St. Bernard Parish Library is pleased to announce that it is participating in the sixth annual “Lawyers in Libraries” statewide program in partnership with the Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA). The Supreme Court of Louisiana and the LSBA support this annual volunteer attorney project held during National Celebrate Pro Bono Week which is scheduled for October 21st – October 26th.
Participants in the free “ASK A LAWYER” event, set for Thursday, October 24, 2019, at the St. Bernard Parish Library, 2600 Palmisano Blvd. in Chalmette, can receive free, limited legal services on a variety of non-criminal topics. Participants can have questions answered on subjects such as Bankruptcy, Civil Lawsuits, Collection Matters, Custody, Divorce, Evictions, FEMA/Disaster Benefits, Food Stamps, Foreclosures, Housing, Medicaid, Social Security, SSI/SSDI, Successions, Taxes, and Wills. Attorneys will be available for one-on-one consultations. The individual sessions will be held in the library’s foyer. Half-hour appointments from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. can be scheduled by calling the library at 504-279-0448. Appointments are encouraged but ‘walk-ins’ are also welcome.
Louisiana has the second-highest poverty rate in the nation. In a report published by the United Way, it is estimated that 40% of Louisianan households struggle to afford basic household necessities, including housing, childcare, food, transportation, and taxes. Many families go without assistance for their basic legal issues, which can impact family safety, housing, medical care, custody, and other core needs. “To effectively serve the public, attorneys are reaching out through “Lawyers in Libraries” events,” explains Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson. “Across our state, attorneys donate tens of thousands of hours of pro bono service every year. This donation of time and expertise yields benefits which are highly impactful in clients’ lives and represent the highest degrees of professionalism. “Lawyers in Libraries” events facilitate an opportunity for lawyers to provide much-needed assistance to the citizens of our state.”
The “Lawyers in Libraries” program has consistently grown since being launched in 2014 with more than 3,000 Louisianans in public libraries being served in every parish throughout the state. Public libraries are natural starting points for people in search of information and services. Library staff can provide direction to available resources, but not legal advice. The “Lawyers in Libraries” program is a great benefit to patrons, especially in areas without a legal aid office,” said Holly Priestley, Public Relations Coordinator of the Ouachita Parish Library System. LSBA President Robert A. Kutcher a “Lawyers in Libraries” volunteer for many years believes this program “demonstrates the LSBA’s commitment to helping the courts and our members to better serve the public.”
“Lawyers in Libraries” is a success because of the combined efforts of the LSBA, LSBA members, LLA, Law Library of Louisiana, LSU Law Library, legal aid partners, local bar associations, and other community partners. For more details or help finding an event in your area, contact your local library or visit www.LouisianaLawyersinLibraries.org.
The Louisiana State Bar Association assists its more than 22,000 members in the practice of law. The statewide association, as part of its multi-faceted mission, promotes and maintains access to justice initiatives for the state’s residents, assists the Louisiana Supreme Court in its regulation of the practice of law, upholds the honor of the courts and the profession, and supports programs that increase public understanding of and respect for the law.