In their latest “Pro Bono Matters” column for Indiana Lawyer, Indianapolis associates Emily Kile-Maxwell and Zena Braish address the problem of “legal deserts.” The authors explain that, although the United States has more than 1.3 million lawyers, they are not equally accessible and available to potential clients in every area of the country, particularly in rural areas.
The article highlights how attorneys can help fill the void of attorney accessibility in rural areas by engaging in targeted pro bono efforts in areas where potential clients may otherwise have nowhere to turn.
Kile-Maxwell and Braish share that Indiana law schools have long been a key asset in helping fill that void through their legal aid clinics and pro bono projects. They further explain that undergraduate institutions in more rural Indiana counties have also stepped up to help provide access to pro bono legal services.
In 2018, Faegre Drinker, in collaboration with Indiana Legal Services, piloted limited-scope representation pro bono legal clinics based out of DePauw University in Greencastle and Wabash College in Crawfordsville.