Tales of the Ball
Read the final remembrance from the Thirty Years. Thirty Stories. series by The Project.
Visit the Tales of the Ball page.
“In Louisiana civil courts, the poor are left to defend themselves” by Richard A. Webster, Times-Picayune
Check out our latest News.
New case listings posted.
Cases, Clinics and Success Stories
On-going Volunteer Opportunity
The Pro Bono Project has taken the lead in managing and recruiting volunteers for Self Help Resource Center (SHRC) at Orleans CDC and 24the JDC.
For more information and to volunteer, please email Managing Attorney for Volunteer Engagement, Kathleen Legendre or call her at 504.581.4043 Ext. 207.
In commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we pay tribute to the many people who came to the aid of The Pro Bono Project in the days after Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of our beloved City. Read the Community Thank You letter.
We recount some of the many stories from the moment when we realized that both our clients and our volunteers were spread across the country, as was our entire population, right up until the present day.
While Hurricane Katrina is long gone, the aftermath still lingers on.
Read stories on our Hurricane Katrina Retrospective page.
Funders for Bankruptcy and Debt Relief Clinics
Message from The Pro Bono Project’s Chair
As we celebrate carnival season with family and friends, I am reminded of what makes our community both strong and unique – our creativity, civic pride, and resilience. These attributes make New Orleans like no other city and they contribute to what has made The Pro Bono Project successful over the past thirty-three years. It is a privilege to serve as the 2019 Board Chair and to work with the many lawyers, law students, judges, and members of the business community that enable us to fulfill our mission to provide free civil legal aid to the underserved. Our collaboration and partnerships help us address access to justice issues and the demand for legal services on both a systemic and individual level.
In 2018, the Project closed over 1,100 cases, helping more than 2,100 people. At the Self-Help Resource Centers, staff and volunteers provided legal information to 3,800 people. Pro Bono is a powerful tool to build a stronger and prosperous community. There is a tremendous force multiplier effect when volunteer attorneys are doing pro bono work through an organized mentoring service like The Pro Bono Project. While one staff attorney can handle a direct representation caseload of 100 open matters, that same attorney could mentor 30-50 attorneys. Combined, there is potential to offer legal representation to 200-300 clients through that one mentoring attorney. In this sense, a small organization like The Project can triple its impact.
The Project is in the midst of a recruitment plan to engage new volunteer attorneys in pro bono work. Our goal is to enlist lawyers to devote 20 pro bono hours a year. We have been developing new volunteer opportunities in order to cater to diverse interests. With the support of the local bar and judiciary, we are recruiting both young and seasoned practitioners.
The Project does work across a diverse spectrum of civil legal issues. We have cases in immigration, bankruptcy, consumer debt, estate planning, successions, divorce, provisional custody by mandate, child in need of care, contractor fraud, and others. Many volunteers may only have a few hours and we can assign them to a divorce workshop, consumer debt clinic, or a shift at the Self-Help Resource Center. Other volunteers may want to take on a case, do the research and brief drafting, and go into court, and we can match them accordingly. The Project’s team of attorneys and paralegals serve as subject matter experts and mentors.
I hope that you join us this year in one of our many pro bono opportunities. Thank you for your support of The Pro Bono Project. Our volunteers give their time and expertise to make our community stronger and more just.
Continued Collaboration at Self-Help Resource Centers
We are proud to mark our second year managing the Self-Help Resource Center (SHRC) at Orleans Parish Civil District Court. With over 2,000 visitors in 2018, the SHRC is a model for collaboration and community partnerships. The Project relies heavily on law student volunteers and local law firms to help us staff the SHRC. In 2018, twelve law firms adopted a month and provided volunteer lawyers one day each week throughout that month. In 2019, twelve firms will continue their commitment to connecting people without the means to hire an attorney with information, forms, and referrals. The Project extends a special note of thanks to our leading law firms and to the Louisiana Bar Foundation for their funding of the SHRC at Orleans Civil District Court.
The Project also staffs the 24th Judicial District Court’s Self-Help Resource Center in Gretna on Tuesday and Thursday mornings each week. The Project assisted over 1,500 visitors to the 24th JDC SHRC in 2018. Now in our third year of managing the SHRC in Gretna, we welcome the continued support of the legal community and their willingness to help pro-se litigants represent themselves through the court system without delay. For more information on Self-Help Resource Centers …
Welcome 2019 Board of Directors
The Pro Bono Project is pleased to announce its officers and board members for 2019. The following officers serve on the 2019 Executive Committee:
Christopher K. Ralston, Phelps Dunbar, Chair
Nadege Assale, Esq. Bradley Murchison Kelly & Shea, Vice Chair
John Strausser, KPMG, Treasurer
P. Kevin Comomb, Sr., Doyle Land Services, Secretary
Caroline McSherry Dolan, Immediate Past Chair
Congratulations to Our 2018 Volunteer Recognition Awards Recipients
At noon on December 4, 2018, at Jones Walker, The Project presented the 2018 Volunteer Recognition Awards. The Honorable Stephen D. Enright, Jr. from the 24th Judicial District Court was our special guest presenter to celebrate these individuals for their generous, ongoing support. Lunch was provided by Martin Wine Cellar.
Please join us in congratulating the following for their outstanding service in 2018:
Pro Bono Law Firm of The Year
Fayard & Honeycutt
Pro Bono Corporate Partner
Louisiana Court Reporter Board
Distinguished Service Awardee
Kyle Matthew Brennan, J.D.
Orleans Civil District Court en banc
Friend of Pro Bono
New Orleans Bar Association (Self-Help Resource Center Adopt-A-Month!)
Oh, What A Night!
What a wonderful evening of people-gathering, great food and drink, and a variety of entertainment from the Raffle and Auction to the lilting voice of Nayo Jones at the Patron Party, and the playful sounds of Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters at the Justice For All Ball (JFAB)!
Thank you to all of our:
Individual and organizational Sponsors for their continued support of the JFAB, and in particular, our Honorary Chair Calvin C. Fayard, Jr.;
Food and Drink Contributors for their generous donations;
Many local and regional businesses which provided Raffle and Auction prizes;
Partner AmFund for their once in a lifetime array of travel adventures;
Media Partners Gambit and CityBusiness;
Artist Sharika Mahdi for her beautiful interpretation of Lady Justice, and AQ Creative Group of Chicago for the design of JFAB Invitation and complementary materials;
Emcee, Mark Romig and Auctioneer, Andrew Ward; and
Many other partners who contributed either in-kind or reduced costs on products and services to make the evening memorable.
Our special thanks to JFAB Committee Co-Chairs, Sharonda Williams and Kevin Colomb, and 2019 Ball Committee Chair Nadège A. Assalé, and their various Committee Chairs and members, and The Project Staff and volunteers who worked behind the scenes for the past eight months and during the Ball to make the 30th Annual Justice For All Ball a fabulous celebration of the past 30 years!
Again, thank you to all for your generous support of the Justice For All Ball and The Pro Bono Project. We look forward to seeing everyone for the 2019 Justice For All Ball.