On October 14, 2016, the Indianapolis Bar Foundation will host its annual Evening Under the Stars at the Biltwell Event Center. This annual event helps to ensure that the IBF can continue to provide access to justice for many of our Hoosier neighbors that might not otherwise have access to a lawyer. Come and enjoy the camaraderie of the Bench and Bar as we celebrate the IBF’s mission to lead positive change in Indianapolis.
Indeed, in the past two years alone, IBF dollars have allowed more than 1,800 of our neighbors to have access to a lawyer free of charge. More than 500 IndyBar members responded by donating over 1,800 hours of pro bono service through programs funded exclusively by the IBF. Indeed, solely because of IBF contributions, we are able to provide many essential community programs, including legal consultation and referral services through the biannual Ask-a-Lawyer and monthly Legal Line programs, legal advice and representation at area homeless shelters via the Homeless Project, end of life planning and representation through the Hospice and Free Wills Clinics programs, and family law representation when those in need are conflicted out of representation by other legal service providers.
In 2015, the IBF continued its long history of philanthropy by awarding an Impact Fund grant of $35,000 to the Peace Learning Center. With the grant, PLC is implementing its new One Indy Campaign—a partnership with four Indianapolis Public Schools that serve six of the Department of Public Safety’s focus neighborhoods to break the school to prison pipeline. Among other key components, the One Indy Campaign has already worked with more than 1,000 students, parents, and teaches to train students as peer mediators, lead restorative justice circles, and educate teachers and staff about restorative justice practices as a viable and effective alternative to punitive disciplinary practices. In 2016, the IBF has offered numerous hands-on volunteer opportunities with PLC so that the Indy legal community can positively impact this growing initiative. At the Evening Under the Stars, we will recognize the 2016 Impact Fund grant recipient.
The IBF also continues to enhance its impact on legal education and professional development through multiple scholarships. In the last few weeks, the IBF has awarded over $8,000 in scholarships to law students to defer the cost of tuition and attend Indy BarReview. We also awarded nearly $1,000 to legal professionals to attend the annual IndyBar Bench Bar Conference. These scholarships not only make legal educational and professional opportunities more accessible, but they honor the legacies of Rosie Felton (former Executive Director of the Indianapolis Bar Association and Foundation); Judge Noland, Judge Steckler, and Judge Dillin; and Neil Shook.
Many IBF supporters and IndyBar members also routinely take advantage of numerous service projects coordinated and/or supported by the Foundation. IBF Distinguished Fellows participate in service projects with Gleaner’s Food Bank and Ronald McDonald House. Our colleagues participate in CLE and pro bono programs with our past Impact Fund recipients, including the Joseph Maley Foundation and Indiana Legal Series Military Assistance Project. Numerous members represent the legal community at Naturalization Ceremonies. And, the IBF makes major contributions to the IndyBar Diversity Job Fair and IndyBar Bench Bar Conference.
These many initiatives are only possible because the members of the Indy legal community come together to support the IBF at events like the Evening Under the Stars. We look forward to seeing you there!