The Indianapolis Bar Association is proud to recognize Ida Hayes of Indiana Legal Services as the association’s Paralegal of the Year for 2017. Hayes will be honored with the award at the IndyBar Paralegal Appreciation Luncheon on Monday, September 18 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Hilton Indianapolis. Show your support for the incredible paralegals in the Indianapolis legal community by registering for the luncheon here.
Hayes has served as a paralegal and office manager at Indiana Legal Services (ILS) for 51 years, starting at the organization just months after it first opened. She is currently the Indianapolis office manager, where she supervises a staff of eight full-time paralegals that perform intake for new clients and provide support to two dozen attorneys in the office.
“She has dedicated her career at Indiana Legal Services to work that helps those who lack the resources to help themselves,” says Jon Laramore, Indiana Legal Services Executive Director. “Ida is uniquely connected to the community, and she has the perfect combination of compassion and skepticism needed for our work.”
Hayes has also won the admiration of her paralegal colleagues.
“Ida B. Hayes is one of the most capable and honorable professionals. She is an excellent role model, full of encouragement, and constantly mindful of the legal professionals who will follow in her footsteps,” says Angela Hopson, paralegal at Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC and IndyBar Paralegal of the Year in 2008. “She promotes our profession at every opportunity and there is no other individual I can point to who has influenced the development of so many leaders throughout this city.”
Throughout her time at ILS, Hayes has worked with a number of supervising attorneys. Two of these attorneys, Roderick Bohannan and Joe Simpson, described their experience working with Hayes in their award nomination:
“We both met, and began working with Ms. Ida Hayes in 1976; Roderick Bohannan as a young lawyer, and Joe Simpson as the new Director of Administration. At the time we met Ms. Hayes, she had been employed as a family law paralegal. She started her career with the forerunner of Indiana Legal Services, Inc. (Legal Services Organization) at least 12 years earlier, as a private investigator for the attorneys who were practicing in the juvenile court.
As was then, and still is, her customary practice, she took new attorneys under her wings, introducing them to members’ of the Marion County Judiciary, and especially their staff, and taught them the ropes of practicing law.
Ms. Hayes was, and still is, a person with a wealth of community contacts. She introduced us to the mover and shakers of both ‘White Indianapolis,’ and ‘Black Indianapolis.’ She is called with affection by both communities ‘Ida.’ She continues to urge and encourage young lawyers, to become active with the bar associations, and in their community. We always laugh and say, ‘Who don’t you know?’”
Hayes’ connection to the city has been forged through a variety of roles within professional, community and civic organizations. She has served as the Corresponding Secretary for more than 20 years, as well as First Vice-President for the Indianapolis Chapter of the NAACP. She was the President of the Citizens Health Center, one of Indianapolis’ oldest community health centers, prior to its closing in 2013. She served on the Advisory Board of Visitors of Howard University School of Law under Dean Wiley Branton. She was also a constant presence at career fairs held at Shortridge High School and Broad Ripple High School and coordinated the ILS booths at the Indiana Black Expo and United Way.