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

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Since early 2013, the IndyBar and local legal service providers have been teaming up to provide pro bono help in family law cases. Almost a year into this joint effort, more than 100 cases have been placed and additional volunteers are needed to provide assistance to those in need.

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 bogging down the judicial system.

“Serving clients on a pro bono basis is a most rewarding part of our profession.  For example, to be part of an appropriate child custody placement and see the look on the face of a gratified parent or grandparent is an indescribably good feeling that cannot be measured,” says IndyBar pro bono volunteer Andrew Soshnick, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP. “All lawyers should volunteer their time to help those in need and experience these heartwarming situations.”

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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

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

5. 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. I have had an ongoing custody case for 6 yrs. I should have been the sole legal custodial parent but was a victim of a vindictive ex and the system biasedly supported him. He is an alcoholic and doesn't even have a license for two yrs now after his 2nd DUI. Fast frwd 6 yrs later my kids are suffering poor nutritional health, psychological issues, failing in school, have NO MD and the GAL could care less, DCS doesn't care. The child isn't getting his ADHD med he needs and will not succeed in life living this way. NO one will HELP our family.I tried for over 6 yrs. The judge called me an idiot for not knowing how to enter evidence and the last hearing was 8 mths ago. That in itself is unjust! The kids want to be with their Mother! They are being alienated from her and fed lies by their Father! I was hit in a car accident 3 yrs ago and am declared handicapped myself. Poor poor way to treat the indigent in Indiana!

  2. The Indiana DOE released the 2015-2016 school grades in Dec 2016 and my local elementary school is a "C" grade school. Look at the MCCSC boundary maps and how all of the most affluent neighborhoods have the best performance. It is no surprise that obtaining residency in the "A" school boundaries cost 1.5 to 3 times as much. As a parent I should have more options than my "C" school without needing to pay the premium to live in the affluent parts of town. If the charter were authorized by a non-religious school the plaintiffs would still be against it because it would still be taking per-pupil money from them. They are hiding behind the guise of religion as a basis for their argument when this is clearly all about money and nothing else.

  3. This is a horrible headline. The article is about challenging the ability of Grace College to serve as an authorizer. 7 Oaks is not a religiously affiliated school

  4. Congratulations to Judge Carmichael for making it to the final three! She is an outstanding Judge and the people of Indiana will benefit tremendously if/when she is chosen.

  5. The headline change to from "religious" to "religious-affiliated" is still inaccurate and terribly misleading.

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