Legal organizations/services

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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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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  1. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

  4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

  5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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