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IBA: Volunteer to Take a Family Law or Minor Guardianship Pro Bono Case

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The day has arrived when local legal service providers and the bar are coordinating efforts to provide pro bono help in family law cases, and we’re ready for your help.

The Supreme Court’s appointed Heartland Pro Bono Council, the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society and the Indianapolis Bar Association are asking you to help by taking a family law or minor guardianship pro bono case. This program should also reduce the burden of pro se parties bogging down the judicial system.

The IndyBar is committed to maximizing your experience as a volunteer by forwarding only one qualified case at a time. This is an ideal opportunity for rewarding pro bono service and a hands-on way to make a difference in your community.

If you volunteer:

You will be contacted by the IndyBar when the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society has identified a financially qualified but conflicted litigant. You are free to decline based on client or schedule conflicts, in which case you will be called at a later time.

It is the client’s responsibility to contact you. If the client does not call you within 10 days, you have no responsibility to find the client or represent them. Clients will be responsible for filing fees and will be notified to bring filing fees to their first attorney meeting.

Your hours will be tracked and your name will be eligible for another assignment only after your case closes. Caren Chopp, IndyBar Pro Bono & Legal Services Coordinator, will be available to serve as a resource for you throughout the duration of the case.

You retain the right to withdraw from the case just as you would if this were a private case.

You also retain the right to file for a motion to withdraw if the client shows signs of an ability to pay fees.

We very much appreciate your consideration and look forward to working with you as a pro bono volunteer. Please contact Caren Chopp at cchopp@indybar.org to volunteer or if you have any questions.•

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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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