How did the Fellows program begin?
The Indiana Bar Foundation (Foundation) board of directors established the Fellows in 1979 as a membership group of attorneys throughout Indiana. More than 400 Indiana lawyers became charter members and pledged in excess of $400,000 to support the Foundation.
The Fellows gifts have made possible programming, grants, and awards including:
- We the People and Project Citizen civic education programs,
- restoration of the 1815 and 1861 Indiana Constitution,
- Laws of Aging, a publication with legal information for older Hoosiers, and
- a permanent home for the Foundation at the Indiana Bar Center.
How do I become a Fellow?
Membership in the Fellows is by invitation only. The Fellows Nominating Committee invites candidates, reviews their credentials and makes recommendations to the Foundation’s board of directors. Candidates approved for acceptance are invited to join the upcoming Fellows class. Contact a Fellow to be nominated; a complete listing of Fellows can be found here.
What are the eligibility requirements?
In addition to supporting the Foundation’s mission, the Fellows bylaws states Fellows must be:
Members of the Indiana State Bar Association in good standing who are recognized for professional, public and private careers which have demonstrated outstanding legal ability and devotion to the welfare of their community, state, and nation, as well as to the advancement of the legal profession.
The nominating committee, appointed by the Foundation board president, represents each of the 11 ISBA districts and submits nominations to the board of directors.
Nominated individuals can join at three membership levels – Fellow, Master Fellow, or Patron Fellow. New members make a financial commitment that can be paid online in one, five, or ten annual payments.
Upon fulfillment of a pledge at any level, an individual is designated a Life Fellow.
The Fellows are governed by a chair, vice chair and secretary selected by the Fellows nominating committee and elected by the membership at the annual Fellows dinner. Two Fellows, one each from northern and southern Indiana, are nominated to the Foundation board of directors and serve staggered two-year terms.