We are thrilled to welcome Alexis Clay to The Pro Bono Project. As Staff Attorney, Alexis will manage all succession, interdiction, tutorship and advance directives programming. She is responsible for the provision of legal services to the elderly. Alexis received her J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and a B.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.Read More
The good times will roll for The Pro Bono Project’s 31st Annual Justice For All Ball on Friday, September 20, 2019. The Justice For All Ball is The Project’s premier fundraiser where the legal community gathers to support our mission to provide free, quality civil legal services to the under-served members of our community.
In celebration of our 31st year, we are asking you to look to the next 30 years of The Pro Bono Project providing access to justice to the most needy and vulnerable of our neighbors. The Justice For All Ball is embarking on a new beginning at a new location. We are thrilled to announce that this year’s event will be held at Mardi Gras World’s Grand Oaks Mansion. Located on the river, the Grand Oaks mansion is an indoor venue that places attendees in the heart of Louisiana. It features an indoor replica of a mansion – complete with columns, footbridges, oak trees, and a starlit sky.Read More
The Pro Bono Project is pleased to announce its officers and board members for 2019. We thank them for their time and service to the organization.Read More
Holidays bring families and friends together to celebrate the joy of the season. At The Pro Bono Project, we like to think of what we do as bringing "the heart of the season" throughout the year to those who have needed our services.Read More
Like so many visitors to the city, there’s a story behind every adventure, and the 30th Anniversary Justice For All Ball (JFAB) is no exception. This year’s event, like New Orleans’ Tricentennial, celebrates the many people and stories, which have made The Pro Bono Project a success. Scheduled for Friday, October 5, 2018 at the Audubon Tea Room from 8:00 pm to midnight, the JFAB’s Honorary Chair, Calvin C. Fayard, Jr. offers his own story as a reminder to his colleagues what ‘volunteering’ for pro bono was like before organizations, such as The Pro Bono Project, ever existed.Read More
Everybody has a story, and the 2018 Justice For All Ball Honorary Chair, Calvin C. Fayard, Jr., is no exception.Read More
Sometimes it takes two to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Read about the partnership that helped create two of the most successful raffles and auctions at the Justice For All Ball and what they have in store for 2018.Read More
After more than 15 years on Baronne Street, The Pro Bono Project is opening the door on May 1st to a new office space in The New Orleans Exchange Centre, formerly the Chevron building. We are so excited about this move and the possibilities that it opens up for The Project, its volunteers, clients, visitors, and collaborative partners.Read More
We're starting a new feature series that we hope you'll enjoy as a way for you to get know The Pro Bono Project's staff, Board members, volunteers and friends. We're keeping it light and fun, and invite you to think about how you might answer these same questions because one day, it might be your turn!Read More
The Pro Bono Project opens the doors to the civil justice system for people who can't afford to hire a lawyer. We recruit and mentor volunteer attorneys from the private bar and assign them to cases where the client cannot afford to pay for legal counsel. Our clients include children, families, seniors, immigrants, and others who fall below the poverty line.
Through the power of volunteer mentoring and pro bono work, a ripple effect is created and The Project is able to help thousands of people every year and benefit the community at large. In fact, for every $1 invested in legal aid services during the year, the citizens of Louisiana receive $8.73 of immediate and long-term-financial benefits.
In 2017, we worked on 1,083 cases, representing more than 2,030 families and individuals. Donating almost 5,000 volunteer hours, our active panel of 417 volunteer lawyers, paralegals and others legal professionals won 401 of these cases, providing an economic value of $1,888,036.13 to New Orleans and the six-parish community we serve.
The financial support of individuals like you is the reason why The Project had such a big impact this year. One story, in particular, stands out in 2017.
One Life Touching Many
Six-year-old Ca’Ron Steele waited almost his whole life for a happy ending.
Ca’Ron’s grandparents, Carl and Clarvette Steele, raised him since he was three weeks old, because his mother was unable to care for him. As Ca’Ron aged, it became necessary for his grandparents to become his legal guardians so they could take him to the doctor and sign paperwork for the school. But there were also all of those ‘other’ moments – at church, at school sporting events, at restaurants – where both they, and Ca’Ron, wanted to avoid the awkward conversation of defining their relationship to others.
Carl and Clarvette were far more than legal guardians – they were the ones who decorated Ca’Ron’s room with dinosaurs, and woke up to cuddle him when he had a fever, and read books to him every night before he fell asleep. The legal label of being a parent is just as important as the emotional label. And so the Steele Family sought out The Project, for help in formalizing their relationship through an adoption.
