Indiana Legal Services, Inc.

ABOUT US

Indiana Legal Services, Inc. (ILS) is a not-for-profit law firm  and the largest provider of free civil legal assistance to eligible low-income people throughout the state of Indiana. ILS helps clients who are faced with legal problems that harm their ability to have such basics as food, shelter, income, medical care or personal safety. Most of the cases ILS handles are cases such as family law where there is domestic violence, housing, consumer law, access to health care, and access to government benefits. ILS does not handle any criminal matters.


WHO WE SERVE

ILS was established in 1966, and today we serve clients in every county in Indiana. (To see which of our offices serves the various counties, click here.) We have more than 50 attorneys and numerous other staff members working in offices around the state. ILS has several specialized projects to address the needs of particular client communities, including the Senior Law Project, the Homeless Legal Project, the Immigrants and Language Rights Center, the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, the Consumer Law Center, the Housing Law Center (ILS is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency), the Military Assistance Project, and the LGBT Project. ILS is governed by a Board of Directors that includes private attorneys throughout the state of Indiana and low-income people who are eligible for services at ILS.

In 2016, ILS served close to 11,000 low income people. Some of these cases were full representation cases, where an ILS attorney represented the client in a court or agency action. Some of these cases involved giving a client advice about his or her legal rights and what action the client could take.


WHY

Over half a million people in Indiana live below the poverty level. There are several agencies and programs around the state that try to meet the legal needs of the poor. ILS is the largest of these agencies in Indiana. ILS recognizes and supports other agencies around the state that provide legal assistance to the poor, such as legal aid societies and pro bono programs. We also partner with organizations outside of Indiana, such as the Mid-America Pension Rights Project. Even with all of these agencies working hard, it is difficult to meet the legal needs of the poor in Indiana.

 


ILS Mission  

Indiana Legal Services uses the law to fight poverty, empower clients, and improve access to justice.

ILS Vision

Dignity, fairness, and equality for all people under the law.

ILS Diversity & Inclusion Statement

"To ensure that ILS policies and practices respect, value, appreciate and leverage the unique and varied attributes of ILS's clients, board, staff and stakeholders."


Support

ILS receives funds from many different sources including funding from Congress through , funding through , and other agencies around the state. However, you can  and help support the most vulnerable residents of Indiana.

Table of Contents

  1. Office Locations
  2. Message from the Executive Director
  3. Eligibility Guidelines
  4. Priorities in the Use of Resources
  5. Governing Documents
  6. Annual Report
  7. Strategic Plan
  8. Board Directory

Office Locations

If you are not already a client, we will have to conduct an intake interview over the phone (or you can apply online). 

 

Regional Offices/Projects

Indiana Legal Services - Bloomington 

The Bloomington office serves Bartholomew, Brown, Clay, Greene, Jackson, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan, Orange, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, and Vigo counties.

Indiana Legal Services - Columbus 

The Columbus office handles Senior Law issues for Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, and Jennings counties.

Indiana Legal Services - Evansville 

The Evansville office serves Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Martin, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties.

Indiana Legal Services - Ft. Wayne 

The Fort Wayne office serves Adams, Allen, Blackford, Dekalb, Grant, Huntington, Jay, Steuben, Wells, and Whitley counties.

Indiana Legal Services - Indianapolis 

The Indianapolis office serves Boone, Decatur, Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Henry, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Randolph, Rush, Shelby, Union, and Wayne counties.

Indiana Legal Services - Lafayette 

The Lafayette  office serves Benton, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fountain, Howard, Miami, Montgomery, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Vermillion, Wabash, Warren, and White counties.

Indiana Legal Services - Merrillville 

The Merrillville office serves Jasper, Lake, Newton, and Porter counties.

Indiana Legal Services - New Albany 

The New Albany office serves Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Floyd, Harrison, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio, Ripley, Scott, Switzerland, and Washington counties.

Indiana Legal Services - Senior Law Project 

The Indianapolis Senior Law Project serves Blackford, Boone, Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Grant, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Henry, Jay, Johnson, Marion, Madison, Morgan, Randolph, Rush, Shelby, Union, and Wayne counties.

Indiana Legal Services - South Bend 

The South Bend office serves Elkhart, Fulton, Kosciusko, LaGrange, LaPorte, Marshall, Noble, Pulaski, Starke, and St. Joseph counties.

Statewide Projects

Indiana Legal Services - Consumer Law Center

Indiana Legal Services - Housing Law Center

Indiana Legal Services - Immigrants & Language Rights Center

Indiana Legal Services - Migrant Farm Worker Project

Indiana Legal Services - Low Income Taxpayer Clinic 

Indiana Legal Services - LAVA Project

Indiana Legal Services - LGBT Victim Assistance Program

Staff Directory

If you are looking for someone in particular, you can use our staff directory:

Message from the Executive Director

Welcome to Indiana Legal Services.

Our 120 staff members serve nearly 9000 Hoosiers each year from our eight offices spread across the state. We represent low-income Hoosiers in many types of civil matters, including family law, housing, consumer problems, and more. Our specialized legal centers address not only these issues, but also language rights, immigration, community development, tax disputes, rights of military veterans and their families, problems of senior citizens, and rights of migrant farmworkers.

We strive to give our clients the highest quality legal services. We also look for ways to use the legal system to change rules and practices that disadvantage Indiana's low-income citizens.  

