500 for American Heart Association since 2007 from its “Chapel of Love” event on Valentine’s Day. This year’s event had 35 couples who reserved a spot to say “I do.”
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Observations of immigration bill hearing

February 10, 2011
A reporter’s observations about the Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor hearing on Senate Bill 590, an immigration bill, from the hallway outside of the Senate Chamber.
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  1. I can understand a 10 yr suspension for drinking and driving and not following the rules,but don't you think the people who compleate their sentences and are trying to be good people of their community,and are on the right path should be able to obtain a drivers license to do as they please.We as a state should encourage good behavior instead of saying well you did all your time but we can't give you a license come on.When is a persons time served than cause from where I'm standing,its still a punishment,when u can't have the freedom to go where ever you want to in car,truck ,motorcycle,maybe their should be better programs for people instead of just throwing them away like daily trash,then expecting them to change because they we in jail or prison for x amount of yrs.Everyone should look around because we all pay each others bills,and keep each other in business..better knowledge equals better community equals better people...just my 2 cents

  2. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

  4. Being dedicated to a genre keeps it alive until the masses catch up to the "trend." Kent and Bill are keepin' it LIVE!! Thank you gentlemen..you know your JAZZ.

  5. Hemp has very little THC which is needed to kill cancer cells! Growing cannabis plants for THC inside a hemp field will not work...where is the fear? From not really knowing about Cannabis and Hemp or just not listening to the people teaching you through testimonies and packets of info over the last few years! Wake up Hoosier law makers!

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