Pro Bono Program:
Local Rule 87 is the court’s effort, after consultation with a broad range of attorneys who regularly practice in this court, to ensure that the court can recruit counsel in every case in which the law requires it. Local Rule 87 creates a Voluntary Panel that will consist of attorneys who are willing to volunteer to represent indigent litigants in civil cases and an Obligatory Panel from which the court will recruit counsel if no attorney from the Voluntary Panel is available to appear in a given case.
In 2017, 1,480 civil cases were filed by pro se litigants. Counsel was recruited to assist in 70 cases of those cases. Approximately, 120 attorneys participated. In response to the Court’s 2018 Pro Bono Survey, attorneys reported spending on average 20 hours on an appointment limited to assisting with settlement and on average 60 hours for an unlimited appointment.
In order to facilitate pro bono appointments, the court will reimburse certain expenses and will help obtain professional liability insurance coverage if needed. If desired, pro bono counsel may also enter into fee arrangements with their clients. Mentors are also available for consultation.
Pro Bono Opportunities and Registration:
Local Rule and General Orders:
Resources for Recruited Counsel:
Manning vs. United States, 546 F.3d 430 (7th Cir. 2008) (discussing application of the Federal Tort Claims Act's Judgment Bar to Bivens cases).
Document Library hosted by the Indianapolis Bar Association The document library is populated through submissions from practicing attorneys. Please consider submitting additional documents if you believe they could assist a future volunteer.
Upcoming CLE Programs (There are no CLE programs scheduled at this time.)
Publications and Testimonials:
Making Litigants' Voices Heard: Indy Attorney Sniderman takes on Additional Role Helping Recruited Counsel Represent Prisoners (The Indiana Lawyer, March 16, 2022)
Pendleton inmate wins $425K solitary settlement with help from Chicago, pro bono attorneys (The Indiana Lawyer, March 4, 2020)
Breakfast and bravos for pro bono attorneys (The Indiana Lawyer, January 11, 2019)
Answering the Call (The Circuit Rider, November 2018)
Pro bono push: State, federal court see upturns in volunteering attorneys (The Indiana Lawyer, April 18, 2018)
Southern District Celebrates Pro Bono Attorneys (The Indiana Lawyer, March 8, 2017)
Attorneys Applauded for Representing Pro Bono Clients in Federal Court (The Indiana Lawyer, February 24, 2016)
Mediation Assistance Program Appoints Counsel to Help Litigants Settle Cases (The Indiana Lawyer, May 6, 2015)
Southern District Programs for Pro Se Parties (Hon. Tim A. Baker, Res Gestae, April 2014)
Southern District of Indiana Pro Bono Coordinator: