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IndyBar: We Need You! 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. As the second year of this joint effort begins, 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. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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