As 2016 winds down, change is in the air – change that is sure to affect our organization, our volunteers, and our clients in the new year.
Of most pressing concern are possible cuts to civil legal aid funding beginning in 2017. Because of likely funding shortfalls and potential changes to federal policy, our clients will struggle more to access justice; and worse yet, they may be denied the services they need to provide shelter and food for their families.
One thing is certain: our clients will continue to turn to The Pro Bono Project to help them navigate the judicial system, and we will do our best to give them the help they need.
Every year hundreds of lawyers generously donate their time to The Pro Bono Project to meet the needs of underserved Louisiana residents grappling with complex and costly civil legal issues. Those issues are as diverse as the clients themselves, and the lawyers who step up to help them are true local social justice champions.
Without The Project, many of our fellow neighbors would not have access to justice. DONATE NOW
But engaging in pro bono requires access to clients, and this is where The Pro Bono Project plays its critical role in the process: by recruiting, training, and mentoring volunteer attorneys who, in turn, take on our clients’ cases – pro bono. We get to know each volunteer attorney, and pair him or her with a case that meets the individual’s skill set and interests. Our volunteer attorneys appreciate the opportunity to give back, and our clients benefit from receiving experienced free legal representation instead of being forced to represent themselves.
The key connector in the lawyer/client relationship is The Project itself: our staff screens, intakes, assigns, reviews, and monitors these cases as they work their way through our judicial system. We serve as both a sounding board for the pro bono volunteers and as a support system for the clients awaiting an outcome.
We are the glue that holds this relationship together, and we need your support now, more than ever, to keep this service going. DONATE NOW
In 2016 we handled 2,172 cases. With the help of our volunteer attorneys, we closed 1,206 cases this year, helping our clients obtain more than $2.9 million in economic recovery. To date this year, our volunteers – including our lawyers, other professionals, and lay persons – have provided almost 7,000 hours of time and services.
We often share with you our numbers, but rarely do we have the opportunity to spotlight The Project’s greatest achievements. If we did, however, this is what you would read:
State of Louisiana Sought to Make Siblings in Foster Care ‘Legal Orphans’ Against Their Wishes. The Pro Bono Project’s Attorney Argues Against Termination of Parental Rights. Court Agrees; Preserves Parental Relationship and Siblings’ Satisfactory Placement Within Foster Care System.
Mom Passes Away Without a Will – Daughter Devastated to Learn Family Home, Gutted by Katrina, to Now Be Divided Among 18 Heirs. The Project’s Attorneys Help Her Acquire Clear Title and She Can Now Proceed to Restore Home as Planned.
Through your annual year-end contribution, you unlock the door to The Project for those in our community who need us most. DONATE NOW
Thanks to you, The Project and its volunteers helped more than 2,500 people this year – that includes clients and their family members – who all benefited from free civil legal aid. Your financial support allows our nine-staffed organization to continue serving clients and mentoring volunteer attorneys.
As uncertain change blows through, the one thing we know for sure is that the need for The Project’s services will continue to grow. You have helped us in the past and, as this year ends, we ask that you please be generous again with your donation. In doing so, you too become one of our social justice champions!
Jennifer Rizzo-Choi Norm Rubenstein
Executive Director Board Chair
One of the most tax-efficient ways to give is by donating appreciated secururites to The Project. By gifting appreciated securities, you receive and immediate tax deduction for the full market value of the stock and avoid the capital tax gians you would owe by cashing in the securities.
If you would like to make a donation of appreciated securities, please download the Pledge Form and indicate this in the special box on the form. Someone from The Project will contact you. You may also email Executive Director, Jennifer Rizzo-Choi.