The Louisiana Bar Foundation has been holding pop up events throughout Louisiana for anyone interested in learning about how the organization operates, the growing need for civil legal aid for low income people, and how the LBF is trying to meet these needs. The pop ups provide a way for attendees to connect with local people and organizations that have firsthand experience with civil legal aid issues.
As the LBF President, Managing Member Alan Brackett recently spoke at one of the pop ups, which was covered by KLAX ABC 31 News. The segment, “Louisiana Bar Foundation Provides Legal Aid to Low Income People,” is appended below.
Louisiana Bar Foundation Provides Legal Aid to Low Income People
The Louisiana Bar Foundation is an organization of Louisiana attorneys seeking to provide legal aid to people in the state who can’t afford legal representation. ABC 31 News’ Joel Massey has more on the organization and the work it’s doing.
Alan Brackett, president of the non-profit Louisiana Bar Foundation said, “The Louisiana Bar Foundation is the largest funder of civil legal aid in the state. So, what we do, we fund organizations that provide direct legal services to people who otherwise can’t afford them.”
They held a pop up tour last night to promote the work that they are doing.
Brackett said, “So sometimes it’s called free legal civil aid, but it really isn’t free. It’s funded through a lot of different sources. But we make sure that the people who can deliver services like domestic violence shelters and people who represent children in foster care that they have the resources they need to help people.”
For every dollar spent on civil legal aid there is a 9-dollar 18 cent return on investment to the economy.
Brackett said, “What that means is we’re helping people stay in their homes so that they keep their jobs. We’re helping people who are survivors of domestic abuse to get out of those situations so that they get their lives back on track. There is a social benefit of helping people with basic legal problems that they otherwise can’t solve themselves.”
John Davidson is a 9th Judicial District Court Judge. He says many lawyers around the state are doing pro bono work.
“So many lawyers donate their time some donate their money. A lot of them donate service through other non-profit corporations and serve our community. The Bar Foundation works hard to make sure that you get proper legal representation regardless of your zip code or your economic status.”
In 2021 the top three legal issues facing civil legal aid clients in the Central Region were housing, family issues and income maintenance. Those are the issues that the Louisiana Bar Foundation is helping to address.
The organization is also helping people representing themselves to have the proper tools to be ready for their day in court.
Davidson said, “When you represent yourself a lot of times your emotions get caught up in the court conflict and it’s hard to be objective. It also allows us to support organizations who can help self-represented people learn more about their rights and their ability to access services and provide the proper forms and things to meet the legal needs that they have too.”