By Jared Sunday, Mallor Grodner LLP and Chad Oswald, Harrison & Moberly LLP
IndyBar is celebrating its 20th year of serving the Indianapolis community through its Ask a Lawyer program! Since its inception, Ask a Lawyer has provided free legal counsel and guidance to over 14,000 central Indiana residents who may not otherwise have access to such services. Each fall and spring, libraries and community centers host this wonderful event by opening their doors and spreading the word to their constituents. Nearly 500 residents meet with over 100 local volunteer attorneys and paralegals stationed throughout the community to discuss the legal issues that are impacting their life or the lives of a loved one. This year’s Ask a Lawyer program will be held on April 9 at 11 locations throughout Indianapolis.
Ask a Lawyer provides an opportunity for our neighbors to sit down with our volunteer attorneys in a quiet and confidential setting to discuss any legal issue facing them at that time. Topics run the gamut, from a loved one who has recently passed, a son or daughter who may have run afoul of the law, an evil landlord, or an employer who may not be on the up-and-up. In many cases, people do not know or understand their rights, or the procedures and remedies that are available to them for relief. Individuals often feel like contacting a lawyer is a giant step, often too far to take, but IndyBar’s Ask a Lawyer makes that first step easy for that person to navigate the legal world, and it’s completely free.
This program is not only beneficial to those seeking legal guidance, but it also pays dividends to those volunteering their valuable time and resources. For attorneys, it’s very rewarding to help put a person’s mind at ease, especially when they have had nowhere else to turn for guidance. It’s also a great opportunity to present the legal profession to the community in a positive and helpful light, demonstrating that not all lawyers are like those depicted in the movies or on television.
If you’re not one of the members that has filled one of the over 5,000 volunteer slots throughout the life of Ask a Lawyer, we ask that you consider playing a role in its continued success. Volunteer opportunities remain at nearly all of our host locations. For those of you who do not currently have the time to take on a pro bono matter, Ask a Lawyer is a terrific way to give back to the community without spreading yourself too thin. It’s a limited engagement program, ending at the conclusion of each event. Do not worry if you feel you are not experience in certain practice areas; the IndyBar provides you with the expansive Commonly Asked Questions book, which covers practically every area of law and situation that may arise during Ask a Lawyer, making it easy to give counsel to those in need, whatever their problem. Ask a Lawyer also welcomes paralegals for intake needs as well as any law student who wants to shadow an attorney.
This program would not and could not be the success it has become without the overwhelming and positive support from the Indianapolis Bar Foundation, our host locations, local media outlets and most importantly, IndyBar member attorneys, paralegals and staff. The IndyBar Pro Bono Standing Committee extends our deepest thanks and gratitude to all that continue to make Ask a Lawyer a positive community service for our neighbors here in central Indiana. See you on April 9!
To volunteer at this event or for other pro-bono opportunities, you can sign up here. If you have any questions about Ask a Lawyer or additional pro bono opportunities, please email Kari Hartman at email@example.com.
The Ask a Lawyer in-person legal advice event is held from noon to 4 p.m. We’re also looking for volunteers for Legal Line the same evening, which is a legal advice hotline. Calls will be taken from noon to 8 p.m. at the IndyBar office.
Central Library, 40 E St. Claire St.
College Library, 4180 N College Ave
East 38th St Library
Haughville Library, 2121 W Michigan St.
Irvington Library, 5625 E Washington St.
Lawrence Library, 7898 N Hague Rd.
Nora Library, 8625 Guildford Av
Pike Library, 6525 Zionsville Rd
Southport Library, 2630 E Stop 11 Rd
VA Hospital, 1481 W 10th St (Special hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Wayne Library, 198 S Girls School Rd.
IndyBar Office, 135 N Pennsylvania St. (calls only from 4 to 8 p.m.)