Directory

Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis

Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis
530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
www.indylaw.indiana.edu/

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

LaWanda Ward, Esq.
Director, Pro Bono & Public Interest Programs
E-mail
P: (317) 278-9241

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by a Referral System with a Coordinator

Description of Programs

The Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis Pro Bono Program introduces law students to the professional obligation of attorneys and the benefits of providing public service, and recognizes the needs of the under-represented in society. The ultimate goal of the program is to encourage students to discharge the lawyer's professional responsibility to render public interest service once they have graduated from law school.

Work for which a student is compensated, either with pay or with academic credit, is not eligible for inclusion in the Pro Bono Program. Activities that qualify as "pro bono service" for purposes of this program are as follows:

  • Providing assistance to attorneys delivering legal services to persons of limited means or to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters which are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means;
  • The provision of legal assistance to individuals, groups, or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights; or
  • The provision of legal assistance to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental or educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization's economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate.

The above definition of pro bono was adapted from guidelines suggested by the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge of the Pro Bono Institute.

As a Pro Bono Program participant, students volunteer on supervised projects for non-profit organizations, government agencies, and individual attorneys doing unpaid legal work. The work must benefit the under-served, under-represented, or organizations with limited resources. Participating in the program affords students exposure to diverse areas of practice such as administrative law, criminal law, family law, and children's issues. As a result, students gain practical experience while learning about the legal needs of the under-served.

The Pro Bono Program is open to all IU-Indianapolis law students who have completed their first semester of classes. Placements with participating agencies provide students a chance to gain valuable practical experience working on real cases with real clients. A key aspect of the program is its flexibility. Some placements require only a few hours of work per week while others may require more hours dedicated to the project. Most placements are a semester long, while others will continue throughout the academic year. Preferably, program participation starts at the beginning of each semester. First year students are allowed to participate in two nights of Teen Court their first semester. Second semester first years are allowed to select an agency of their choice.

Students who wish to participate in the program need to do the following: Review the list of participating agencies, meet with LaWanda Ward (Room 115) to identify which agency with whom the student wishes to volunteer his or her time, and submit a resume to be forwarded to the participating agency. Students who wish to pursue an opportunity not on the list must have the placement approved prior to beginning work in order to ensure proper recognition.

For further information, see http://indylaw.indiana.edu/Career/probono.htm.

Location of Programs

The Pro Bono Program is housed in the Office of Professional Development. In addition to overseeing the Pro Bono Program, the director provides public interest and general practice counseling to students.

Staffing/Management/Oversight

The Pro Bono Program is overseen and managed by a director. An office assistant maintains the hour database.

Funding

The law school has made a commitment to fund the Pro Bono Program.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

Street Law

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

None listed

Awards/Recognition

Students receive recognition for program participation in various ways. Students are eligible to receive a Pro Bono Program notation on their transcript if 50 hours of pro bono work are completed during the course of their law school career. Students must turn in an Hours Log (with supervisor's signature) at the completion of each Pro Bono Project (usually each semester) as well as an Evaluation Form. Once approval of the 50 hours has been given, the recorder's office will request the notation to be placed on the student's transcript. A certificate and a recognition reception will be given at the conclusion of each academic year to those graduates who contributed 50 or more hours to the program. The law school also will recognize program participants who achieved 50 or more hours of service during their law school careers by listing their names in the graduation program. Please note that only those students who turn in their Hours Log and receive approval will be mentioned in the graduation program.

There are three levels of recognition for the Pro Bono Program:

  • Bronze Level Participants - 50-99 hours
  • Silver Level Participants - 100-199 hours
  • Gold Level Participants - 200+ hours

The Norman Lefstein Award of Excellence is given to graduating law students who have contributed 200+ hours of pro bono service throughout their law school career.

The John Paul Berlon Pro Bono Awardis given to a graduating student who has contributed a significant amount of time to the Pro Bono Program and to other community activities throughout his/her law school career. The recipient of this award is someone who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to public service.

Community Service

None listed

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

LaWanda Ward
Director Pro Bono & Public Interest Programs
E-mail
P: (317) 278-9241

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

None listed

Public Interest Centers

None listed

Public Interest Clinics

Civil Practice
Criminal Defense
Disability
Immigration
Appellate

http://indylaw.indiana.edu/clinics/courses.htm

Externships/Internships

None listed

Classes with a Public Service Component

None listed

Public Interest Journals

None listed

PI Career Support Center

Pro Bono Director provides career advice for students seeking public interest opportunities.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

None listed

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

Summer Scholars and Roisman Scholars-students receive funding each summer to assist with living expenses while serving public interest entities

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

Equal Justice Works student group awards summer scholarships to students who have accepted social justice positions with no pay. The amounts vary based on the amount of funds raised during the school year.

Florence Roisman Summer Scholarship - named in honor of a current professor who advocates for social justice. Donations are made by faculty and administrators around the country in her honor.

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Norman Amaker Retreat – http://indylaw.indiana.edu/clinics/amaker/retreat.htm

Student Public Interest Groups

Equal Justice Works, Indianapolis chapter

August 6, 2018