IndyBar: Fellows Demonstrate Community Commitment at Service Events

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By Carolyn Clay Hall, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP

The Indianapolis Bar Foundation (IBF), the charitable arm of the Indianapolis Bar Association, chooses a new class of Distinguished Fellows each year. Fellows commit to contributing financially to the IBF, but there is also a service component that helps the Fellows give back to the community in a non-legal way.

iba-vols-15col.jpg IBF Fellows help prepare meals during the 2013 Fellows service project at Indy’s Second Helpings. (IL Photo/ Aaron P. Bernstein)

The idea to add a service component to each Fellows class began several years ago. In 2011 and 2013, two Fellows classes provided assistance to Second Helpings by preparing food for distribution to those in need. Second Helpings plays an important role in the community by accepting donated food to prepare meals for children and adults, then distributing those meals free of charge through local social service agencies in Indianapolis and surroundings areas.

In addition to each Fellows class volunteering for a particular organization, there are service projects available for all Distinguished Fellows and Senior Fellows throughout the year, regardless of class. For several years, Distinguished and Senior Fellows have volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House by preparing meals for the families of the children staying at Riley Hospital. In 2013, three separate volunteer events gave Fellows meaningful opportunities to participate while spending time with colleagues and family.

Distinguished and Senior Fellows are continuing their service efforts in 2014 with two volunteer events—one at Gleaners Food Bank and another at the Ronald McDonald House—planned so far. At the most recent event on July 23 at Gleaners Food Bank, approximately 20 lawyers and judges along with family members joined forces to pack 1,854 bags with nutritional food and snacks for children. These “Backsacks” are provided to local schoolchildren on Friday afternoons to ensure their access to healthy food over the weekend.

Next up, the Fellows will join together after work on the evening of September 30 at the Ronald McDonald House. Volunteers can either pitch in that night and help provide a full dinner for 35 to 40 houseguests, or they can donate items most commonly needed by the organization, including paper products, plastic ware, and other necessities needed when away from home. An invitation to Fellows will be sent soon asking for volunteers.•


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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

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  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.