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Dinner supports public interest law

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

"Dinner funds LRAP" IL March 18-31, 2009

Equal Justice Works at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis hosted a crowd of more than 180 guests at its second annual dinner to support the Loan Repayment Assistance Program, which helps to pay off loans of law school graduates who decide to work in public interest law. The dinner was at the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis March 6.

Andrea Ciobanu, a 3L and president of Equal Justice Works for the law school, said the group still hadn't figured out the exact amount raised as of Indiana Lawyer deadline and likely wouldn't know for a few weeks.

Last year's dinner, which took place at the law school, had 140 guests and raised enough for the program to reach its endowment of $100,000.

The first round of forgivable loans will be awarded during the 2010-11 school year, Ciobanu said.

The dinner also recognized lawyers who do public interest work. This year, the featured keynote speaker was Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

"The study of law for me was more than a preparation for an occupation, it was a preparation for a vocation," he said at the dinner. "I say that law is a vocation because at its core the attorney is required to put the needs of a client ahead of one's own interests. And as attorney general, it is my privilege to serve our state and all those our state in turn serves."

"There is no way to overstate the need for this support as the basis of what makes our system of justice work," he added.

Featured honorees included Fran Quigley, class of 1987, director of operations for AMPATH and a co-founder of the Legal Aid Clinic of Eldoret, Kenya; Kerry Hyatt Blomquist, class of 1990, legal director of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence and director of the Protective Order Pro Bono Project of Indianapolis; and Lisa Koop, class of 2004, a managing attorney at National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago, where she supervises in the asylum, trafficking, and immigrant legal defense projects.

This year's host committee members included Chief Justice Randall Shepard, Secretary of State Todd Rokita, Emily Benfer, John Maley, Gary Miller, Tiffany Murray, Carl Pebworth, Caroline Richardson, Florence Roisman, Robyn Rucker, Rafael Sanchez, and LaWanda Ward.

For those who'd like to support LRAP but were unable to attend the dinner, Ciobanu suggested contacting the school's Office of Development at (317) 278-7541.

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