Indianapolis Legal Aid Society

Removing Obstacles, Providing Hope.

aka Indianapolis Legal Aid Society   |   INDIANAPOLIS, IN   |  www.indylas.org

Mission

The Indianapolis Legal Aid Society (Indy Legal Aid) is dedicated to ensuring that qualified low-income persons living in the Central Indiana community have immediate and direct access to quality legal assistance for civil disputes. Indy Legal Aid provides free civil legal assistance to low-income individuals and families with incomes of less than 125% of the federal poverty guideline levels within the Legal Aid service area consisting of Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan, and Shelby counties. The majority of legal issues addressed by Indy Legal Aid involve the interests of women, children, the elderly and disabled providing civil legal help across a wide range of issues, such as family law, housing, and driver's license reinstatement.

Ruling year info

1941

CEO and General Counsel

John A. Floreancig

Main address

615 N ALABAMA ST STE 122

INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46204 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

35-1045153

NTEE code info

Legal Services (I80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The need that the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society (Legal Aid) addresses is the protection of families and individuals in civil disputes and removal of barriers that prevent vulnerable populations from becoming productive citizens. When all hope is lost, Indy Legal Aid gives low-income individuals a voice in their own legal matters and delivers hope to vulnerable Hoosiers when then need it most. Indy Legal Aid treats clients with dignity and respect afforded clients of a private law firm. Unlike other legal services organizations in central Indiana, clients are able to meet with an attorney in approximately three business days, earlier than if they had made an appointment at a private law firm. Indy Legal Aid's well-defined purpose is, and always has been, to serve all who qualify. Without any ideological, governmental, and sectarian encumbrances, Indy Legal Aid staff lawyers are able to maintain a clear focus on Indy Legal Aid's mission.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Orville H. Copsey Safe Housing Initiative

The Housing Initiative is an all-encompassing program to keep low-income senior (over age 50) and mentally and physically-disabled adults in their homes by providing legal resolutions and obtaining repairs to homes threatened with condemnation by the Health Department.

Legal Aid is the only legal services organization in Marion County that works pro bono with low-income senior and disabled individuals to get their homes into compliance with the Health Department.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Seniors

The Children's Guardianship Initiative, working with the Marion County Probate Court, is designed to help low-income families keep children out of the juvenile court and foster care system by assisting family members or friends obtain guardianship of the minor child. The project will not only improve the life of the child, in addition to lightening the court’s case load, it will allow time for the biological parent to focus on their issues to once again become a full-time parent and a productive citizen.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

The purpose of the Legal Aid Domestic Violence Program is to prevent future family violence. It provides free legal assistance and victims' rights education to victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, and/or child abuse to help victims achieve safety and stability. Legal Aid also offers assistance in civil court proceedings and referrals to partner agencies where appropriate.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Legal Aid's Lawyer Referral Service program was created for those lawyers wishing to serve low-income individuals (the working poor) on a sliding-fee scale. These are clients who do not meet Legal Aid's financial criteria. The program offers comprehensive referral services to lawyers, and all referrals are pre-screened by Legal Aid staff attorneys.

Lawyers interested in serving on the Pro-Bono Panel must be admitted to practice in the State of Indiana. Legal Aid provides professional liability insurance at no cost to the pro-bono attorney.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Hours of legal assistance offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Victims and oppressed people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients assisted with legal needs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of phone calls/inquiries

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Indy Legal Aid is receiving significantly more calls for legal assistance.

Number of organizational partners

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of attorney volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Lawyer Referral Service & Pro Bono Lawyer Panel

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of children and youth who have received access to stable housing

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Legal Aid Children’s Guardianship Initiative

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of people no longer living in unsafe or substandard housing as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Orville H. Copsey Safe Housing Initiative

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In addition to our Orville H. Copsey Safe Housing Initiative, Indy Legal Aid attorneys are assisting clients with Landlord/Tenant issues.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The goals of the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society as outlined in its Long-Range Strategic Plan are to:

(1) Expand the high quality of legal assistance provided to clients;

(2) Engage in partnerships and joint ventures with other community organizations to better meet the legal needs of the community;

(3) Increase development and marketing efforts to meet the under-served low-income community’s need for legal assistance; and

(4) Measure the impact of Legal Aid’s legal assistance on the community.

Indy Legal Aid's first goal of expanding high quality legal assistance to low-income clients is closely tied to the third goal of increasing development and marketing efforts for this community's legal assistance. In order to broaden its fundraising base and formulate a more aggressive development strategy to ensure long-term sustainability, Indy Legal Aid applied for and received a grant from Lilly Endowment to conduct a fundraising feasibility study. Indy Legal Aid contracted with Johnson, Grossnickle & Associates (JGA) to conduct a fundraising feasibility study. JGA developed a comprehensive plan for Legal Aid that has served as a guide for the staff and Board to become more proactive and involved in fundraising.

The plan consists of four basic components:
• Tell the Indy Legal Aid story more effectively to more people.
• Cultivate and steward the existing donors to achieve stronger results.
• Reach out to new sources of funding to broaden the donor base.
• Invest in essential development systems to manage communication and donor relationships.

