Busy is as busy does, and 2018 has been a busy year for The Project and its staff. In between the big move in May, the open house in June, and getting ready for the 30th Annual Justice For All Ball since January – staff members were individually hitting some high notes! Here are just a few highlights from the year so far.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
It takes many hands to open doors to access civil justice for those in need. The strong partnership between The Pro Bono Project, its staff and hundreds of volunteer lawyers, paralegals, law students, and other professional and lay volunteers is the just the beginning.
Only through collaboration with our partners in the Access to Justice community can the mission of The Project ultimately come to life. As we move forward in 2018, collaboration is at the heart of our agenda, just as it is at the heart of serving our pro bono clients.Read More
Through a collaborative effort between The Pro Bono Project, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, Family Justice Center, New Orleans Bar Association, and Louisiana Bar Foundation, we forged an agreement to staff the Orleans Parish Civil District Court Self-Help Resource Center beginning in January 2018. The Project also staffs the 24th Judicial District Court’s Self-Help Resource Center at the Jefferson Parish Courthouse in Gretna on Tuesday and Thursday mornings each week.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.
While the 2017 Justice For All Ball (JFAB) is just a memory – you can still have some fun and add to the final tally. The Last Chance Auction opens today and will be available for bidding until 7:00 pm on Wednesday, November 1. This is not a trick but an extra treat to get your hands on items such as tickets to next year’s 30th Anniversary JFAB, a men’s Armani basket and a new mommy gift package.
View the full Last Chance Auction here.Read More
This week is a time to celebrate the work done by pro bono volunteers across the country.
Although we are always applauding our volunteers, National Pro Bono Week gives us a chance to celebrate our lawyers, paralegals, translators and other legal and lay volunteers who provide their time, talent and funds to power the work of The Project.Read More
With the guidance of and funding from the Louisiana Bar Foundation (LBF), The Pro Bono Project, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS), and the Family Justice Center (FJC) will team up to staff the Orleans Parish Civil District Court (CDC) Self-Help Desk. The Project will serve as the operation lead.Read More
Please join us in offering a warm welcome to our new Louisiana Delta Service Corps member, Amanda Beck!Read More
August 10, 2017
Phelps Dunbar attorneys are volunteering at the 24th JDC Domestic Self Help Resource Center every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 to noon throughout the month of September.
They will assist visitors with the completion of forms approved by the 24th JDC. Forms include a petition to divorce with children and without children. There are also forms relating to custody matters, such as modification of previous orders.
Our thanks to Phelps Dunbar for their efforts during September. If you or your firm are interested in volunteering at this desk or in any other opportunity with us, please call 504-581-4043 today.
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