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Maurer law honors pro bono efforts

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Three law students received the Access to Justice Program’s Pro Bono Award for performing the most pro bono in each of their respective classes.

The awards were presented to Alex Haugh, J.D. ’10, third-year student Gina Venturelli, and second-year student Rachael Steller during a ceremony at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law – Bloomington Sept. 8.

The Access to Justice Program started in March 2009 to set an aspirational goal for students to complete at least 60 hours of pro bono service over the course of their three years in law school. The school uses the ABA definition of pro bono, and students do not receive payment or class credit for their time. The awards ceremony recognized the completion of the first full academic year of the Access to Justice Program.

After the ceremony, students were able to learn more and sign up for various pro bono opportunities, including the District 10 Pro Bono Project, Inmate Legal Assistance Project, Tenant Assistance Project, Public Interest Law Foundation, and Shalom Center HELP Legal Clinic.

Each of the award winners performed a different type of pro bono service.

Haugh volunteered at the Shalom Community Center HELP Legal Clinic and spearheaded the creation of the Shalom Benefits Clinic to provide assistance to those seeking Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps, and cash assistance benefits.

Venturelli began her pro bono service with Outreach for Legal Literacy, where she taught literacy, verbal, and logic skills to fifth graders. She is the president of the Family Law Society.

Steller performed the majority of her pro bono work at Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice in San Francisco, where she prepared civil rights complaints and other legal documents for low-income, minority communities disproportionately affected by environmental degradation. She is the student director of the law school’s Protective Order Project, which helps local victims of domestic abuse.

“We are extremely proud of our students for their extraordinary commitment to providing service to the local community,” Seth Lahn said in a statement. “Pro bono service gives students the opportunity to get hands-on experience while still in school and allows them to see the true difference they make through their work. We hope the wonderful experiences students have with clients will lead to a lifetime commitment to serving those in need.”

Lahn and clinical professor Carwina Weng co-direct the Access to Justice Program.•

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  1. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  2. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  3. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  4. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  5. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

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