Legal organizations/services

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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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.
More
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  1. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

  2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

  3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

  4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

  5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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