About the Grant
In 2020 while in the starting stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indianapolis Bar Foundation (“IBF”) Board of Directors converted its $35,000 grant, which had been awarded to an outside nonprofit, to assist members of the Indianapolis Bar Association and the Indianapolis community as they navigate the economic effects of COVID-19. This year, the IBF Board voted to re-institute its $35,000 outside grant as well as again offer a grant totaling $25,000 to continue to assist IndyBar solo and small firm practitioners with a grant of up to $2,500 for lawyers who perform services on prescreened cases from local service providers to assist central Indiana families in need of legal services.
Crisis Empowerment Grants will cover the hourly expenses of solo and small law firm practitioners of $100 per hour, up to five hours per client, devoted to assisting referred clients who meet program criteria. The grant application provides information on what types of services will be considered and who qualifies for services. Reporting will be required for receipt of grant dollars, and client feedback may be sent to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
Access the application here. Applications are due June 1, 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the funding source?
The IBF is making available $25,000. Under the grant parameters, up to ten(10) attorneys will receiving grant dollars and will service a minimum of 50 families in our community.
- What are the eligibility requirements for attorneys to participate?
Indianapolis Bar Association members licensed to practice in Indiana since January 1, 2009 working in a solo practice, with five or fewer attorneys, or who are unemployed are eligible for this grant program. Attorney participants in the 2020 program will be eligible for consider though greater consideration will be placed on first-time participants.
- What services are provided?
Attorneys will provide services in the areas of family law, landlord/tenant rights, and basic estate planning/probate law.
- What is the maximum total grant dollars that may be granted per attorney?
The maximum grant to an attorney participating in the program is $2,500.
- How many hours will be reimbursed per client?
Up to five hours per client will be reimbursed.
- What is the hourly reimbursement rate?
The reimbursement rate is $100 per hour.
- How are attorneys selected for the program?
Attorneys meeting the eligibility requirement submit an application form found at https://memcentral.wufoo.com/forms/wbuu4ft0d1c7xm/.
- How will clients be identified?
Indianapolis Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Outreach Committee will partner with the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society and Indiana Legal Services, Inc. to identify families who have lost their income due to the COVID-19 crisis and cannot afford traditional legal services. These clients will be provided directly to participating attorneys via a client intake form transmitted via email.
- How will grant dollars be awarded?
The attorney will be required to provide the client with an engagement letter incorporating the Crisis Empowerment Client Information. Once the attorney has rendered service to the client(s) the attorney will submit to the designated IndyBar staff member the program’s report form with an hourly billing report. Grant checks will be processed within two business days of receipt of complete reports.
- When does the program end?
The program ends when funds are exhausted or by vote of the IBF Board of Directors.
- What's the messaging for this program?
We are here for you during these difficult times. We are hopeful that the IBF can assist IndyBar members who have seen their workload decrease and also help these lawyers assist the community members who need their assistance but are unable to afford a lawyer during these difficult times.
- How will we promote to attorneys?
We will send notice via the IndyBar E-Bulletin, direct messaging via IndyBar’s Solo and Small Firm Practice Section, targeted emails to those IndyBar members who meet the eligibility requirements.
- How will we promote to the public?
We will work with our partner organizations to make certain their staff know to make referrals into the program. We will promote the program in action through the Indiana Lawyer and social media channels.