Legal Aid Historical Timeline

GOOD NEWS

1958

  • Evansville Bar Association establishes Legal Aid Society of Evansville, Inc. funded by Community Chest.
  • National Legal Aid and Defender Association grants Legal Aid Society $750

1959

  • Evansville Bar Association wins NLADA Harrison Tweed Award for creating Legal Aid Society
  • Legal Aid Society membership dues $2.00
  • The attorney at Legal Aid Society is Robert Matthews, later Judge

1961

  • The attorney at Legal Aid Society is Russell G. Lloyd, Sr., later Mayor

1963

  • Supreme Court rules that indigent accused felons have the right to a court appointed attorney in Gideon vs. Wainright

1966

  • Supreme Court rules that persons accused of crimes are entitled to an attorney before questioning in Miranda vs. Arizona

1967

  • Supreme Court rules that juveniles charged with acts that would be a crime if committed by an adult have the right to a court appointed attorney, In Re Gault
  • Donna Hagedorn becomes first female Legal Aid Society attorney in Indiana.

1973

  • City of Evansville and County of Vanderburgh begin to fund Legal Aid Society

1975

  • Legal Aid Society determines most unmet needs in domestic issues
  • Legal Services Corporation is established

1976

  • Fifty cent client registration fee cancelled by Legal Aid Society

1979

  • Malpractice insurance purchased for Legal Aid Society attorneys

1981

  • Legal Aid Society moves to room 205 of Courts Building
  • Local Legal Services Organization office opens

1982

  • Autumn Newsome, Legal Aid Society attorney, is first African American female attorney in Vanderburgh County

1986

  • An Interlocal Operating Agreement is approved by the City of Evansville, County of Vanderburgh, United Way of Southwestern Indiana, Inc., and Legal Aid Society, and approved by the Attorney General and State Board of Accounts.
  • Indiana Bar Foundation grant awarded to Legal Aid Society for our first substantive fliers

1987

  • Legal Aid Society gets its first computers, copier, and answering machine
  • NLADA Standards for the Provision of Civil Legal Services to the Poor are adopted by the American Bar Association

1988

  • Legal Aid Society establishes long term planning committee following first strategic planning session
  • A fund raising cruise is held on the SummerWind
  • Junior League grants Legal Aid Society $4,000 for loans to clients for publication costs and related expenses
  • The 30th anniversary of Legal Aid Society is celebrated with a special Annual Report
  • Evansville Bar Association institutes pro bono program

1989

  • Domestic Relations Court, Division IV, starts proceedings at 8 a.m., not 9 a.m.
  • Indiana Child Support Guidelines adopted by Supreme Court

1990

  • Indiana becomes last state to earmark Interest On Lawyers Trust Accounts for civil legal aid for the poor.

1992

  • Statewide Legal Needs Study of the Poor in Indiana conducted and published

1993

  • Legal Aid Society moves to room 105 of the Administration Building of the Civic Center with bigger offices with three attorneys and three secretaries
  • Legal Aid Society requires proof of income of clients

1994

  • Legal Aid Society is instrumental in passage of an Indiana law that says a mother has custody of her child
  • FOX 44 produces video on Legal Aid Society

1995

  • Indiana Equal Justice Fund is created as a fund raiser for Legal Aid Society and Legal Services Organizations in Indiana
  • Legal Aid Society Board chooses two hour quarterly board meetings and less functioning by committees
  • Legal Aid Society holds its second strategic planning session

1996

  • Legal Aid Society Executive Director completes Family Law Mediation training
  • Legal Aid Society begins giving clients a pen, pad of paper, and pocket calendar

1997

  • Legislature creates Indiana Civil Legal Aid Fund bill to provide funds to Legal Aid Society and Legal Services Organization offices
  • Legal Aid Society is a United Way Outcome Measures Initial Pilot Agency
  • Legal Aid Society sees its third secretary become full time
  • All goals of 1988 strategic plan completed
  • Legal Aid Society is instrumental in passage of Indiana law allowing permanent protective orders to be requested and granted at final hearings of dissolution of marriage

