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EBA executive director retires

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Susan Helfrich, executive director of the Evansville Bar Association and Evansville Bar Foundation, retires today after nearly 25 years of service to the organizations. In her time with the EBA, Helfrich started the Volunteer Lawyer Program of Southwestern Indiana, the first "Talk to a Lawyer" program, and the first formal pro bono program in the southwestern part of the state.

Helfrich has been recognized for her pro bono efforts by winning the Randall T. Shepard Award - Excellence in Pro Bono Publico for her dedication to delivering legal services to the poor. She was appointed to the Interest On Lawyers Trust Account Pro Bono Initiative Committee in 1995, the only non-attorney appointed by Chief Justice Shepard. In April 2008, Helfrich received the James Bethel Gresham Freedom Award from the EBA, which recognized her lifelong achievements.

The EBA is hosting a retirement party for Helfrich from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at Kirby's Private Dining, 1119 Parrett St., Evansville.

Helfrich's successor, Susan Dayton Vollmer, is an Evansville native who has been practicing law for 12 years.

Indiana Lawyer published a story about Helfrich's retirement in the April 30-May 13, 2008, edition.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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