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Free CLE offered for TTALT volunteers

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Bar Crawl

Bar Crawl is Indiana Lawyer’s new section that will highlight bar association news around the state. We try to include bar association news and trends in our regular stories, but we want to include more news from specialty and county bars. If you’d like to submit an update about your bar association or a photo from an event your bar association has hosted to Indiana Lawyer, or if you have questions about having your bar association news included in the newspaper, please send it to Rebecca Berfanger, rberfanger@ibj.com, along with contact information for any follow up questions at least two weeks in advance of the issue date.

The Indiana State Bar Association will offer its ninth annual free CLE session to prepare for the Talk to a Lawyer Today program from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at Barnes & Thornburg in downtown Indianapolis.

The event primes attorneys for the Jan. 17, 2011, Talk to a Lawyer Today call-in site at the ISBA offices. Attorneys who attend the training program can receive six hours of CLE, including one hour of ethics, in exchange for taking a two-hour shift on the Martin Luther King federal holiday and for accepting at least one pro bono case.

As in year’s past, government attorneys who are unable to handle pro bono cases may still receive the free CLE in exchange for volunteering for a two-hour shift and will pay a nominal registration fee of $25. Those who attend the CLE but do not take a pro bono case and do not participate in TTALT will pay $200 for the CLE. Pro bono districts around the state will host video replays of this CLE. Those CLE credits are also free in exchange for a commitment to a TTALT event and a pro bono case in that district. Contact local district plan administrators for more information about when those sessions will take place and to volunteer for TTALT in areas of the state outside of Indianapolis. Their contact information is available at http://courts.in.gov/probono under “Information for Indiana attorneys.”

Each year, the training sessions for the ISBA call-in include different legal topics for the volunteers. At the end, they each receive a reference book of updated answers to commonly asked questions that callers may ask; the book is provided in part by the Indianapolis Bar Association. Seminar attendees in other districts also receive this book for participating.

This year, the sessions will address new child support guidelines, mental health law, adoption law, Social Security disability, financial reform legislation, and ethics. During the 2010 TTALT event, all 14 pro bono districts had at least one walk-in and/or call-in site for lawyers to answer questions from members of their communities for free. More than 300 members of the legal community, most of them attorneys, participated in some way. At the ISBA site alone, 26 lawyers talked to 322 callers, up from 266 in 2009, according to Laurie Beltz Boyd, district plan administrator for Heartland Pro Bono Council.

While the ISBA event typically includes attorneys who work in District 8 - Boone, Hamilton, Marion, Hendricks, Hancock, Johnson, Morgan, and Shelby counties – the calls are from around the state. The ISBA has also maintained a statewide helpline for Spanish-speaking callers during the event. To register for the CLE seminar or for more information about the upcoming ISBA Talk to a Lawyer Today event, contact Boyd at Heartland Pro Bono Council, 151 N. Delaware, Suite 1800, Indianapolis, IN 46204; Laurie.Boyd@ilsi.net; (317) 631-9410, ext. 2267. The registration form is on the ISBA’s website, www.inbar.org.•

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