IndyBar: American Bar Association Recognizes Virtual IndyBar Ask a Lawyer Program with Louis M. Brown Select Award
By Brett Thomas, Cohen & Malad LLP
The American Bar Association recently awarded the Louis M. Brown Select Award to the Indianapolis Bar Association‘s Virtual Ask a Lawyer program last week. Winning the award was quite a feat as the other finalists were state bar run programs. This national recognition reveals the special and unique nature of our legal community, which is so willing to help those in need.
The Virtual Ask a Lawyer program was launched at the height of the pandemic in March 2020. It quickly became clear that the in-person Ask a Lawyer program, which ran bi-annually, was not going to be a reality for the foreseeable future. It was also clear that the number of people who would need legal advice would increase exponentially in response to the COVID-19 containment measures.
Within days, the IndyBar Public Awareness Committee, which I chaired in 2020 along with Cassie Nielsen of Rubin & Levin PC, and staff member Kari Hartman, created a virtual platform where members of the community can submit questions to a pro bono lawyer during the cases. hours. Volunteers register for specific time slots and can answer these questions during working hours. Each volunteer is equipped with an electronic Frequently Asked Questions Resource Guide to assist with legal matters outside of their area of expertise. Since its launch in 2020, Virtual Ask a Lawyer volunteers have answered nearly 8,000 questions.
To start a discussion, website visitors can click the chat button located in the lower right corner of the indybar.org and indylawyerfinder.com websites.
We are always looking for new volunteers! If you want to report convenient pro bono hours, go to indybar.org/probono. For questions regarding the Virtual Ask a Lawyer program, contact Kari Hartman at [email protected] •