Through The Project, the Steeles were matched up with Laurie Briggs Young of Adams & Reese, a maritime and energy lawyer, who receiving mentoring help and support from The Project as she represented them on the adoption process in family court.
One morning in late August of this year, Ca’Ron walked into the St. Bernard Parish Courthouse with his grandparents and volunteer lawyer, and he walked out as Carl and Clarvette’s son. [video inserts here]
People often think that when The Pro Bono Project clears up a legal problem for one individual, it only affects that one life. In fact, the resolution of a civil legal matter often impacts many people.
Who did this adoption touch?
As you can see from the video, an adoption is a life-changing event for a child and his adoptive parents. But, besides the obvious, Ca’Ron's adoption touched the teachers, doctors and other institutional workers that Ca’Ron comes into contact with daily, allowing them to now interface with his parents, who can get him what he needs to become a productive student and responsible adult.
The entire Steele family also now has the relief of knowing that Ca’Ron will never become a part of the foster care system and that he will grow up surrounded by people who love and care for him.
Laurie Briggs Young, the Steele’s pro bono attorney, experienced firsthand how her legal skills changed several lives for the better.
Both the state and the city benefit by keeping a child from becoming part of an already overburdened foster care system.
The justice system – judges and lawyers – also see a long-term effect; they won't have to deal with the problems that sometimes result from a life spent in foster care.
The greater community will one day reap the reward of having a young man who got the opportunity to grow up in a stable, loving home, where he will learn core values that will serve him throughout this life.
All of this – and so much more – happened because The Project was there to connect a pro bono lawyer to a client, and provide mentoring support. The Project opened the door for one small family - the ripple effect touched many more, including you.
Make An Investment: Multiply The Ripple Effect
Please invest in The Project and this community today. Help us spread the ripple effect for other families, children, seniors, and individuals by giving those who need legal aid, access to the civil justice system. You never know whose life you will change with the ripple effect of your donation.
A great big THANKS to all of our donors – whether you’re responding to this campaign, have donated during the year, or are a regular supporter. We wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous 2018.
Please see our Acknowledgement page for a listing of donors.
Living Legend of the Civil Rights Movement, Chef Extraordinaire, and the entire Chase Family Craft the Perfect Recipe for JFAB 2017
She stood up for the rights of others her whole life, and now Chef Leah Chase is bringing that passion – that hunger for justice – to her role as The Pro Bono Project's Honorary Chair of its annual fundraiser, The Justice For All Ball (JFAB).Read More
What's new at JFAB 2017? Well, in the 29 years of hosting this Ball, we've learned a few things, and so we are implementing some changes this year as The Project continues to evolve. Some new features that you may notice include ...Read More
It’s always wonderful to have someone who was a volunteer or an intern come to work at The Project. Our new Intake Coordinator, Ingrid Autin fits that description perfectly. Earlier this year, Ingrid came to The Project as a paralegal intern from Nunez Community College in St. Bernard, a parish that we also serve.Read More
Stakeholder Meeting Convenes with the
President of the American Bar Association and the
Area’s Top Legal Minds to Talk About Pro Bono Work
The Pro Bono Project brought together 60 of the metro area’s top lawyers and jurists to meet with the American Bar Association President Linda Klein and Louisiana State Bar Foundation President-Elect Valerie Bargas on Friday, April 7th to talk about how to build a stronger pro bono partnership. The group met at the Hale Boggs Federal Courthouse in the courtroom of The Honorable Jay Zainey, Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana.Read More
It turned out that finding a new part-time successions attorney was easier than we thought – she was already right under our roof!Read More
The Pro Bono Project recently hosted two interns as part of the inaugural year of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Access to Justice Developing Leadership Intern Program. This program is the result of the collaborative efforts of the Louisiana Supreme Court, Louisiana District Judges Association, Louisiana Bar Foundation, civil legal aid providers, law schools, the Louisiana State Bar Association, and four law firms: Adams and Reese and Phelps Dunbar supported two New Orleans-based interns; and Baker Donelson and Jones Walker sponsored two interns in Baton Rouge.Read More
Board member and Justice For All Ball Committee Chair, Jan Hayden of Baker Donelson is pleased to announce that Gary Solomon, Jr. (l), co-founder and president of Solomon Group and Seth Bloom, Esq. (r), founder and managing partner of Bloom Legal LLC will serve as Honorary Co-Chairs for The Justice For All Ball. The Ball is scheduled for Friday, September 16, 2016, 8 pm to midnight at the Audubon Tea Room; a patron party will precede the event.Read More