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IBA: Volunteer for the Health and Human Rights Clinic at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

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The Health & Human Rights Clinic at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law (“HHRC”), with the support of a $35,000 grant from the Indianapolis Bar Foundation (“IBF”), is launching a first-of-its-kind initiative to team local attorneys with clinical faculty in providing pro bono representation to low-income clients in the Indianapolis community. Based on the medical-legal partnership model, the HHRC represents the legal needs of patients from low income and ethnically diverse communities throughout the Indianapolis area. Volunteer attorneys will work with HHRC clinical faculty to identify and address the legal issues that negatively impact health, including access to safe and affordable housing; access to public benefits, including medical coverage; protection from domestic violence; consumer matters; and children’s access to special education services. The key advantages to this community-based partnership are the opportunities for volunteer attorneys to receive training, peer guidance, and access to families in need of assistance before their problems reach the crisis stage. These advantages are particularly helpful to volunteer attorneys who may be unfamiliar with the needs of low-income families. Thus, the HHRC will employ a dynamic model of legal services delivery to engage in “preventative lawyering,” an impactful and cost-effective form of legal intervention that helps to prevent homelessness, hunger, and health emergencies. With your help, the HHRC hopes to provide direct legal services to over 150 indigent individuals with health-related legal issues in 2012.

To participate, volunteers will attend a free, full-day procedural and substantive training in housing, consumer, and public benefits law. The first training session will be held on Friday, February 24, 2012, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. An application for CLE credit is pending in anticipation of offering 6.0 hours of free CLE credit to all attendees who agree to accept at least two pro bono cases. Once a volunteer participates in the training, they will be guided and supported by experienced poverty law attorneys in the representation of clients. If you are interested in attending the training, or obtaining additional information about the HHRC, please RSVP by calling (317) 278-0202, or sending an e-mail to gsmallwo@iupui.edu.

The HHRC is made possible in part by the generous support of the IBF 2011 Impact Fund Grant of $35,000. The IBF Impact Fund began in 2011, as a new vehicle to maximize the financial generosity of IBF donors, and to provide members of the Indianapolis Bar Association (“IndyBar”) with compelling opportunities to donate their time through pro bono services. In the past, the IBF awarded many smaller grants to numerous organizations in any given year.

In 2011, the IBF sought to change its philanthropic model by awarding a single, substantial grant to a non-profit organization that would affect a significant positive impact in central Indiana through the promotion of access to justice for indigent persons.

Among other things, the HHRC fulfilled the grant criteria by presenting an opportunity for IndyBar members to support the initiative through volunteerism, and significantly enhancing the visibility and image of Indianapolis attorneys in the broader community. Please consider supporting the HHRC by attending the February 24, 2012, training and representing clients on a pro bono basis.•

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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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