Library Partners with La. State Bar Association and La. Library Association to Host Legal Advice Program

The Abbeville Library, in partnership with the Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) and the Louisiana Library Association (LLA), is presenting its sixth annual “Lawyers in Libraries” statewide program on Oct. 21st & 22nd. Attorney Bernard Duhon will provide two free presentations. The program is free and open to the public.

These presentations will be held on:

Monday, October 21, 2019             9:00 am – 10:30 am          Wills & Power of Attorney
Tuesday, Octber 22, 2019               9:00 am – 10:30 am         Succession Procedure

The annual statewide “Lawyers in Libraries” program celebrates its sixth year of service to the public during the week of Oct. 21 -26. The Supreme Court of Louisiana and the LSBA support this annual volunteer attorney project held during “National Celebrate Pro Bono Week” and thank the Louisiana Library Association LLA for its ongoing involvement

During this week, Louisiana attorneys will provide free, limited legal services to the public in libraries across the state. 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. The event, typically held in conjunction with “National Celebrate Pro Bono Week,” has assisted over 3,000 Louisianans in public libraries and reached patrons in every parish in the state. Some libraries now have recurring events throughout the year. 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. “Lawyers in Libraries” make a  library visit much more meaningful and effective by providing  advice and direction that only an attorney can give. The “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.