Pro bono

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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Indiana Supreme Court establishes new committee for civil legal aid

May 17, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
In an amendment to the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct, the Indiana Supreme Court is revamping its response to civil legal aid.
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Southern District proposes mandatory pro bono

May 13, 2016
Dave Stafford
A proposed rule change would for the first time obligate lawyers to provide mandatory pro bono service to litigants in civil cases filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, the court announced Friday.
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COA: Firm entitled to investigatory expenses

May 4, 2016
Scott Roberts
A firm who represented an indigent man’s murder case pro bono is entitled to the costs of the investigation of his defense, the Court of Appeals ruled, even though the man pleaded guilty.
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Pro Bono: One Attorney, One Big Impact

April 6, 2016
Kris Kazmierczak
Darrell has been a solo practitioner for the last 23 years, but he still dedicates many hours each year to pro bono work.
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Southern District launches initiative to help pro se litigants

March 23, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
In response to a series of cases remanded from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Southern District of Indiana is attempting to recruit more volunteer attorneys and, in what one observer called a “very progressive” approach, enlist medical professionals to offer expert testimony.
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Evansville Bar Association honors firm, professionals at luncheon

March 18, 2016
IL Staff
The Evansville Bar Association and Volunteer Lawyer Program of SW Indiana recognized pro bono work, legal secretaries and paralegals during their annual joint awards luncheon Wednesday.
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Clinic to provide pro bono naturalization services

March 18, 2016
IL Staff
As many as 60 legal permanent residents will be assisted with naturalization applications Saturday morning by volunteer attorneys from the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic’s Immigrant Justice Program.
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Attorneys applauded for representing pro bono clients in federal court

February 24, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The third annual event in a jury room at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Indianapolis was a thank you to all the attorneys who provided pro bono help in 2015 to pro se litigants in either the Civil Trial Assistance Panel or the Mediation Assistance Program.
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‘Talk to a Lawyer Today’ statewide event to mark MLK Day

January 15, 2016
IL Staff
Lawyers throughout the state will donate legal services to underserved people Monday in the Indiana State Bar Association’s “Talk to a Lawyer Today” event, its 15th annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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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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Grants boost help for homeowners facing foreclosure

November 18, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The money is part of the $584,646 the Indiana Bar Foundation received from the Bank of America settlement with the federal government over the bank’s sale, structuring and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities and certain other mortgage loans.
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Indiana Bar Foundation celebrates anniversary by awarding grants

November 9, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
At its 65th anniversary celebration dinner Nov. 6, the Indiana Bar Foundation announced more than $1 million in grants to legal aid and pro bono districts, marking the first time the statewide nonprofit had been able to award such a large amount since the economic recession.
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$450,000 in court reform grants awarded

October 19, 2015
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court Monday announced $450,000 in court reform grants awarded to 15 counties, five pro bono districts, and one committee. The grants will help courts better manage an increasing caseload of unrepresented or pro se litigants and improve delivery of court services to litigants not proficient in English.
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Judge, 2 lawyers recognized for pro bono work

October 1, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Three members of the Indiana legal community are being recognized for their efforts to make legal aid available to all Hoosiers.
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Indy nonprofit, law firm help curb childhood diseases

September 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
Lauren Braun has been helping safeguard the health of children in impoverished countries for years. A small band she’s developed could bring those efforts full circle with a pro bono assist from a small band of Indianapolis lawyers.
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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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Indiana attorney registrations due Oct. 1

July 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Indiana attorneys are being reminded to complete the annual attorney registration process and certify their IOLTA status by Oct. 1, 2015. Lawyers who fail to register by the deadline will incur late fees and possible license suspension.
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IBF establishes grant program with national settlement funds

July 17, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Bar Foundation has established a new grant program to help residents and their communities heal wounds from the Great Recession.
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Bell/Whelan: 3 things to know about amended pro bono reporting rule

May 20, 2015
James Bell, Jessica Whelan
Rule 6.7, in effect for a mere four months, was recently amended by a Supreme Court order issued April 30, 2015, and effective immediately. The amendment provides additional clarity on what is expected of Indiana attorneys with respect to reporting pro bono service.
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Mediation Assistance Program appoints counsel to help litigants settle cases

May 6, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The program, started in 2009, matches attorney volunteers with pro se litigants as they enter settlement talks. In its inaugural year, MAP appointed legal counsel to two settlement conferences. By 2013, MAP attorneys assisted in 43 conferences.
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Indiana Supreme Court approves amended pro bono reporting rule

May 4, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Supreme Court has amended the state’s new pro bono reporting rule, narrowing the focus to measuring only the direct representation given to indigent litigants.
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Southern District applauds work of attorney volunteers

February 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The 61 Indiana attorneys who provided pro bono hours in the Southern District of Indiana last year were recognized Thursday for their efforts during the second annual Pro Bono Appreciation Breakfast.
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Homeless Project enables attorneys to offer advice and guidance to shelter residents

February 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Residents in homeless shelters in Indianapolis are receiving legal advice and guidance through the Homeless Shelter Project. The program, now administered by the Indianapolis Bar Association, sends pairs of attorneys to a handful of shelters around the city every three weeks to meet with residents needing help.
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Attorney reaction spurs tweaks of pro bono reporting rule

January 28, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
During a January lunchtime meeting of the Elkhart City Bar Association, attorneys served a plateful of questions about the state’s new mandatory pro bono reporting rule and ladled on some skepticism.
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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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