Coalition for Court Access to work on civil legal aid

The Indiana Supreme Court is creating the Coalition for Court Access. The seventeen-member Coalition will manage all Supreme Court related programs designed to provide civil legal aid to those with limited financial resources. The order creating the Coalition is online. Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush explained, “Courts nationwide recognize the need to improve access to civil legal services. The Coalition will help Indiana lead the way by implementing a coordinated plan to deliver quality legal help to more Hoosiers in need.”

In 2015 the Court asked a ten-member team to examine the structure of three existing Supreme Court related organizations which address civil legal assistance to low-income Hoosiers. The team considered the work of the Indiana Pro Bono Commission, the Indiana Commission to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services, and the Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Unrepresented Litigants. It recommended changes to the structure of civil legal aid assistance.

The team recommended a reorganized and consolidated plan led by a new entity. The Court reviewed the recommendation and unanimously approved the Coalition for Court Access. The Coalition will work to provide a more focused and comprehensive organizational structure for Indiana’s civil legal aid programs.

The Coalition will include judges, law school representatives, and Indiana State Bar Association and Foundation members. Indiana Bar Foundation Executive Director Charles Dunlap said, “The Foundation welcomes the opportunity to work with the Court, legal aid providers, attorneys, and Indiana citizens to develop comprehensive solutions to serve the civil legal aid needs of low-income Hoosiers.”

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