1998

  • Legal Aid Society is given a Vanderburgh Community Foundation Grant for a color television set, camcorder, VCR, tripod, and stand
  • Legal Aid Society begins distributing bus tokens to clients showing court related need
  • Attorney/secretary work teams are created by Legal Aid Society

1999

  • The $10,000 mark of money loaned to clients and repaid by clients is reached in the 1988 Junior League grant
  • Pro Bono District 13 Committee of Indiana convened at the request of Chief Justice Shepard

2000

  • NLADA begins a national public awareness campaign to educate the general public and funders of the need for civil legal aid for the poor
  • Legal Aid Society holds its third strategic planning session
  • Legal Services Organization becomes Indiana Legal Services as a result of a statewide merger
  • Volunteer Lawyers Program of Southwestern Indiana is incorporated
  • All goals of 1995 strategic planning session are met with internet and email access
  • The Legal Aid Society, Legal Services Organization and CAPE hosted the first annual "Getting to Know your Legal Community" seminar at WorkOne

2001

  • The Legal Aid Society, IVY Tech, and Indiana Legal Services hosted the second annual "Getting to Know your Legal Community" seminar at IVY Tech
  • The Legal Aid Society creates the Landlord-Tenant Rights & Responsibilities video with grants from the Indiana Bar Foundation and Community Alliance Foundation of $3,000 each, in collaboration with Indiana Legal Services and Evansville Coalition for the Homeless
  • The first IOLTA distribution is made in the State of Indiana
  • Legal Aid Society markets its services on METS busses
  • Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines adopted by Supreme Court

2002

  • New state law overhauls protection orders from abuse
  • Legal Aid and WorkOne host the third Get To Know Your Legal Community seminar at WorkOne

2003

  • Legal Aid commemorates its 45th anniversary
  • Board of directors begins to have luncheon board meetings on the second Monday of the odd numbered months at the YWCA
  • May - August - Indiana supreme Court CLEO/Gateway to Diversity intern, Sarah, worked for Legal Aid

2004

  • May - August - Indiana supreme Court CLEO/Gateway to Diversity intern, Amanda, worked for Legal Aid
  • Sue Hartig creates Bridges Out of Poverty Advisory Board with Lynne Imes and Luzada Hayes

2008

  • Legal Aid Society's first year to participate in the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program

2010

  • Legal Aid Society's first year to host a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program site

2012

  • Sue Ann Hartig retires as Executive Director of Legal Aid; continues working as Staff Attorney
  • Kevin Gibson named the new Executive Director of Legal Aid Society of Evansville, Inc.
  • Sue Ann Hartig wins James Bethel Gresham Freedom Award

2013

  • Adam J. Maday hired as Staff Attorney; Attorney Sue Ann Hartig retires

2015

  • Stephen Murphy Jr. hired as a part-time Staff Attorney
  • Legal Aid is awarded the Susan K. Helfreich Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service

NOT SO GOOD NEWS

1976

  • Attorney hired and resigned five months later with prior pending disciplinary matters unknown to Legal Aid Society at his hiring

1978

  • A Legal Aid secretarial employee is charged and convicted of theft of Legal Aid Society funds

1982

  • City and County funding is questioned by councilpersons at budget time

1985

  • Because of a space crunch, all old files of the Legal Aid Society are destroyed

1989

  • A Superior Court Judge refuses to grant pauper status at the filing or granting of any dissolution

1996

  • "Legal Aid Services" listed in yellow pages with local phone number that was not in service

2000

  • The Legal Aid Society, Legal Services Organization, and Prosecutor IV-D Pro Se Child Support Clinic was not successful

2008/2009/2010

  • Funding cuts due to economy/budget
  • Support staff reduced by 1/2 secretarial support staff
  • No longer work in attorney/secretary pairs