Monica A. Fennell

Pro Bono Counsel & Director Indianapolis
Contact Info


As pro bono director, Monica leads the pro bono program across Taft’s 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 was a Fulbright Scholar at Maldives National University and a Rotary Peace Fellow at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.


  • 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)


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


  • 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

Recent Selected Speeches

  • Drawing the Line: Ethics Tips for Working with Pro Bono and Legal Aid Clients, Indiana Coalition for Court Access Conference (2023).
  • Ethics for Legal Aid Attorneys, Indiana Legal Services Conference (2023).
  • Ethics Tips for Pro Bono, Indiana Coalition for Court Access Conference (2022).
  • Access to Justice in the U.S. and the Maldives, Global Partners in Peace Virtual Rotary Club (2022).
  • Women-Migration-Safety: Experiences, Policies, Prospects, University of Szczecin (2022).
  • Role of the Pro Bono Lawyer in Increasing Access to Justice, Bar Council of the Maldives (2022).
  • Conflict on the Border: Law and Policy, Guest Lecture at Maldives National University (2022).
  • Women and the U.S. Supreme Court, American Center of Malé (2022).
  • Global Peace: Stability and Sustainability, International Day of Peace webinar, Rotary International District 3240 (2021).
  • Launching Court-Based Pro Bono Clinics, Including Ethics Tips, American Bar Association’s Judicial Division webinar (2021).
  • Feeling Good by Doing Good: Access to Justice and Wellness, American Bar Association’s Judicial Division webinar (2021).
  • Hosting Pro Bono Clinics In-House, ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference (2021).


  • “Crisis at the Border: Women and Immigration Law and Policy in the U.S.,” Reality of Politics, University of Szczecin and Adam Marszalek Publishing House, Szczecin, Poland (2023).
  • “Using Peace and Conflict Analysis to Spur Innovation in Access to Justice in the U.S.,” Problems, Threats and Challenges to Peace and Conflict Resolution, eds. Maria Ochwat and Joanna Marszalek-Kawa (Torun, Poland: Adam Marszalek Publishing House) (2021).
  • 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


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


  • Indiana Coalition for Court Access


  • American Bar Association

    Past Chair, Judicial Division Lawyers Conference

  • Supreme Court Fellows Alumni Association

    Past Vice President

  • Supreme Court Historical Society


  • Indiana State Bar Association

    Past Chair, Pro Bono Committee

Community Involvement

  • Social Promise

    Board Member

  • Prindle Institute for Ethics

    Judge, High School Ethics Bowl Competition

  • Putnam County Pro Se Desk


  • Taft Pro Bono Committee