Legal organizations/services

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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Annual dollar campaign taking ‘more scientific’ approach

November 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indianapolis Legal Aid Society is kicking off its annual holiday fundraiser this week, hoping to raise $175,000 to $200,000.
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ILS awarded grant to help northern Hoosiers

October 26, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana Legal Services Inc. has received a $10,000 award to help families in the northern part of the state with bankruptcy filings.
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Forgiving student debt

October 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The American Bar Association launched a campaign in response to proposed changes to federal loan forgiveness and repayment programs.
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Indiana programs help public sector attorneys with loans

October 21, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Along with the government repayment and forgiveness programs designed to help new attorneys in the public sector pay their student loans, law schools and bar associations have established similar programs.
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Legal Aid Society 'Raising the Bar' event focuses on pro bono

October 5, 2015
IL Staff
Indianapolis Legal Aid Society will host “Raising the Bar,” an after-work event from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday that will help that agency’s mission of providing legal services to those in need.
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Patent hub playing matchmaker for inventors, pro bono attorneys

September 9, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Under a mandate from Congress to help independent inventors, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office started opening patent hubs around the country. The Center for Intellectual Property Research at Indiana University Maurer School of Law will be the hub serving Indiana.
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National MLP conference selects Indianapolis; concerned about RFRA

August 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Just a few months after getting a national award, the medical-legal partnership program in Indiana is getting another boost.
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Job market somewhat improved for law school grads

August 3, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The National Association for Law Placement’s new analysis of the job market heralded the first rise in the employment rate in eight years for new law school graduates. However, the uptick comes with two caveats – the method for measuring employment has been tweaked which could be contributing to the better rate and the small size of the 2014 class provides an improved jobs rate despite a lower actual number of jobs secured.
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Grassroots efforts brought alcohol and drug abuse out of shadows

July 29, 2015
Dave Stafford
A generation ago, lawyers with alcohol or drug addictions often had another problem: Seeking help might risk their professional livelihood.
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Aid for crime victims soars to record $40 million

July 15, 2015
Dave Stafford
Service providers who assist crime victims around the state received good news this month: Indiana will have almost five times more to spend on programs than the state has been accustomed to receiving.
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ICJI crime victim grant application process now open

July 6, 2015
IL Staff
Organizations that assist victims of crime now may apply for grants from a larger-than-ever pool of available money, the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute announced.
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Retired ILS leader gets national honor

June 9, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Norman Metzger, retired executive director of Indiana Legal Services, is receiving national recognition for his work and dedication to providing legal assistance for the poor. 
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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