Listed below are names and descriptions of law-related agencies that welcome Student Pro Bono volunteers. Where available, the link to each agency's website is included. This list is not exhaustive. If you would like to learn about other opportunities, please see Judson Mitchell, Pro Bono Coordinator, in Room 305 of the Broadway Building. If you have your own idea about where you would like to do your pro bono work, feel free to submit a Student Initiated Placement Form for approval.
"CrescentCare Legal Services (formerly AIDSLaw of Louisiana, Inc.) provides free civil legal aid to income eligible persons in Louisiana with legal issues involving matters related to or arising from their HIV status. Persons living with HIV/AIDS, as well as their loved ones, face a variety of problems requiring the assistance of legal professionals with experience in various areas of the law. Without the help of CCLS attorneys, unmet legal needs would negatively impact clients’ health."
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
"Concerned over making decisions about abused and neglected children's lives without sufficient information, a Seattle judge conceived the idea of using trained community volunteers to speak for the best interests of these children in court. So successful was this Seattle program that soon judges across the country began utilizing citizen advocates. In 1990, the U.S. Congress encouraged the expansion of CASA with passage of the Victims of Child Abuse Act. Today more than 900 CASA programs are in operation, with 42,400 women and men serving as CASA volunteers..."
Court Watch NOLA
"CWN has recruited, trained, and supported volunteers in observing and reporting on whether our judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and other public servants are doing their jobs professionally, transparently, and without wasting taxpayer resources. CWN volunteers track hundreds of felony cases, and their daily and visible presence in the courtroom helps identify systemic problems while sending the message that our community cares about making the courts more accountable and just."
Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center
"The Fair Housing Action Center, Inc., or FHAC, was established in August 1995 with help from the National Fair Housing Alliance and a grant from U.S. HUD. FHAC is a private, non-profit organization that will work to further the goal of fair housing and open neighborhoods in the greater New Orleans area..."
Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of La.
Defense counsel for indigent persons accused of federal crimes in the Eastern District of Louisiana, appointed by the federal court.
Homeless Advocacy Program
A program of the Loyola Law Clinic which provides legal services to homeless persons in the New Orleans area. Students who participate in the program assist the staff attorney in client outreach and litigation.
Immigration Detention Project--Loyola Law Clinic
A joint program of the Loyola Law Clinic and Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) which provides legal services and information to immigrants detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) at Orleans Parish Prison and other facilities. Clients include applicants for asylum, immigrants with criminal convictions, and so-called "indefinite" detainees who cannot be returned to their home countries. Students will have the opportunity to interview detainees, give "Know Your Rights" presentations to groups of detainees, conduct research and write briefs for Immigration Court hearings, or represent detained clients in interviews before the INS. Beginning in January 2001, students may also write appellate briefs for detained immigrants.
Orleans Public Defender
"The office of the Orleans Public Defenders is an independent legal office responsible for providing legal representation to indigent individuals charged with criminal offenses in the Orleans Parish. The new OPD office houses a full-time staff of public defenders, investigators and administrative personnel as well as a corps of volunteers, interns, and law clerks. "
Innocence Project of New Orleans
The Innocence Project New Orleans is a newly organized non-profit which represents indigent prisoners serving life sentences who have provable claims of actual innocence. Some of IPNO's cases involve pursuit of biological evidence for possible DNA testing. Student duties include obtaining relevant records from state and private entities, case investigation (e.g, locating evidence for DNA testing, interviewing witnesses, crime scene investigation), legal research, brief/memorandum writing, and hearing preparation.
Provides assistance, including legal assistance, to victims of domestic violence.
"Refugee and Immigration Services assists aliens and refugees through a variety of legal services, social services including job counseling, social adjustment, ESL classes, Health Screening programs. Resettlement services are offered for newly arrived refugees. Special programs are targeted to needs of Vietnamese Youth."
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services
"Twenty-two parishes. Six offices. 100+ attorneys, staff and volunteers. SLLS is Louisiana's largest provider of free civil legal aid. SLLS serves half of Louisiana's low-income people. In many areas of our 22-parish service area SLLS is the only organization that can help. "
The Pro Bono Project
Provides civil legal services to indigent persons in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, and Washington Parishes.
Volunteer law students who provide income tax assistance to low-income filers.