Legal organizations/services

ACLU is seeing a Trump-era surge in members and donations

February 13, 2017
 Associated Press
The nearly century-old American Civil Liberties Union says it is suddenly awash in donations and new members as it does battle with President Donald Trump over the extent of his constitutional authority, with nearly $80 million in online contributions alone pouring in since the election.
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State immigration lawyers say clients fearful amid Trump orders

February 8, 2017
IL Staff
Indiana immigration attorneys and their clients face uncertainty after President Donald Trump issued executive orders in his first week banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations, suspending refugee resettlement programs and stepping up domestic enforcement.
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ILAS sees red ink flow into budget

January 27, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
Even coming off a holiday fundraiser that pulled in just over $150,000, the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society is expecting the 2016 expenditures will throw its budget in the red for the first time in decades.
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Simon grant allows ILS to continue helping the homeless

January 11, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The clinic at Horizon House provides advice and counsel to people most in need of legal assistance.
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Wylie tapped to lead Evansville Volunteer Lawyer Program

January 3, 2017
IL Staff
Scott Wylie, attorney and director of the Vanderburgh Community Foundation, has been named as the first full-time staff director of the Volunteer Lawyer Program of Southwestern Indiana.
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Cities, counties mull immigrant legal fund after Trump's win

December 19, 2016
 Associated Press
Major U.S. cities and counties are beefing up legal services for immigrants to help them fight deportation and avoid fraudulent lawyers in the wake of Donald Trump's election and his hard-line immigration enforcement promises.
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Retirement of key attorney, funding cuts cloud Indianapolis Legal Aid Society effort

December 14, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Retired corporate general counsel Orville Copsey created a program 19 years ago at Indianapolis Legal Aid Society designed to help older people who had been cited by the Marion County Public Health Department for living in unsafe and unsanitary conditions. But the initiative is now potentially facing its own crisis. Weber passed away unexpectedly in February and Copsey is retiring at the end of this month.
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Lawyer retires after helping countless people stay home

December 14, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Almost everyone who talks about their friend Orville Copsey begins with the stories about his suits.
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IBF honors advocates of civil legal aid and civic education

December 12, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
This year’s annual event was held Dec. 11 in downtown Indianapolis, bringing together state and federal judges, attorneys and their families.
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ILS launches new project to help abused seniors

September 29, 2016
IL Staff
Indiana Legal Services Inc. has been awarded a two-year grant to help abused senior citizens across the state recover from or reduce the negative impact of abuse.
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Putting renowned criminal defense lawyer Voyles on hot seat pays off for legal aid

September 21, 2016
Dave Stafford
Jim Voyles, the criminal defense attorney best known for representing a who’s who of famous clients thought ILAS board member and Frost Brown Todd LLC partner Tom Davis was making a sucker’s bet when he asked Voyles be the guest of honor at a fundraising roast marking ILAS’s 75th anniversary.
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Finding funds to support Indiana legal aid

September 7, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Legal aid groups seek private donors as the Indiana Supreme Court requests $500,000 more for indigent representation from the Legislature.
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ABA commission sees need for ‘regulatory innovations’ in legal profession

August 8, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Finding the need for legal services among the poor and moderate-income greater than legal aid and pro bono can satisfy, an American Bar Association commission is advocating for the consideration of “regulatory innovations” which include non-lawyer ownership of legal service providers.
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Lawyers logging more pro bono hours, survey finds

July 27, 2016
IL Staff
Lawyers are making more time for pro bono work, according to a recent survey of lawyers by Robert Half Legal. Despite busy schedules and increasing caseloads, 30 percent reported donating more than 80 pro bono hours each year.
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ILS collaborates with East Chicago Housing Authority to help young adults

June 1, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Starting this summer, Indiana Legal Services will partner with the East Chicago Housing Authority to help local youths who have criminal records overcome the barriers to jobs, housing and education.
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Veterans trade in military life to become legal aid attorneys

May 18, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Polli Pollem is among a trio of Indianapolis attorneys who left the military as officers, went to law school and have since found their way into legal aid. They credit their time in the service with providing them the means to get an undergraduate degree and fostering the desire to pursue a J.D.
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Legal-oriented groups pick Indianapolis for annual conventions

April 20, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
As part of its effort to attract a variety of events and conventions, Indianapolis has put a focus on attracting professional conferences. Having three legal-oriented groups come within two years indicates the city’s strategy is working.
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Wabash honors ACLU of Indiana's Ken Falk for legal service

April 18, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Described as having set “high standards of excellence for all lawyers in Indiana,” Ken Falk, legal director for the ACLU of Indiana, is being honored Monday by Wabash College for his decades of legal service.
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Immigration clinic is training ground for sites nationwide

April 15, 2016
 Associated Press
The small Wesleyan church along the Eel River at the intersection of Linden Avenue and Sixth Street opened a low-cost immigration services clinic in summer 2014 and has since handled more than 600 cases for clients seeking documented status or working toward naturalization as a U.S. citizen.
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How to solve the housing crisis: more lawyers

April 8, 2016
 Bloomberg News
The solution to a homelessness crisis that has accompanied the drop in affordable housing is to hire more lawyers: Give poor renters an attorney, and landlords will more likely settle eviction cases. Homelessness will fall, and the strain on city services will be relieved. Or so goes the logic.
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Workshop to help veterans with criminal records

April 1, 2016
IL Staff
Indiana Legal Services is conducting a workshop next week to help veterans with criminal records learn how to possibly expunge them.
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States look to provide lawyers for the poor in civil cases

March 30, 2016
 Associated Press
A flood of poor defendants representing themselves — often ineffectively — in dire cases involving eviction, foreclosure, child custody and involuntary commitment has led to a push in legislatures to expand rights to free lawyers in certain civil proceedings.
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Second round of settlement money coming to IOLTA

March 16, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana’s IOLTA program is preparing to receive a multi-million dollar boost. The money is coming from a second round of funding released as part of the settlement agreement with the Bank of America as a penalty for financial fraud during the mortgage foreclosure crisis.
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Rep. Susan Brooks helps put spotlight on civil legal aid

December 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Civil legal aid providers got a boost Tuesday with the announcement of the formation of a Civil Legal Services Caucus in the U.S. Congress.
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Survey results reveal range in hours of pro bono work performed annually

December 2, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The pro bono community still believes having attorneys donate their time and professional skills remains a viable method for providing services to low-income individuals and families. But Indiana attorneys overwhelmingly indicate they neither want to be told to volunteer nor be obligated to report their volunteer hours.
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