The LBF Staff is working remotely today, May 20, 2022.

 

Civil Legal Aid Deserts in Louisiana

The Louisiana Bar Foundation (LBF) along with Chez Hope are addressing the civil legal needs in Louisiana by bringing critical legal services to victims of domestic violence who live in a civil legal resource desert. Chez Hope received a LBF Jock Scott Community Partnership Funding for Legal Desert Projects in Acadiana, Bayou Region, and Capital Area, to focus on solutions to help victims of domestic violence.

Civil Legal Resource Deserts are areas of the state where access to free civil legal services may be more than a 45-minute drive. Distance coupled with high poverty rates and lack of internet access put these regions at the top of the list for places in need of access to these services and resources. More than 600,000 Louisianans are living in legal deserts and are potentially eligible for civil legal aid.

With funding from LBF, and the Brown Foundation, Chez Hope pulled together a Coordinated Community Response Team with members of the legal community, local judges, DA’s office, Clerk of Courts office, sheriff’s department, Council on Aging, Section 8, SMILE Community Action Agency, and residents to address civil legal needs for clients living in the legal deserts of Iberia Parish and lower St. Martin Parish.

The goal of the LBF funding is to provide education to the underserved populations and assist them in gaining access to legal forms; collaborate with community stakeholders to form a unified plan to implement outreach services by hosting community listen sessions; develop training to be presented at community locations; and purchase technology needs to allow for self-help.

The Jock Scott Community Partnership Panel Funding for Legal Desert Projects does not end with Chez Hope. Civil Legal Aid Deserts exist all over Louisiana.  In addition to Chez Hope, the LBF is partnering with Central Louisiana Pro Bono Project, Pine Hills Advocacy Center, D.A.R.T. and others to expand self-help legal services, increase education prevention, offer guidance on court preparations, and educate the community to know how to access the services available to them.

The Louisiana Bar Foundation is the single statewide funder that is fully committed to ensuring that Louisiana’s civil justice system is accessible to all. We know best how to direct civil legal aid to have the most impact for Louisianans in need of legal help. You can help the LBF by making a donation or becoming a Fellow.

The Louisiana Bar Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity organized under the state of Louisiana.

 



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