Welcome to the Indiana University Maurer School of Law Access to Justice Program. AJP encourages law students and recent graduates to provide legal assistance to low-income individuals, both while in law school and after graduation.
The Maurer School of Law has adopted an aspirational goal for students of 60 hours of pro bono work during their three years of law school (twenty hours per year). The school has adopted the ABA definition of pro bono, which includes law-related services without compensation of either income or academic credit.
Students participate in pro bono services because it is rewarding and it provides practical skills. "Pro bono work is an opportunity for me to apply what I'm learning in a meaningful and interesting way," said Margot Newman, JD'15, who assists indigent criminal defendants and inmates. "I am able to provide legal assistance to persons who have very little or no access to otherwise to legal resources."
AJP organizes a full schedule of events to make achieving the aspirational goal for pro bono service feasible. Starting in the fall, AJP holds a Pro Bono Fair, at which community organizations come to the law school to educate students about and recruit students for volunteer positions. AJP also conducts ethics training for students beginning their pro bono service.
Each February, AJP and the Office of Career and Professional Development sponsor two students to attend the Norman Amaker Midwest Public Interest Law Retreat, hosted by Loyola School of Law (Chicago). The Amaker Retreat unites students, law faculty, and practitioners in exploring up-and-coming social justice issues as well as career development. "We need to be encouraged to help, and I'm truly thankful that the Amaker retreat reminded me of this simple yet important message," said Amanda Stephens, JD'14, who attended the 2013 retreat.
Throughout the school year, AJP also organizes events and brings in speakers to raise awareness of public interest opportunities and provide students with information regarding careers in the public interest sector. In November 2013, AJP invited Professor Luz Herrera, who spoke of her personal journey building a low- and moderate-income based community law practice in California. AJP also facilitates a round table discussion each semester among the student pro bono groups and works with OCPD to assist students applying for post-graduation public interest fellowships.
AJP recognizes the student from each JD class who has dedicated the most hours to pro bono work during the previous school year and summer. AJP encourages students to report their pro bono hours during the school year, as these numbers determine award winners. For more information on reporting your pro bono hours, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each year, two pro bono fellows, sponsored by Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, coordinate AJP's activities. The current fellows are Megan Boelstler, JD'14, and Kayleen Glaser, JD'15.
You may contact AJP at email@example.com. Please do not send us any confidential or personal information. AJP is not your lawyer, AJP does not represent anyone, and AJP cannot give you legal advice. If you are looking for free or low-cost legal representation, please visit “Find a Legal Aid Provider” at www.in.gov/judiciary/probono/2343.htm.
Projects are another way for Indiana Law students to gain valuable practice experience with less of a time commitment than clinics, externships, and practicums. Projects are especially good opportunities for 1Ls because of their more limited scope and time commitment. Academic credit is not granted for participation in a project.