Access to Justice
Law Student Opportunities
There are many pro bono opportunities available for law students in the Bloomington area.
Law School Organizations
Inmate Legal Assistance Project (ILAP)
- Contact: email@example.com
- Type of Work: Criminal appeals, habeas petitions, sentencing issues, civil matters, family law, including divorce and custody, and any other issue that a prisoner might have. We don't really turn anything away.
- What Law Students Will Do: Visit and interview inmates at the federal prison in Terre Haute, research legal issues, and write letters advising prisoners of what research was found and what it means for the inmate.
- Time Commitment: Varies. Students are required to write either one letter a semester or attend one prison visit a semester. The complexity of issues raised is directly linked to the length of time each letter takes. Usually a letter can be researched and responded to in 3-5 hours.
Protective Order Project (POP)
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Type of Work: We obtain civil protective orders for clients who have been victims of domestic abuse, dating violence, sexual abuse, stalking, and similar offenses
- What Law Students Will Do: Hold office hours, respond to client phone calls and emails, conduct client interviews, contact attorneys, and attend hearings with the attorney and client.
- Time Commitment: Complete training video, work a minimum of 3 office hours a semester, and one case per year.
Tenants Assistance Project (TAP)
- Contact: Ryan Yates
- Type of Work: Landlord-Tenant Law for tenants facing eviction
- What Law Students Will Do: The Tenant Assistance Project (TAP) provides legal help to tenants who face an immediate threat of eviction. Staffed by law students under the supervision of an attorney, TAP offers Monroe County residents quality legal information, advice, and representation. TAP helps to prevent homelessness in Monroe County, Indiana, by educating tenants about their legal rights.
- Time Commitment: Approximately 2 hours per week, plus training. Flexible scheduling.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
- Contact: Kristin Crone or (812) 606-3251
- Type of Work: This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about income taxation. Everyone has taxes, so everyone can benefit from a better understanding of taxation. If you work with VITA, we will train you in income tax. You get to help many deserving individuals along the way.
- What Law Students Will Do: Preparing tax returns for low income, disabled, and elderly individuals.
- Time Commitment: From 2 to 10 hours per week: very flexible. You determine how often and for how long you would like to help.
Community Justice & Mediation Center (CJAM)
- Contact: David Nosko, Volunteer Coordinator, (812) 336-8677
- Type of Work: Provides free mediation services to help facilitate neighbor-neighbor disputes school conflict, and victim-offender Reconciliation to Hoosiers of all demographics.
- What Law Students Will Do: Indiana Law students can help facilitate CJAM's Shoplifter's Alternative program and participate in ongoing Community Mediation Training opportunities.
- Time Commitment: CJAM's Shoplifter's Alternative program is administered every Wednesday from 3:30pm to 6:30pm. Other volunteer opportunities vary.
Monroe County Court Appointed Special Advocate
- Contact: Kristin Bishay, CASA Program Director, One City Centre, 120 W 7th Street, Suite 104, Bloomington, IN 47404.
- Type of Work: A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a concerned volunteer appointed by the Juvenile Court to represent the best interest of an abused or neglected child. The appointment of CASA is governed by Indiana Law.
- What Law Students Will Do: Most CASA's will be assigned to only one case at a time. The amount of time required will depend on the individual case and the status of that case. A specific number of hours is not required. However, the CASA is expected to make the time commitment to provide the child with the necessary services.
- Time Commitment: This typically ranges from three to five hours per week. We do require a one to two year commitment to the program after the volunteer completes the CASA training program.
Shalom Community Center – HELP (Homeless Experience Legal Protection) Clinic
- Contact: Blair Johnson, Clinic Coordinator; Jacob Atz, Admin Coordinator; 205 E. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, IN 47408, (812) 334-5728.
- Type of Work: Provides legal assistance to the homeless and low-income communities through an intake service designed to translate client matters into legal issues for resolution by licensed area attorneys. Approximately one-third of cases are handled on-site by volunteer attorneys, one-third off-site through pro bono referrals, and one-third by law student volunteers with guidance from licensed attorneys. Currently, the clinic is open Friday afternoons from 12 to 3 p.m., but a second clinic day on Tuesday afternoons is possible in the near future.
- What Law Students Will Do: Volunteer work consists of both intake during clinic hours and case management outside clinic hours. Law students will:
- Work in a variety of civil and administrative law areas, including public housing, disability benefits (SSDI/SSI), food stamps, Medicaid, and family law;
- Collaborate with local attorneys on resolution of client matters (e.g. draft documents and correspondence, make phone calls, perform legal research, assist with benefits applications); and
- Work with social services agencies/benefits administrators on resolution of client matters (e.g. housing authorities, homeless shelters, state/federal benefits employees).
- Time Commitment: Attend mandatory training session & volunteer a minimum of 3 clinic sessions per semester, including casework follow-up outside of clinic hours.
- Contact: Stacee E. Evans, 703 East Seventh Street, Bloomington, IN 47405,
- Type of Work: Provide legal services to IU students. To be considered, submit your resume no later than April 15.
- What Law Students Will Do: Interview clients, draft demand letters and pleadings and, as you gain experience, you will also negotiate with the opposing party and represent clients in court.
- Time Commitment: Preference will be given in hiring to those interns interested in taking class credit for their first semester. You may be eligible for work-study or you may be paid hourly for subsequent semesters. Depending on your employment status, you will be expected to work between 10-16 hours per week.
Law Firm Pro Bono Projects
We are also in the process of matching students with law firm pro bono projects.
Baker & Daniels Pro Bono and Public Interest Externships
Get the details.
Opportunities with Professors
Many professors will also often need help from law school students. These opportunities will be listed on Symplicity. Please log into your Symplicity account and follow the instructions below to access this listing.
How to Access Pro Bono Listings on Symplicity
- Log into your Symplicity account.
- Click on the “Jobs & Scholarships” tab in Symplicity.
- Under “Position Type,” select “Pro Bono.”
- Click on “Search.”
- Scroll down to see the list of opportunities.