January 2023

Dunlap’s Download

A message from Charles Dunlap, Indiana Bar Foundation President & CEO

As we begin a new year, it always prompts me to reflect on the previous year and think about accomplishments as well as setting goals for the upcoming year. For the Indiana Bar Foundation (Foundation), 2022 was truly a landmark year. In both civil legal assistance and civic education, the Foundation experienced an exceptionally productive year. A few highlights of our accomplishments from 2022 include:

  • Indiana Legal Help Kiosk Deployment – At the close of 2022, more than 80% of the 120 new Indiana Legal Help kiosks have been delivered to courthouses, libraries, and other community gathering places throughout the state. These kiosks are designed to connect Hoosiers in every county with the critical resources needed to help them access civil legal assistance.
  • Improved and Redesigned Indiana Legal Help Online Portal – In conjunction with the kiosk accessibility project, we have also invested in dramatic improvements to the Indiana Legal Help portal itself. The new site will feature enhanced accessibility and functionality and be online this month.
  • Expanded Civic Education Programing - In addition to conducting the first program year of the Indiana Kids Election program under the Foundation’s administration, we also were active participants in the Indiana Civic Education Commission and have been working with other partners around the state to prepare for the new sixth-grade civics class that will be required for the 2023-2024 school year.

We are proud of these and many more accomplishments from 2022, but at the same time, the Foundation is always looking forward to our next project and opportunities to advance civic education and civil legal assistance. Here is a brief glimpse of some of our more exciting plans for 2023:

  • Did Someone say "Civil Legal Assistance Buses?" – In partnership with the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and our network of legal aid providers, we will be exploring additional ways to bring legal resources to Hoosiers in all parts of the state through the creation of a statewide network of mobile legal aid clinics.
  • First Ever Indiana Bar Foundation Civics Summit – Mark your calendars for April 13! The Foundation will be hosting a civics summit in Indianapolis designed to spotlight innovative and creative ways to promote and advance civic education in Indiana. We look forward to bringing in national speakers and those from around the state to collaborate to expand civic education opportunities for all Hoosiers.
  • Civic Health Index – In 2023, we will issue another edition of the Foundation’s highly regarded Indiana Civic Health Index. In partnership with many other statewide organizations, the Foundation has provided these vital data driven reports on Indiana’s civic health for over a decade. The 2023 edition will continue this crucial research to gauge our areas of strength and identify and measure areas of improvement.

As you can see, 2023 promises to be as productive as 2022. These accomplishments would not be possible without the support of our volunteers, donors, and partners. Thank you for a tremendous 2022 and I look forward to even more successes in 2023!


Foundation Welcomes New Board Member

The Foundation welcomes Justin Forkner to the Board of Trustees. Justin serves as Chief Administrative Officer of the Indiana Supreme Court. An Indianapolis native, he graduated from Indiana University in 2001 with a degree in history and was commissioned into active military service as a Field Artillery Officer in the U.S. Army. Justin spent more than seven years on active duty, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and five years in the Indiana Army National Guard. He graduated from the IU-McKinney School of Law in December 2010, after which he served as a judicial clerk for former Chief Justice Randall Shepard of the Indiana Supreme Court, for Justice Mark Massa, and for former Justice Steven David. In 2014, he moved to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security as Administrative Law Judge and agency legal counsel. Justin returned to the Supreme Court in 2016 to serve as Deputy Director with the Indiana Office of Court Services (IOCS) and was the Executive Director of IOCS from March 2018 until March 2019.


“The Bar Foundation does incredible work for litigants, lawyers, students, and citizens across the State. From civic education to civil legal aid, the impact of this amazing organization can’t be overstated. I’m honored that Chief Justice Rush has trusted me to play a role in those efforts.”

-Justin Forkner

Civil Legal Assistance

As of January 1, the Foundation is accepting Unclaimed and Unidentified Lawyer Trust Account funds from attorneys, law firms, or estates of deceased attorneys after diligent efforts are made to identify and locate the rightful owner pursuant to Rule 1.15(h) of the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct. Learn more here.

The Foundation continues the installation of 120 Indiana Legal Help kiosks in courthouses and libraries around the state. Fifty-three (53) kiosks are operational. Shipments and installations are taking place on a weekly basis. IndianaLegalHelp.org, a program of the Indiana Bar Foundation, connects Hoosiers with free legal aid providers, helps locate free legal clinics, and gives access to legal forms, guides, and other resources to help navigate civil legal issues. The kiosks will focus on housing information initially and will open to the full suite of IndianaLegalHelp.org resources later this year.

(Photo courtesy of the Muncie Mission)

The IndianaLegalHelp.org kiosk project is receiving national media attention. Markets in Indianapolis, Tampa, Denver, Lexington, Baltimore, and West Palm Beach have aired the report. Foundation Director of Civil Legal Assistance Abbie Bush and Executive Director of Pro Bono Indiana Scott Wylie are featured. The Foundation is proud to share the kiosk story in partnership with the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority, and all those supporting this project and making it available to Hoosiers facing eviction and other housing issues.

Civic Education

Isaac Harper joins the Foundation as Civic Education Specialist. Isaac recently graduated from Indiana University, Bloomington with a degree in Public Affairs. Prior to joining the Foundation, Isaac worked for Claim Aid, advocating for Hoosiers who need assistance in state and federal health care plans. During his time at IU, he interned for the Foundation, focusing on civil legal assistance. Isaac also had Foundation President & CEO Chuck Dunlap as an instructor for his Law and Public Affairs course at IU.  

With the release of the case "State of Indiana v. Sam Barrett," the 2022-2023 Indiana High School Mock Trial season is underway. The Foundation administers Mock Trial to introduce students to the legal system and the judicial branch of government. Through Mock Trial, students gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the American courts.

Taking on the roles of attorneys and witnesses, students take in-depth, hands-on learning and gain an appreciation for society's approach to dispute resolution and justice. Students take case background information and witness statements and apply them to the law. They craft arguments, support them through testimony and physical evidence, and present it to a panel of attorneys, judges, and community members who evaluate the arguments and presentations. Learn more about Mock Trial here. 

The Indiana Bar Foundation is looking for both attorneys and non-attorneys to serve as judges at the upcoming Indiana Mock Trial competition. We invite you to be a part of this exciting event. To volunteer to judge, please complete and submit the Judge Volunteer Form.  

  • Multiple dates and locations are available to meet your scheduling needs: 
  • February 18, 2023 – Evansville and South Bend Regional Competitions 
  • February 25, 2023 – Hammond & Indianapolis Regional Competitions 
  • March 11-12, 2023 – Indiana State Competition (Indianapolis) 
  • For each competition, you will be able to select your preferred shift(s).  The following shifts are available each day.  
  • Morning (8:15 am – 12:00 noon) 
  • Afternoon (12:15 – 4:00 pm) 
  • Evening (4:15 – 8:00 pm) 

Do you have a friend or colleague interested in volunteering? Please feel free to share with others who you think would make great volunteers.  We are grateful for the opportunity to welcome new volunteers! 


Thank you to our 2022 Keystone Society Donors! Because of your dedication to our mission, we continue to achieve our vision as the premier statewide charitable organization and trusted partner advancing civic literacy and the legal system. Please look for your name on the Foundation’s website, and in the March issue of Res Gestae, the Indiana State Bar Association Member Journal. Additionally, keep an eye out for invitations to unique events throughout 2023. The Foundation accomplished a great deal this year, thanks to your support. We look forward to achieving much more in 2023 with your continued partnership!

INDIANA BAR FOUNDATION | www.inbarfoundation.org

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