The Indianapolis Bar Foundation is once again offering up to $2,500 to lawyers who work with local service providers to help central Indiana families in need of legal services related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Web Exclusive: New pro bono mediation project resolves family law cases with less time, money
Two Indianapolis lawyers who had an idea to start a pro bono mediation service for family law cases were stunned by the reception from the local legal community, as more than 100 answered a call for volunteers. “It’s mind-blowing,” said one of the organizers of a program described as “blue jeans mediation.”Read More
Veteran pro bono leader Fennell joins Taft
As a new year starts, Monica Fennell, longtime pro bono advocate and past executive director of the former Indiana Pro Bono Commission, is stepping into a new role as pro bono director for Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, where she will coordinate the volunteer legal work of the more than 600 attorneys in the firm’s 11 offices.Read More
IU Health’s Chambers becomes first in-house counsel to serve as DTCI president
Kori Chambers begins her year as president of the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana seeking a smooth transition during a challenging era. She plans to continue the proposition championed by outgoing DTCI President Donald Smith that defense lawyers get a good bargain through their affiliation with the organization.Read More
Down to business: Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence legal team helps survivor untangle from financial mess
A pro bono team of lawyers helped a grateful domestic violence survivor get untangled from a business her ex-husband had set up in her name that left her facing substantial financial obligations.Read More
Kids’ Voice of Indiana will be the sole operator of the guardian ad litem and court appointed special advocate programs for Marion County juvenile courts after Child Advocates, which had provided those services for decades, rejected the subcontract agreement the two organizations had been negotiating.
Indianapolis-based Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic has been awarded a grant of just over $1 million from Lilly Endowment’s Enhancing Opportunity Initiative, allowing the legal aid provider to bolster its assistance to individuals who are reentering society after being incarcerated.
Saying civil legal aid can help make the American Jobs Plan “work the way Congress intends,” the Legal Services Corp. is requesting supplement funding between $350 million and $500 million be included in the infrastructure package proposed by the Biden administration.
Indianapolis Legal Aid Society has received a $250,000 COVID-19 relief grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., providing much-needed support for legal assistance to low-income Hoosiers in central Indiana who have been acutely affected by the ongoing pandemic.
Although the Indiana General Assembly has unanimously supported a $1 pro bono surcharge tacked onto the state’s filing fee for civil cases since 2012, a bill that would have increased the amount to $3 did not get a committee hearing this session, raising alarm that the key funding stream for legal aid could run dry just as the need is growing.
Talking about what motivates him to be a JLAP volunteer, Justice Steven David pointed out parallels in his legal and military career paths. In both, ordinary people are called upon to do extraordinary things: solving problems, working in the midst of conflict and making decisions that affect lives. We set high expectations for ourselves. Failure is not an option.
How is it possible that in our enlightened age there remains such a disconnect between being cool and being a leader? Perhaps the answer lies in a truism: Leadership is not cool. Case in point: prom kings are cool. Chairing the prom planning committee is not.
When planning for the 2020 holiday campaign started last February, Indianapolis Legal Aid Society had big ideas to host a kickoff party and enlist volunteers to talk to donors face-to-face with the goal of bringing in record contributions. Then the COVID-19 crisis changed everything. Despite the obstacles, the holiday fundraiser not only collected donations but surpassed the original goal of $225,000.
Looming evictions with so many Americans unable to pay their rent have been at the forefront of concerns, but legal aid offices and pro bono attorneys see other issues on the horizon. They expect more filings for bankruptcy and guardianships, and they believe more people will reach out for legal assistance with problems connected with consumer debt and domestic violence. Underpinning their ability to help is the need for money.
During an incredibly challenging year, Indianapolis Bar Association & Foundation leaders continued to step up for the benefit of the profession and our community. We are extremely grateful to these members for giving so generously of their time and talent in the midst of so many challenges.
Saying it is time to do more than talk, Barnes & Thornburg attorneys and staff are taking an active role in promoting equity by forming a nonprofit and, so far, contributing $200,000 to support charities focused on racial justice in their local communities, including Indianapolis.
With the president’s signature on the $2.3 trillion spending bill, the Legal Services Corporation is set to receive $465 million, the largest appropriation in actual dollars for the organization in its history.
Indiana University Maurer School of Law graduates who last year started an expungement help desk marked scores of personal victories through their work under trying circumstances and hope to build on early successes that helped clients in dozens of counties.
For the first time in its history, the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society’s holiday dollar campaign is going virtual. The fundraiser has become a tradition since it was started in the mid-1990s but will be critical this season to meet the needs created by the pandemic.
For the last few years, students at the Notre Dame Law School have been working in conjunction with a Chicago organization designed to seek justice for wrongfully convicted individuals. Now, the law school has graduated to a new level of independence in its wrongful-conviction work, opening the Exoneration Justice Project this semester.
While many things have changed this year, the need for pro bono immigration lawyers has not. Indiana lawyers have a range of opportunities to get involved in immigration law.
For years, IndyBar attorneys have helped community members living in poverty to safeguard their futures through the IndyBar’s Free Wills Clinics. This year, IndyBar volunteers (safely) set up at the Indiana Veterans Center to draft wills and advance directives for Indianapolis citizens at no cost.
The positives of having a job are unchanged, but the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced some new obstacles to re-entering individuals whose criminal records already created a barrier to gainful employment.
The law is a service profession, one lawyers often enter into with big dreams of changing the world. For some lawyers, though, the work of changing the world begins not in law school, but in the military.