By Jacqueline Pimentel-Gannon, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
In a year in which the need for pro bono legal services has increased, while at the same time the ability to provide such services has become more limited, the ongoing commitment of IndyBar members to providing pro bono assistance to those in need in our Indianapolis community is both inspiring and greatly appreciated. The efforts of the various members of our association – from law students, to paralegals, to practicing attorneys, to law firms – warrants recognition. I am honored to introduce the following recipients of the 2020 pro bono awards:
Practicing Attorney – Eric Buetens
Eric has volunteered with most of the pro bono opportunities IndyBar has offered this year. In 2020 alone, Eric has donated nearly 350 hours (and still counting) between the Virtual Help Desk (where he runs the 9 a.m. to noon shift), Legal Line, Free Wills Clinic and Ask A Lawyer! Volunteers such as Eric are critical to the success of IndyBar’s programs. Thanks for all your service, Eric!
Paralegal – Kristina Landeck
Kris epitomizes what IndyBar looks for in its paralegal volunteers. Her dedication in responding to callouts to assist at both the IndyBar's Ask A Lawyer and Free Wills Clinics is admirable and appreciated, particularly during this pandemic time when in-person pro bono service is deserving of even more gratitude than normal. Thank you so much, Kris, for your willingness to help this year and always – and congrats on the well-deserved award!
Law Student – Tiffany Costley
Tiffany is a student at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where she serves as president of the IU Student Outreach Clinic Legal Division. While the clinic’s in-person work has been paused during the pandemic, Tiffany has helped connect her fellow students to numerous pro bono opportunities around the city. Tiffany also helped with IndyBar’s CHIP handbook project (an assembly of resources for those who are – or work with – homeless individuals). Her nominators described Tiffany as an “outgoing and passionate individual [who] truly cares about the people in the Indianapolis and McKinney community and serves as a wonderful example of leadership.” Congratulations, Tiffany, and keep up the great work!
Law Firm - Schlueter & Breman LLC
The law firm of Schlueter & Breman embodies a spirit of service. Both principals of the firm, Rhonda Breman and Elizabeth Schlueter, have been engaged with and helpful to the IndyBar’s pro bono efforts. This year, the firm also volunteered to edit the qualifying application as well as the legal documents used by volunteers at the IndyBar's Free Wills Clinics. Thank you Schlueter & Breman LLC, and many congratulations on this recognition!
Congratulations to all the award winners – we are grateful for the gifts of your time and talents. In this season of thanks and giving, thank you to all of you who engage in pro bono efforts. Your work is so very important, and our community is better off because of it. The IndyBar appreciates all you do to provide legal assistance to those in need!