If you need legal help, call our intake line, 844-243-8750 from 10-2 Eastern Monday through Friday (9-1 Central), or use the on-line intake form you can find on this website.

Jon Laramore

Executive Director

Eligibility Guidelines

Note: ILS has many special projects with eligibility guidelines which differ from the information provided below. For example, our Low Income Taxpayer Clinic is allowed to represent individuals with household incomes up to 250% of federal poverty (and higher in some cases) and without regard to assets, as is our LGBT Project. 

In general, an applicant is financially eligible for legal assistance from Indiana Legal Services if that person's income is within 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. The PDF chart below shows the 125% income level. (For general information about the Federal Poverty Guidelines, see Frequently Asked Questions). As an example, an applicant who has two people in her household (including herself) can earn up to $1,638.58 per month and still be financially eligible for ILS services.  These guidelines were approved by the ILS Board of DIrectors on March 9, 2018.

In certain circumstances, an applicant can be financially eligible for assistance from Indiana Legal Services if the applicant is within 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. So an applicant may be financially eligible even if the applicant's income is higher than the income listed above. Eligibility under the 200% income guidelines depends on the applicant's expenses and type of legal problem. The Income Guideline PDF also lists these numbers. There are other eligibility requirements in addition to income requirements. Some of these rules are:

  • To be eligible, an applicant must not have $8,000 or more in a bank account.

  • The equity in the applicant's home will not make the applicant ineligible, but if the applicant owns another piece of real estate that might make the applicant ineligible.

  • Generally, ILS will not handle fee-generating cases unless no private attorneys will take the case.

  • ILS will generally not handle cases to establish paternity over a child or to get child support under an existing order. (The prosecutor's office will typically handle these cases).

  • ILS does not handle criminal cases or cases involving juvenile delinquency.

  • ILS may provide legal assistance to a group, corporation, association or other organization if the group is composed primarily of eligible persons and the group cannot afford to hire private counsel. The group's activities must fall within LSC regulations and ILS priorities.

 

Priorities in the Use of Resources

[note: The ILS Priorities in the Use of Resources are quite broad. The decision to accept a case will depend on many circumstances, not just upon whether the case fits within the ILS Priorities. A case may fit within the ILS Priorities, but not be accepted for other reasons such as ILS staff availability, merits of the case, etc.]

PRIORITIES IN THE USE OF RESOURCES

ADOPTED BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS ON DECEMBER 12, 2014

  • The delivery of quality legal services.
  • Advice, brief services, and referral.
  • Maintaining, enhancing, and protecting income and economic stability.
  • Preservation of housing and related housing needs.
  • Safety, stability, and well being.
  • Fairness in, and access to, judicial and administrative proceedings.
  • Improving outcomes for children.
  • Populations with special vulnerabilities.
  • Each local office may consider any unique circumstances within their community and office resources in determining their case acceptance within the priorities. Community legal education and collaboration with others may be considered as part of the delivery of legal services within the priorities.

Governing Documents

Indiana Legal Services (ILS) is governed by its Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation, its Bylaws, and its Addendum to the Bylaws. These documents were all effective January 1, 2001. These Bylaws were amended by the Board of Directors of the Corporation on March 15, 2013 and those amendments are now reflected in the Bylaws. To read these documents, click on the links below:

Annual Report

Release of the 2017 Annual Report

We’re excited to share Indiana Legal Services’ 2017 Annual Report. Last year, and the first half of 2018, have marked continued growth and innovation statewide as we strive to make civil legal aid accessible by all Hoosiers. But you don’t have to take my word for it - check out the amazing stories of impact included in the report.

Last year also brought about increased stability in our funding streams. Not only did congressional leaders agree to a continued appropriation for our work, supporters like you helped us achieve the most successful year for private fundraising in ILS’s history.

I extend my gratitude to each and every one of our supporters for helping us accomplish our mission with dignity, fairness, and equality.  I hope you’ll continue to support our work by renewing or increasing your gift this calendar year.

Strategic Plan

Indiana Legal Services, Inc. operates under a strategic plan. The plan helps to make sure the organization achieves its vision and goals. ILS’ vision is to provide dignity, fairness, and equality for all people under the law.

There are four specific goals in the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan:

  • Uniformly deliver excellent services and representation to low-income and elderly clients.
  • Advocate for clients and client communities, especially marginalized populations, to ensure just outcomes.
  • Increase visibility and financial support for ILS.
  • Enhance organizational and individual accountability and effectiveness.

Each strategic goal includes specific initiatives that will be implemented to make progress against each goal and the Strategic Plan as a whole. By working toward and achieving these goals, ILS will provide concrete help on the legal issues clients face while it also seeks to alter some of the fundamental underpinnings that support such conditions. These strategies will:

  • Improve access to safe and affordable housing;
  • Protect the rights of victimized adults and seniors;
  • Enhance protection from domestic violence;
  • Expand service delivery to marginalized communities;
  • Protect consumer rights; and
  • Improve access to public benefits, healthcare, and education.

The legal aid which emerges as a result of this strategic plan will be more effective in addressing client and community needs; more comprehensive in its advocacy role; and more contributive toward a society with ensured access to justice.

The entire Strategic Plan can be viewed via the link below. .

Board Directory