By Angela P. Krahulik, Ice Miller LLP
Twenty years ago, Rich Blaiklock received a scholarship from the Indianapolis Bar Foundation, and the Lewis & Wagner LLP attorney remembers that it couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Our son was born that year; we had a house and a mortgage; and I was working full time and attending night school,” said Blaiklock. “We made the decision that my wife would stop working, so the money lessened our financial strain (and worry) and helped me continue to focus on my academics.”
The Indianapolis Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Indianapolis Bar Association, annually awards academic and educational scholarships to deserving law students who pledge to support positive change in Indianapolis through philanthropy, education and service.
This year marks an exciting milestone for IBF scholarships with financial support to law students topping $200,000 since the scholarships’ inception in 1985.
One of the 2015 scholarship recipients, Alexander Carlisle, a second-year student at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law, volunteers with the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic’s pro se expungement help desk.
“The indigent people I help at the help desk want nothing more than a new chance at life – to be able to find a decent job and housing,” said Carlisle. “The Rosalie F. Felton Scholarship will enable me to help these people by reducing the pressure to find ways to mitigate my law school debt. I hope one day to pass on the generosity the Indianapolis Bar Foundation has shown me through this scholarship.”
The assistance provided to students through IBF-funded scholarships is a key component in the IBF’s mission to advanced justice and support positive change in Indianapolis. These scholarships are maintained solely through the generosity of IBF contributors. Over the past 30 years, the IBF has helped over 170 law students realize their ambitions and has encouraged their ongoing commitment to the betterment of Indiana’s legal profession.
Patrick Olmstead, now a solo practitioner in Greenwood, received the James Lawrence Miller Scholarship in 1999 and fondly remembers meeting one of Mr. Miller’s relatives when receiving the scholarship given in his honor.
At the time, Olmstead was working two jobs to support his family of four. The scholarship funds permitted Olmstead to accept an internship with Judge John Tinder during his time on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana and allowed Olmstead to work with the National Labor Relations Board, both of which Olmstead recalls as inspiring and enriching experiences.
IBF scholarships are awarded as academic scholarships paid to the Indiana University Foundation in the name of recipients and in the form of continuing education scholarships for the IndyBar Review, the official bar exam review course of the Indianapolis Bar Association and credited to the course on behalf of the student. Scholarships are reserved for student members of the Indianapolis Bar Association.
While the criteria for each scholarship varies, common gauges include elements of academic performance, financial need and dedication to community service or civility in the legal profession. In addition, in applying for any of these awards, law student candidates vow to contribute time, talent or treasure to the Indianapolis Bar Association throughout their careers in Indiana’s legal community.
Angela P. Krahulik is a Partner with Ice Miller LLP and a proud member of the Board of Directors of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation.