Shreveport Bar Foundation

A nonprofit organization

0% complete

$7,000 Goal

The Shreveport Bar Foundation ("SBF") is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1998. The SBF is located at the Shreveport Bar Center in downtown Shreveport. This historic building, owned by the SBF, houses the offices of SBF's three primary programs: the Pro Bono Project ("PBP"), the Self Represented Litigants Program ("SRL"), and our Legal Representation for Victims of Domestic Violence Program ("LRVDV").


The PBP provides free legal assistance to low-income clients in Caddo and Bossier Parishes through the recruitment of local lawyers who volunteer their time and services to PBP. This allows us to host a variety of events for the local public annually. PBP is most widely recognized in north Louisiana for its free monthly Ask-A-Lawyer Clinic where our recruited volunteer attorneys provide one-on-one legal advice to all clients who attend. PBP also offers a "Day of Giving," held annually on MLK day, where our volunteer attorneys assist clients with free legal forms including medical power-of-attorneys and living wills. A third event offered by PBP is our "Self Represented Divorce Clinic" where qualified petitioners come in and receive guidance on completing their divorce petitions by one of our volunteer attorneys. Finally, PBP receives a continual stream of cases, through a client referral system with Acadiana Legal Services, and provides free legal assistance to persons in the local community who fall below the federal poverty income level. Without PBP, many individuals would not know where to go and/or how to obtain legal advice and services.

The SRL program offers a Pro Se Library for the public with the assistance of SBF staff. Unlike other Pro Se Libraries which are located at various courthouses, our Library is located at the Bar Center, one block from the district courthouse. This intentional location provides a safe and private environment to research legal issues. We provide a variety of court approved legal forms to self-represented litigants. Our staff also conducts clinics to assist the public with the completion of court approved petitions for divorce.

The LRVDV program addresses the great need for legal representation in protective order hearings in Caddo Parish. LRVDV provides legal representation to men, women, and children in the community, of any income, who are facing issues with domestic violence. This unique program is the only one of its kind in North Louisiana and provides one staff attorney to represent victims in court to obtain protective orders. The attorney may also assist and with ancillary services by requesting temporary custody, support, visitation and counseling when these issues relate to family violence. We also represent clients who have other problems addressed in the protective order statutes including stalking, cyberstalking, and sexual assault. In short, LRVDV is a "law firm" for victims of domestic violence. LRVDV operates in partnership with Project Celebration, Family Justice Center of Northwest Louisiana, First Judicial District Court, and Caddo Juvenile Court to accept referrals of victims of domestic violence seeking protective orders.

We are seeking funding to continue operation to meet the high demand for services. Louisiana ranks 2nd in the nation for domestic abuse homicides, according to the Violence Policy Center. Further, according to the Louisiana Protective Order Registry, 95-98% of civil protective order petitioners were unrepresented. The SBF wanted to help change these terrible statistics. Our answer for change is our LRVDV program.

Testimonials

"The attorney and office helped me above and beyond, in court and out. I was able to secure a protective order from my abusive husband. I was so scared that I would not be able to when he could afford an attorney and I could not. This program has been amazing for me."

"I am so grateful for the hard work of the program to assure we got the protective order. It made a very stressful situation easy and I am forever thankful for that."

Organization Data

Summary

Organization name

Shreveport Bar Foundation

Tax id (EIN)

72-1115393

Address

625 Texas St
Shreveport, LA 71101