Who can I talk to if I have concerns about getting the COVID-19 vaccine? How do I handle a medical billing issue or a Medicaid/Medicare claim? What do I do if I believe I’ve been a victim of healthcare fraud or a HIPPA violation? Many of these questions can be answered through a quick conversation with an attorney, but getting legal advice can be intimidating for many individuals.
The Indianapolis Bar Association has responded to the growing need for legal assistance in the community by expanding its free legal advice programs into a virtual chat service manned daily by attorney volunteers. Through the Virtual Ask a Lawyer program, individuals can chat in real time with an attorney who is prepared to assist with basic legal questions. The service, regularly available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, will be available for extended hours through 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11.
Each month, a different area of law is being highlighted with attorneys on hand specifically to address those needs, in addition to volunteers ready to handle all other requests for assistance. The highlighted area of law for April will be healthcare law.
To begin the chat, individuals simply visit indybar.org/chat. Once on the page, a pop-up in the lower right hand corner of the browser window will guide the user through the interaction. For individuals without access to the internet, phone-based assistance is also available from 6-8 p.m. on April 13 by calling 317-269-2000.
Lawyers participating in Virtual Ask a Lawyer work in law firms, agencies and organizations throughout the city and are donating their time in order to provide this valuable community service. They'll be prepared to provide assistance with questions on topics like divorce, child custody, child support, landlord/tenant issues, bankruptcy, personal injury, employment law and more. All correspondence is confidential. Individuals in need of representation are encouraged to visit indylawyerfinder.com, where an attorney referral can be received either through a self-guided online process or over the phone.
The Virtual Ask a Lawyer program was created in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, as the association shifted traditional in-person legal advice programs to the online format. Since launching in March 2020, attorneys have volunteered more than 1,800 hours to help over 3,300 community members who have requested assistance through the chat line.
About Indianapolis Bar Association Pro Bono Programs
These community services are sponsored by the Indianapolis Bar Association, a 143-year-old organization of Indianapolis area attorneys, judges, paralegals and law students, and are made possible through the generosity of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the association. For additional information on a variety of other legal advice and assistance programs offered throughout the year by the association, visit indybar.org/legaladvice.