The St. Bernard Parish Library and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) have partnered to offer another opportunity for area residents to take part in a free legal clinic on Monday, April 27th. In keeping with federal, state, and local directives to shelter-in-place, the April clinic will be modeled after the March session with consultations being held by phone beginning at 11 a.m. A limited number of time slots are available and anyone interested in registering may do so in one of two ways. Registrants are asked to either call the library at 504-279-0448 to leave a voicemail containing their contact info including name, telephone number, and email address or they can visit the library’s website at www.mysbpl.org and send an email containing the same information via the ‘Contact Us’ link found on the red menu bar near the top of the page. A library staff member will contact them and complete the registration. As some services are determined by income levels, an SLLS staff member will contact each participant prior to the clinic to determine eligibility and finalize their registration. Once a resident has been registered they will be provided a telephone appointment with a volunteer attorney for the April Legal Clinic date.
The St. Bernard Parish Library and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) are pleased to have been able to adapt this monthly series of one-on-one sessions for patrons with legal questions on a variety of non-criminal topics. Legal subjects available for discussion and possible legal representation include Bankruptcy, Divorce, Custody, Collection Matters, Landlord-Tenant Disputes, FEMA/Disaster Benefits, Food Stamps, Foreclosures, Medicaid, Social Security, SSI/SSDI, Successions, Taxes and Wills. Arrangements for documents needing to be notarized can also be discussed.
Retired SLLS attorney, Jay Welch, is spearheading the upcoming free legal clinics. His 33 year public interest career was spent at New Orleans Legal Assistance and SLLS handling cases in every practice area including family law, domestic violence, successions, consumer, benefits, and landlord-tenant. He frequently took on complex litigation through affirmative litigation and was well known for never giving up on finding a way to achieve justice for his clients. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, Jay managed SLLS’ Chalmette office and was a mainstay in the St. Bernard Parish Courthouse and community. When that office did not reopen due to being destroyed by Katrina, Jay continued to fight for the rights of disaster survivors in the greater New Orleans area for several years and then led SLLS’ Delgado Community College Single Stop Program. Although Mr. Welch retired from SLLS over a year ago, he is still serving the needs of our community and is ready to tackle his next challenge serving as an SLLS Distinguished Fellow to provide increased access to justice to vulnerable people in St. Bernard Parish. His project will help SLLS reestablish a regular physical presence in St. Bernard Parish through a new initiative to provide monthly legal clinics in partnership with the St. Bernard Parish library system.
SLLS is a non-profit law firm that offers representations, advocacy, and legal education to low income people in Southeast Louisiana. All services are free. SLLS serves people in 22 parishes across Southeast Louisiana. Income guidelines are used to determine eligibility and may vary. Every day the attorneys work to protect homeowners, consumers, and families by providing legal advice on topics such as wills, successions, tax liens, debt, fraud and identity theft, bankruptcy, domestic issues, veterans and Social Security benefits, Medicaid and health insurance, FEMA, housing issues, education needs, and workers’ rights. They also provide free community legal education and Know Your Rights training sessions for community groups and human service agencies. They do not handle criminal or personal injury cases. For assistance or to find the SLLS closest to you, please call 504-529-1000.
Anyone with questions about the phone clinic can contact the library as previously mentioned. Clinic information and updates will be posted on the library’s website and on its Facebook page.