Baton Rouge Bar Foundation Pro Bono Project
The Baton Rouge Bar Foundation Pro Bono Project is dedicated to improving equal access to justice for all and has been making a meaningful change in people’s lives since 1986.
Our Pro Bono Project volunteers provide critical civil legal services for poor people in our community struggling with some of life's most difficult problems: family disintegration, loss of housing, bankruptcy, loss of income through disability domestic violence and more.
Recognizing that there is no "one-size-fits-all" approach to pro bono and that attorneys have varying interests and needs, the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation offers several ways for volunteers to become involved:
Are you a client needing legal help?
How to apply for services
Pro Bono Project volunteers:
- Have an opportunity to give back to the community in a concrete and impactful way
- Develop critical lawyering skills and gain experience
- Obtain support through our training seminars and volunteer mentors
- Gain exposure and develop communication skills in various legal settings
- Receive recognition for their work through our Century Club
- Gain admittance to free or reduced rate CLE courses
In 2012 our volunteers assisted over 1500 litigants in many areas of civil law.
Law students and paralegals can also volunteer with our programs. Students may volunteer at any of our three outreach clinics or may serve as interns at the Baton Rouge Bar office. The Pro Bono Project is an approved internship site for the LSU Paralegal Program. The Pro Bono Project is an approved site for fellows participating in the Southern University Law Center Chancellor's Public Service Initiative Stipend program and the LSU Public Interest Law Society Fellowship program. Contact Robin Kay to find out how you can help.
The Pro Bono Project is funded by grants from the Louisiana Bar Foundation Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) program, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, Family, District and City Court Filing Fees, the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation and by donations.
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation refers cases to the Pro Bono Project for placement with volunteer attorneys. Our volunteers provide legal assistance to low income clients and agree to accept a minimum of two cases per year. Cases are available in the areas of consumer finance, bankruptcy, education, employment, family law, health, housing, juvenile, SSI, immigration, wills and small successions. Volunteers may also serve on our pro bono volunteer panel exclusively as conflicts attorneys for clients accepted directly through the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation when an adverse party is represented by Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation.
Accepting pro bono cases also provides opportunities for reduced fee Continuing Legal Education. Mentors are available to assist you and malpractice insurance is provided by the Pro Bono Project.
If you would like to volunteer for the Pro Bono Project, click here.
Thirst for Justice
The Pro Bono Project provides a walk-in legal clinic every Wednesday and Thursday afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m. at the St. Vincent de Paul Bishop Ott Shelter located at 220 St. Vincent de Paul St. in Baton Rouge. Volunteers provide legal counseling and advice to individuals on matters of civil law only.
To volunteer for Thirst for Justice, contact Emily Chambers for available dates.
The Pro Bono Project provides walk-in legal clinics two to three times a month at several locations throughout the greater Baton Rouge area. Volunteers provide legal advice at various social service agencies including Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Delmont Service Center of Baton Rouge, the East Baton Rouge Parish Branch Libraries and in surrounding parishes. Times and locations of these events vary.
To volunteer for Ask-A-Lawyer, contact Emily Chambers. For a calendar of upcoming clinics, click here.
Self Help Resource Center
The Self Help Resource Center at East Baton Rouge Family Court is a walk-in clinic for self-represented litigants in Family Court. At Self Help, volunteer attorneys supervise law students and staff as they provide information and court-approved forms to pro se litigants in Family Court matters only. No advice is given at Self Help and this clinic is open to attorneys in all areas of practice. Self Help is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Training sessions are held periodically, however attorneys are not required to attend training in order to volunteer.
To volunteer for the Self Help Resource Center, contact Emily Chambers for available dates.
Wills for Heroes:
The Young Lawyers Section of the Louisiana State Bar Association, in cooperation with the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation Pro Bono Project, sponsors the Wills for Heroes Program in Baton Rouge. Wills for Heroes is a national initiative that provides wills at no cost to first responders (law enforcement officers, fire fighters and EMS). Volunteer attorneys prepare notarial wills, powers of attorney and living wills at each event. Wills for Heroes events are held twice a year in Baton Rouge.
To volunteer, contact Robin Kay for more information.
Are you a client in need of legal help?
Applying for Services
The Pro Bono Project accepts a limited number of cases each year. Civil (non-criminal cases are referred directly by Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation (SLLS) to the Pro Bono Project for placement with volunteer attorneys.
To apply for free legal services, you must contact Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation at (855) 512-3980 or (225) 448-0080 or complete a web application at www.slls.org. Eligibility for service is based on gross income and in relation to family size, assets and case type. If SLLS accepts your case, it may be referred to the Pro Bono Project for placement with a volunteer attorney.
If you do not qualify for free legal services, you may contact the Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Baton Rouge Bar Association at 225-344-9926 for a referral to an attorney. The LRIS is a fee-based service.
Thirst for Justice
The Pro Bono Project provides a walk-in legal clinic on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 3 to 5 p.m. at the offices of St. Vincent de Paul located at 220 St. Vincent DePaul St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802 (click here for a map). At Thirst for Justice, volunteers provide legal counseling and advice on matters of civil law only. Thirst for Justice is first-come, first-serve.
The Pro Bono Project provides walk-in legal clinics two to three times a month at several locations throughout the greater Baton Rouge area. At Ask-A-Lawyer, volunteers provide legal advice at various social service agencies including Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Delmont Service Center of Baton Rouge, the East Baton Rouge Parish Branch Libraries and the surrounding area. Times and locations vary. Ask-A-Lawyer is first-come, first-serve.
For a schedule of upcoming Ask-A-Lawyer Clinics, click here.
Self Help Resource Center
The Self Help Resource Center at East Baton Rouge Family Court is a walk-in clinic for self-represented litigants in Family Court only. No advice is given at Self Help. At Self Help, law studnents, under the supervision of an attorney, provide information and assist in the completion of court-approved forms only. For more information, visit the East Baton Rouge Parish Family Court website.