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IndyBar: You Can Make a Difference

June 3, 2015

Three hours out of 744. That’s all it takes to help a family in need—a few hours each month. The result? Happier, safer families leading to a happier, safer city.

Community members in need of pro bono representation in family law and minor guardianship cases are all too often turned away from providers who want to help because of conflicts. And when they then resort to pro se representation, our judicial system slows to a crawl—delaying justice for even more of our neighbors.

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You can make a difference by taking just one pro bono case—and helping one family—at a time. The IndyBar and the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society have teamed up to fight for access to justice by referring conflicted cases to IndyBar members willing to help.

When you volunteer, conflicted but qualified litigants will be referred to you by the IndyBar. You will never be asked to take more than one client at a time. This is a true, tangible way to make a difference in the lives of Indianapolis families for a time commitment of just two to three hours a month over the course of a six-month period.

A bonus? This service qualifies for mandatory pro bono reporting requirements, set to begin in 2016. Attorneys from all practice areas are welcome and encouraged to volunteer.

Ready to make a difference? Contact Caren Chopp at cchopp@indybar.org to volunteer.

If you volunteer:

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.

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.

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.

You retain the right to withdraw from the case just as you would if this were a private case.

You also retain the right to file for a motion to withdraw if the client shows signs of an ability to pay fees.•

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