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The Indianapolis Bar Foundation announced Wednesday that Indiana Legal Services, Inc. (ILS) has been awarded the organization’s 2013 Impact Fund Grant of $35,000. Specifically, the grant will fund expansion of ILS’s Military Assistance Project (MAP), which focuses on providing free civil legal services to low-income military members, veterans and their dependents.
“It is an honor and privilege to award our Impact Fund Grant to a project that helps those who have served our country,” says Kelley Johnson of Cohen & Malad LLP and 2013 president of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation. “We have an incredible bar filled with lawyers who want to give back to their community. I can’t imagine a better way for us to do that than through our partnership between the Indianapolis Bar Association and Foundation and the MAP.
The Impact Fund Grant will enable ILS to conduct regular client intake twice each month at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center. This will include conducting interviews of prospective clients and offering workshops directed to the veterans and/or hospital personnel. The grant will also support legal education training for attorney volunteers and the development of a special handbook to enlist pro bono and modest means attorneys interacting with veterans. Finally, the grant will aid in the creation of a veterans Listserv by which pro bono and modest means attorneys can collaborate, ask questions and share information to support effective case strategies, legal competencies and networking.
The ILS MAP program was one of three finalists selected from the initial pool of more than 15 grant applications. The ultimate selection of the 2013 grant recipient was made by a vote of the IBF’s Distinguished Fellows, a special class of individuals who have shown their ongoing support to the IBF through multi-year pledges and contributions.
The IBF Impact Fund began in 2011 as a new vehicle to maximize the financial generosity of IBF donors and to provide members of the Indianapolis Bar Association with compelling opportunities to donate their time through pro bono service. This single, substantial grant to a non-profit organization is meant to provide a significant positive impact in central Indiana through the promotion of access to justice for indigent persons. Previous recipients of the IBF Impact Fund Grant include Reach for Youth and the Health and Human Rights Clinic at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. The application process for the 2014 grant will begin in early spring 2014.
The Impact Fund is an important tool in the IBF’s efforts to fulfill its mission: to advance justice and lead positive change in Indianapolis through philanthropy, education and service. In addition to the Impact Fund, the IBF grants $105,000 each year to a variety of community service programs co-sponsored with the Indianapolis Bar Association. Some of the programs funded include Ask a Lawyer, Legal Line, the publishing of Commonly Asked Questions about Indiana Law, and educational programming at the Bench Bar Conference. Additional information about the Indianapolis Bar Foundation and the Impact Fund Grant can be found here.