Mission & Overview

Learn all about our Not-For-Profit Organization.

Help the People in Your Community

About Legal Aid

The Legal Aid Corporation of Tippecanoe County is a not-for-profit United Way agency that provides free legal assistance to low-income residents of Tippecanoe County who cannot otherwise obtain an attorney. Legal Aid does not handle criminal matters or those cases involving fee-generating litigation. Examples of areas in which Legal Aid has provided assistance are shown to the right.

Our Services

  • Adoption
  • Guardianship
  • Child Support
  • Name Changes
  • Paternity
  • Divorce & Separation
  • Custody & Visitation
  • DCS/CHINS (Children in Need of Services)
  • Landlord/Tenant Issues
  • Mental Commitment Defense
  • Debt Collection and Contract Defense
Mission statement for Legal Aid Lafayette IN

Our Mission

Legal Aid fights for compassionate justice by providing high quality legal representation for low income individuals and families in Tippecanoe County.

History

The Legal Aid Corporation of Tippecanoe County began serving the community in 1971 with a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc. The idea for Legal Aid originated from local attorneys who found many Tippecanoe County residents were unable to obtain legal representation due to financial constraints.

Legal Aid found its first home in the Lafayette Life Building, and some years later, the agency moved into an office on Ferry Street. In early 1994, thanks to a generous donation from the Pearlman family, Tippecanoe County Bar Association, and the local trade unions, Legal Aid moved to the Pearlman Building located at 212 N. 5th Street. In 2020, after over 25 years in the Pearlman Building, Legal Aid returned to the Lafayette Life Building once again.

In the early years, Legal Aid went through a transitional phase and was led by several Executive Directors. In 1986, Staff Attorney Kenneth Weller was promoted to Executive Director and continued to lead the agency until ending his term in 2016.

In January 2017, the agency welcomed Attorney Amanda McIlwain (Guzmán) to the Executive Director position. She still holds that position today.

Currently Legal Aid has two staff attorneys. One staff attorney serves as our COVID response attorney thanks to a generous grant from the United Way COVID Response Fund. That position is scheduled to end in July 2021 when funding is depleted.

Legal Aid is primarily funded by United Way, Tippecanoe County Bar Association, Indiana Civil Legal Aid Fund, and is the beneficiary of the Warren N. Eggleston Endowment held by the Community Foundation of Greater Lafayette. Fundraisers and other donations account for the remaining 20% of Legal Aid’s annual budget.

The Agency is governed by a 15-member volunteer Board of Directors. The Board meets monthly and holds its annual meeting each April.

Legal Aid will celebrate 50 years of serving our community in 2021.

legal-Aid-Ferry-Street-Building-72dpi

Board of Directors

 The Legal Aid Board of Directors is made up of the following individuals:

  • Stephen Wien, President
    Bison Financial Group
  • Kyle Clark, Vice President
  • Huth Thompson LLP
  • Abigayle Hensley, Secretary
    BB&C
  • Kristen Edmundson, Treasurer
    Stallard & Schuh
  • Angie Bennett
    Valley Oaks
  • Mike Gibson
    Mulhaupts, Inc.
  • Patrick Jones
    Withered Burns & Williams, LLP
  • Brian Karle
    Ball Eggleston PC
  • Duran Keller
    Keller Law LLP
  • Ellen Phelps
    Purdue University (Retired)
  • Lori Stein Sabol
    Law Offices of Lori Stein Sabol
  • Jennifer Schrontz
    Schrontz Legal Group
  • Charlie Shook
    Coldwell Banker Shook
  • Diana Wirtz
    Centier Bank

Board of Directors

 The Legal Aid Board of Directors is made up of the following individuals:

  • Sue Sansone, President
  • John Duffey, Vice President
  • Kyle Clark, Treasurer
  • Jennifer Schrontz, Secretary
  • Lori Stein Sabol
  • Norris Wang
  • Ellen Phelps
  • Leta Kelley
  • Kristen Edmundson
  • Abigayle Hensley
  • Mike Gibson
  • Stephen Wien
  • Charlie Shook
  • Brian Karle
  • Duran Keller
  • Diana Wirtz