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IndyBar: Pro Bono for Any Schedule

August 8, 2018

Pro bono service is a rewarding — and expected — component of the practice of law. With reporting requirements now in place, the need to find opportunities that fit varied schedules, practice areas and interests is greater than ever.

The Indianapolis Bar Association is proud to offer pro bono opportunities that fit nearly every practice area and schedule. Funded by an annual foundation grant, all of these programs are made possible by the generosity of IBF donors.

Interested in getting involved? Check out details below and contact Arnetta Scruggs at ascruggs@indybar.org for more information. Remember, you can always show your support for IndyBar pro bono by making a donation to the IBF at indybar.org/donate.

Ask a Lawyer

Ask a Lawyer is the IndyBar’s largest pro bono event, taking place twice each year at locations throughout the city. Ask a Lawyer connects individuals seeking legal guidance with free face-to-face and call-in assistance from an IndyBar volunteer attorney. The next Ask a Lawyer event will be held on Tuesday, October 9.

Volunteers take on just one two-hour shift and are provided with a resource guide to help in assisting the public with questions on divorce, guardianship, child custody, child support, landlord/tenant issues, bankruptcy, personal injury, criminal law, employment law and more. Both attorney and paralegal volunteers are needed, and law students are encouraged to shadow attorneys during the event.

Legal Line

Similar to Ask a Lawyer, Legal Line connects individuals with legal questions to volunteer attorneys for free guidance and advice. Legal Line is a call-in only program that is offered on the second Tuesday of the month (except December) from 6 to 8 p.m. Legal Line is held in conjunction with Ask a Lawyer in April and October. Volunteers are provided with the IndyBar’s comprehensive resource guide to assist in advising callers.

Free Wills Clinic

Low-income individuals are more likely to die younger and without wills or advance directives in place. The IndyBar Free Wills Clinic seeks to assist this population so that end-of-life decisions — especially those affecting children — are clear.

Attorneys, paralegals and law students serve as volunteers to do intake, conduct private legal consultations with qualified applicants, draft paperwork and witness document signing. Grateful Indy residents leave the clinic with fully executed documents and, perhaps most importantly, peace of mind.

Keep an eye out for information on the next Free Wills Clinic to be held in Fall 2018.

The Hospice Program

In hospice care, those around the patient often work to ensure he or she is comfortable during the final days of life — providing palliative care, creating a soothing environment and gathering loved ones close.

But there’s another form of comfort that IndyBar members can provide — the comfort that comes from peace of mind that end-of-life decisions have been made and families will be taken care of. The IndyBar Hospice Program provides this type of pro bono legal assistance to terminally ill patients. The volunteer commitment for this program is minimal.

Homeless Shelter Project

For 26 years, the Homeless Shelter Project and its attorney volunteers have been serving the residents of five local homeless shelters with pro bono legal advice and limited representation. This project offers a vital service to those who are often invisible and without a voice in our community. Volunteers, working in pairs, serve one two-hour evening shift per quarter.•

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