Monica A. Fennell

Pro Bono Director Indianapolis
Contact Info

Summary

As pro bono director, Monica leads the pro bono program across Taft’s 12 offices. This includes identifying and developing opportunities for the program, establishing an integrated pro bono system across the firm, and ensuring that all Taft pro bono legal services are consistent with Taft’s values and commitment to improving the communities it serves.

With over 30 years of experience in the legal industry, Monica brings a trusted perspective to Taft’s pro bono program. Before joining Taft, she was part of a team that managed a firm’s pro bono program and led pro bono activity at five of the firm’s offices, including over 400 attorneys. Prior to that, Monica served as the executive director of the Indiana Pro Bono Commission and was a Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States. Monica began her legal career as a litigator in big cities and a small town.

Monica earned her B.A., cum laude, from Williams College and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. She also has a professional development certificate in peace and conflict studies as a Rotary Peace Fellow at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.

Awards

  • Indiana Bar Foundation Fellow Award for lifetime achievement in access to justice (2019)

  • Randall T. Shepard Pro Bono Award (2015)

  • Distinguished Barrister Award, Leadership in Law (2011)

  • Justice Thomas Clark Award for excellence in service as Supreme Court Fellow (2008)

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center (1993)
  • Williams College (1987)

Admissions

  • State - Indiana
  • State - Wisconsin (inactive status)
  • State - Illinois (inactive status)
  • State - Registered Indiana Civil Mediator
  • Federal - U.S. Supreme Court
  • Federal - Northern District of Illinois

Speeches and Publications

  • ABA Free Legal Answers—helping to stem the tide of civil casesABA Judicial Division Record (2021).
  • Celebrating Pro Bono in a Pandemic, ABA Judicial Division Record (2020).
  • Using State Legal Needs Studies to Increase Access to Justice for Low-Income Families, 48 Fam. Ct. Rev. 619 (2010).
  • Emergent Identity: A Comparative Analysis of the New Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the Supreme Court of the United States, 22 Temp. Int’l & Comp. L.J. 279 (2008).

Professional Affiliations

  • Association of Pro Bono Counsel

    Member

  • Pro Bono Committee, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

    Member

  • Indiana Coalition for Court Access, Self Help and Court Access Working Group

    Member 

  • American Bar Association

    Chair, Judicial Division Lawyers Conference

  • Supreme Court Fellows Alumni Association

    Member
    Past Vice President 

  • Supreme Court Historical Society

    Member

  • Indiana State Bar Association

    Member, Pro Bono Committee
    Past Chair, Pro Bono Committee

Community Involvement

  • Social Promise

    Board Member 
    Volunteer

  • Prindle Institute for Ethics

    Judge, High School Ethics Bowl Competition

  • Putnam County Pro Se Desk

     Volunteer