Since early 2013, the IndyBar and local legal service providers have been teaming up to provide pro bono help in family law cases. Almost a year into this joint effort, more than 100 cases have been placed and additional volunteers are needed to provide assistance to those in need.
The Supreme Court’s appointed Heartland Pro Bono Council, the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society and the Indianapolis Bar Association are asking you to help by taking a family law or minor guardianship pro bono case. This program should also reduce the burden of pro se bogging down the judicial system.
“Serving clients on a pro bono basis is a most rewarding part of our profession. For example, to be part of an appropriate child custody placement and see the look on the face of a gratified parent or grandparent is an indescribably good feeling that cannot be measured,” says IndyBar pro bono volunteer Andrew Soshnick, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP. “All lawyers should volunteer their time to help those in need and experience these heartwarming situations.”
The IndyBar is committed to maximizing your experience as a volunteer by forwarding only one qualified case at a time. This is an ideal opportunity for rewarding pro bono service and a hands-on way to make a difference in your community.
If you volunteer:
1. You will be contacted by the IndyBar when the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society has identified a financially qualified but conflicted litigant. You are free to decline based on client or schedule conflicts, in which case you will be called at a later time.
2. It is the client’s responsibility to contact you. If the client does not call you within 10 days, you have no responsibility to find the client or represent them. Clients will be responsible for filing fees and will be notified to bring filing fees to their first attorney meeting.
3. Your hours will be tracked and your name will be eligible for another assignment only after your case closes. Caren Chopp, IndyBar Pro Bono & Legal Services Coordinator, will be available to serve as a resource for you throughout the duration of the case.
4. You retain the right to withdraw from the case just as you would if this were a private case.
5. You also retain the right to file for a motion to withdraw if the client shows signs of an ability to pay fees.
We very much appreciate your consideration and look forward to working with you as a pro bono volunteer. Please contact Caren Chopp at [email protected] to volunteer or if you have any questions.•