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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. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  2. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  3. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

  4. My dear Smith, I was beginning to fear, from your absense, that some Obrien of the Nanny State had you in Room 101. So glad to see you back and speaking truth to power, old chum.

  5. here is one from Reason magazine. these are not my words, but they are legitimate concerns. http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/03/fearmongering-at-the-splc quote: "The Southern Poverty Law Center, which would paint a box of Wheaties as an extremist threat if it thought that would help it raise funds, has issued a new "intelligence report" announcing that "an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) -- a 244% jump." To illustrate how dangerous these groups are, the Center cites some recent arrests of right-wing figures for planning or carrying out violent attacks. But it doesn't demonstrate that any of the arrestees were a part of the Patriot milieu, and indeed it includes some cases involving racist skinheads, who are another movement entirely. As far as the SPLC is concerned, though, skinheads and Birchers and Glenn Beck fans are all tied together in one big ball of scary. The group delights in finding tenuous ties between the tendencies it tracks, then describing its discoveries in as ominous a tone as possible." --- I wonder if all the republicans that belong to the ISBA would like to know who and why this outfit was called upon to receive such accolades. I remember when they were off calling Trent Lott a bigot too. Preposterous that this man was brought to an overwhelmingly republican state to speak. This is a nakedly partisan institution and it was a seriously bad choice.

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