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History of Indianapolis Legal Aid Society

1920s-  Legal aid to low income persons first began to be offered on an organized basis in Indianapolis by the Family Welfare Society through its Legal Aid Bureau.

1937-  Indianapolis Council of Social Agencies proposed to create a separate Legal Aid Society to focus on special cases. 

1941-  The 1937 proposal comes to fruition and the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society was founded by The Indianapolis Foundation, the Law School (Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law), the Indianapolis Bar Association, and the Community Chest (United Way of Central Indiana).

1953-  Indianapolis Legal Aid moves to the William E. English Foundation Building where Indy Legal Aid is still located today.

1958-  Staff consisted of the General Counsel, two part-time attorneys, and one secretary, Jackie Leverenz, who was Indy Legal Aid’s office manager with over sixty years of service, retiring in 2019.

1997-  Indy Legal Aid receives the U.S. House of Representatives Freedom Works Award for exemplary service in providing legal representation to the poor of Central Indiana. 

1999-   Indy Legal Aid expands to new space to meet client demand.

2013-  Indy Legal Aid expands space again to meet client demand.

2019-  Indy Legal Aid recognized by Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush at the State of the Judiciary for its work with low-income housing clients.

2021- Indy Legal Aid celebrates its 80th birthday!


“Equal justice under the law is not just a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court Building. It is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society… it is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status.”

                                                                          -Lewis Franklin Powell Jr.
                                                                                                                  Associate Supreme Court Justice (1971-1987)
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