Volunteering at ILS
What Is Indiana Legal Services?
Indiana Legal Services (ILS) is a law office with a heart! ILS assists in civil areas such as housing, public benefits, consumer, health, and family law. The organization advocates on behalf of its clients in state and federal courts, with landlords and nursing homes, and before administrative bodies such as the Social Security Administration, the Division of Family and Children, the unemployment office, housing authorities, and township trustees.
Volunteers come from local communities and represent a varied cross-section of people and backgrounds. All share a dedicated interest in helping low-income persons gain equal access to justice. Besides lawyers and paralegals, volunteers are also homemakers, grad and undergrad students, retired persons, teachers, nurses, persons working full or part time, and YOU! They are busy people who share their skills, time, and talents to help the lives of others.
Law Students - we offer paid internships during the summers as well as volunteer opportunities during both summer and school terms.
Being a volunteer with ILS is interesting and challenging work, full of learning opportunities. Student volunteers integrate course work with the realities of social problems as they explore potential careers. Volunteering at ILS may also qualify as an academic internship for college students. Feel the satisfaction of helping someone in need, develop new interests and skills, and gain insights into yourself and community service.
What Do Volunteers Do?
Lawyers, of course, represent and advise clients and paralegals help in that work. Otherwise, many volunteer positions are related to intake, the process of processing client applications. Volunteers may contact applicants to gather more information or to help clarify issues. But most importantly, the volunteer listens to the person's problem and prepares a written summary for a staff attorney to review. Special questionnaires also guide the volunteers in gathering additional relevant information. For convenience and efficiency, most of the interviews are done by telephone. Computer, interviewing, and bilingual skills are helpful, and volunteers must have a professional work ethic.
How do I get started?