To help students and alumni who want to practice public interest law, even with law school loan debt, a group of Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis students will host a fundraiser March 7 for the school's loan repayment assistance program endowment.
The evening will begin at 6 p.m. in the law school's atrium. Some sponsorships and tickets are still available. For more information, e-mail [email protected]
The goal of the group, Equal Justice Works, is to raise the endowment from $65,000 to at least $100,000 – enough to start distributing money. The students expect the dinner will be an annual event, said event organizers who include the group's president Caroline Richardson, and vice president Tiffany Murray, both third-year law students, and the group's liaison to the Student Bar Association, Andrea Ciobanu, a 2L.
"We wanted to do a fundraiser that would have a big impact, something sophisticated and fun," Murray said.
Among members of the host committee are Ken Falk, ACLU of Indiana; Norman Metzger, Indiana Legal Services; Don Lundberg, Disciplinary Commission; Jon Laramore, Baker & Daniels; law professors Florence Roisman and Sheila Suess Kennedy; LaWanda Ward, the law school's director of pro bono and public interest; Jimmie McMillian, Barnes & Thornburg; and Gerald Bepko, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis chancellor emeritus and former law school dean.
McMillian said he was happy to help.
"For people who have a passion for public interest, you want them to be able to do that without grave concern of financial peril," he said.
Former congressman Andy Jacobs Jr. is the evening's guest speaker. The students also chose to recognize three alumni who have recently graduated to show the variety of public interest options and how much can be accomplished in a short amount of time, Richardson said.
Honorees are Emily Benfer, class of 2005, who helped start the LRAP endowment at the law school and is a fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center; Marco Moreno, class of 2003, an attorney at Lewis & Kappes in Indianapolis who has taken pro bono cases and volunteers for the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic and Child Advocacy Inc.; and Melody Goldberg, class of 2006, who works for Indiana Legal Services' migrant farm workers program.