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Volunteers still needed for Talk to a Lawyer

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A few pro bono districts participating in the Talk to a Lawyer Today program have openings available for attorneys looking to donate a few hours of their time Monday to help the underserved in their communities.

Talk to a Lawyer Today, established in 2002, is a pro bono program that provides legal assistance on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to residents who otherwise may not be able to afford it. All 14 pro bono districts are participating this year with 35 walk-in sites, in addition to the statewide hotlines in English and Spanish. The program is sponsored by the Indiana State Bar Association and the Indiana Pro Bono Commission.

Pro Bono District 4, which serves Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Tippecanoe, Warren, and White counties; District 9, which serves Fayette, Franklin, Rush, Union, and Wayne counties; District 10, which serves Green, Lawrence, Monroe, and Owen counties; and District 14, which serves Clark, Crawford, Floyd, Harrison, Orange, Scott, and Washington counties, told Indiana Lawyer this week they still have openings available for volunteers.

Tabitha Villarrubia, who manages the Spanish hotline, still needs bilingual volunteers. The Spanish hotline is statewide, but the attorneys must be able to come to the Indiana Bar Foundation office in Indianapolis to take the calls, she said. Interested attorneys can contact Villarrubia at Tabitha@villarrubialaw.com to sign up.

Lawyers interested in helping out the districts that still need volunteers can contact the following: Timothy Peterson in District 4 at tim.peterson@ilsi.net or (765) 423-5327; Tammy Hopkins in District 9 at d9probono@yahoo.com or (765) 935-5053; Diane Walker in District 10 at dist10probono@gmail.com or (812) 339-3610 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Amy Roth in District 14 at probono14@sbcglobal.net or (812) 949-2292.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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