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Legal Aid Society
1 NW Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Civic Center Complex, Room 105
Evansville, IN 47708
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Legal Aid Historical Timeline



  • 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


  • 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


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


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


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


  • 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.


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


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


  • Fifty cent client registration fee cancelled by Legal Aid Society


  • Malpractice insurance purchased for Legal Aid Society attorneys


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


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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


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


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


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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


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


  • 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


  • 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


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


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


  • 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


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


  • 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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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