Indy Legal Aid has successfully completed all of the above.

Regarding the second goal, Indy Legal Aid has partnered with a multitude of social service providers, along with Indiana Landmarks and Heartland Pro Bono Council. Legal Aid also frequently collaborates with organizations assisting children in the court system such as Kids’ Voice and Child Advocates. Legal Aid's Housing Initiative has led to collaborations with local community groups such as NeighborLink. Legal Aid regularly partners with the Courts, the Information and Referral Database (211 Helpline), Indiana State Department of Health, Marion County Health Department, Marion County Environmental Court, Community Development Corporations, mental health providers, local neighborhood groups, and churches, hospital and nursing home social workers, and shelters and community centers who provide alternative housing for our clients when they must leave their homes. Through our partnership with the Marion County Re-Entry Court, we work closely with Court staff, prosecutors, public defenders, probation departments, Community Corrections, United Way, RecycleForce, and non-profits including Step-Up and PACE who provide wrap-around services for clients transitioning out of incarceration. Legal Aid is also active in the Marion County Re-Entry Coalition whose mission is that all adult offenders in Marion County are successfully reintegrated into their community. As part of our work with the Marion County Re-Entry Coalition, Legal Aid’s attorney is working with other community stakeholders to improve re-entry assessment planning in the Marion County Jails and develop a proposal to assist the Indianapolis Criminal Justice Taskforce and the Mayor’s Office with improving the criminal justice system.

Goal number four of measuring Indy Legal Aid impact in the community is an enhanced database system to capture client information.

Indy Legal Aid was founded in 1941 by The Indianapolis Foundation, the Law School (now Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law), Indianapolis Bar Association, and United Way of Central Indiana (then called the Community Chest) to provide free, non-fee generating civil legal assistance for low-income individuals unable to afford an attorney.

Indy Legal Aid was the first organization of its kind in the state of Indiana, and has operated continuously since its incorporation, compiling a record of continued growth and provision of quality civil legal assistance to low-income persons in Central Indiana. Legal Aid has served over one-half million citizens in Central Indiana since 1941.

Indy Legal Aid employs 13 staff members, with two attorneys who each volunteer their time 2-3 days per week. In addition, Indy Legal Aid has approximately 25 attorneys who volunteer for specific cases or projects. All Indy Legal Aid attorneys hold a Juris Doctor degree from an ABA‐accredited law school and are licensed to practice in Indiana. All are qualified mediators, three are trained Guardians Ad Litem, three are trained in Collaborative Law, two hold a Masters of Social Work, and one holds a PhD in Social Work. For over 25 years Indy Legal Aid has been managed by John A. Floreancig, CEO and General Counsel, graduate of I.U. McKinney School of Law. Legal Aid attorneys have combined more than 200 years of legal experience.

Both the Indy Legal Aid executive committee and board of directors meet monthly to review and discuss projects, finances, fundraising, and marketing. The board is mostly comprised of attorneys from all the major law firms in Indianapolis, a retired judge, and a judge from the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Wise stewardship for over 80 years by Indy Legal Aid's board of directors, its officers and managing counsel, in addition to dedicated and caring service by its support staff and attorneys, have continued the growth of this valuable community asset for the benefit of children, families, and the elderly of central Indiana.

Indy Legal Aid was the first organization of its kind in the state of Indiana, and has operated continuously since its incorporation, compiling a record of continued growth and provision of quality civil legal assistance to low-income persons in central Indiana. Indy Legal Aid has served over one-half million citizens in central Indiana since 1941.

Indy Legal Aid receives over 10,000 requests annually for help from low-income individuals. Indy Legal Aid attorneys interview, counsel, and represent approximately 5,000 clients each year and are in court two to three times per day for an average cost of under $200 per case. IndyLegal Aid attorneys not only focus on the legal aspect of a client's situation, but ensure local social and governmental services are made available to clients.

The Marion County courts are very appreciative of Indy Legal Aid's work. According to the Honorable Steven R. Eichholtz, Judge for the Marion Superior Court Probate Division, Indy Legal Aid attorneys help in streamlining and accelerating the process for those individuals pursuing guardianships which ultimately benefits the child in securing a stable home.

Silvia Miller, attorney for the Health and Hospital Corporation which operates the Marion County Public Health Department, has worked with Indy Legal Aid for several years regarding housing issues. According to Ms. Miller, “Hundreds of cases would not have reached favorable outcomes without Indy Legal Aid’s assistance.”

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback

Financials

Indianapolis Legal Aid Society
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Indianapolis Legal Aid Society

Board of directors
as of 02/16/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

John Trimble

Lewis & Wagner

Term: 2022 - 2020

Jeffrey A. Abrams

Taft Stettinius & Hollister

Molly Lee

Lewis Wagner

Jacqueline Leverenz

Retired- Indianapolis Legal Aid Society

Stacy Walton Long

Krieg DeVault

Derek Molter

Judge - Indiana Court of Appeals

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/16/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/16/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.