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Photos and video from our recent events!
Succession Outreach Program with Louisiana Civil Justice Center
Law student volunteers from the LSU law center assisted the Pro Bono Legal Corps (PBLC) and the Louisiana Civil Justice Center (LCJC) with a Succession Outreach Program at the Scotlandville Branch Library on September 29th.Attorneys from PBLC and LCJC organized the event to educate the elderly community regarding the importance of estate planning in post-Katrina Louisiana."A simple olographic will would have bypassed a majority of the legal issues the southern area of Louisiana are facing today," says Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Attorney Tim Riveria.
Tim Riveria, Equal Justice Works Attorney, addressing the importance of estate planning.
The primary reason for the delay in rebuilding New Orleans is the lack of successions performed by family members of the deceased.With the title remaining in the deceased name, Road Home is requiring applicants perform full successions on the property to establish clear title.To further complicate this issue, a majority of those who need successions cannot afford legal representation and are thus eligible for pro bono services.This sudden need has flooded legal service aid providers with cases and has caused a bottleneck in services.
To prevent future legal roadblocks such as these, PBLC and LCJC prepared a presentation and discussion on estate planning and preparing an olographic will.An olographic will is a handwritten document signed and dated by the testator.Those with an interest in the will, e.g. those who have been left something by the testament, bring the document to the courthouse and have the will probated.After two witnesses confirm the testator's handwriting, those with an interest, the legatees, will be put into possession of the property.
Marissa Wagner, volunteer law student from LSU Law
Gabrielle Jones, the Staff Attorney for the LCJC says, "The land issues that have arisen post Katrina were caused by our failure to prepare the citizens of this state before the storm.By performing educational seminars on these issues, we are able to assist our community by getting the necessary information directly into the hands."To aid Ms. Jones, Mr. Riveria and myself with this program, several law students agreed to assist us before and during the event.
The volunteer law students attended a brief training a few days before the event where they were trained on their duties during the event and their ethical and professional responsibilities with the clients.The students assisted clients attending the event by welcoming them and observing the lecture and one-on-one consultations.This was a wonderful opportunity for them to participate in a less traditional form of pro bono service.
Law student Caroline Johnson assists client signing in.
The PBLC and LCJC are already planning additional seminars for this fall and spring 2008 semesters.If you would like additional information on these future dates, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.For more on who the PBLC is, please visit www.pblcbatonrouge.org.
Attorney, Gabrielle Jones, discussing olographic will drafting.
LSU Law Students Volunteer at Correctional Center with Area Immigration Attorneys
On February 13th, Woody Scott and Katie Penny, law students from LSU, attended a "Know Your Rights" presentation at the South Louisiana Correctional Center in Basile, Louisiana.Over 200 inmates from all over the world, and who were taken into custody somewhere in the United States, attended."Having the opportunity to observe the legal process in action was amazing," said Woody Scott."Plus, we met some fascinating people.One guy was from Zimbabwe, one guy was from Lithuania, and another was from Honduras."
Katie Penny, Kathleen McNelis, Woody Scott, Hiroko Kusada outside of the South Louisiana Correctional Facility in Basile, Lousiana.
Scott and Penny met with Kenneth Mayeaux (Immigration Staff Attorney for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge), Hiroko Kusada (Staff Attorney for Loyola Law's Immigration Clinic), and Kathleen McNelis (Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Attorney), on Wednesday morning at Catholic Charities.After a two hour drive and having the guards sign everyone in, they were taken into the cafeteria where there were rows of tables with benches attached to them.Once everyone was set up, the inmates were brought in.They were asked to face the back wall where Mr. Mayeaux presented the "Know Your Rights" presentation in Spanish.After his speech, inmates lined up to talk with the attorneys about their current alien status.Questions ranged from requesting a reduction in their bond to inquiring about why their Notice to Appear before the immigration judge said, "Date to be set."
Ken Mayeaux, Katie Penny, Woody Scott, and Hiroko Kusada outside of the South Louisiana Correctional Facility in Basile, Louisiana.
Both Scott and Penny are fluent in Spanish and were very helpful at this event.They received a brief training over lunch (complimentary of Catholic Charities), performed intake services, and distributed information on bonds, voluntary removal, deportation, and more."It was great having the opportunity to really use my Spanish," said Penny."After studying in Venezuela two summers ago, I haven't had the opportunity to really have a conversation in Spanish.This was a great opportunity for that, and I know we were really helping them with their legal issues."
If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, contact your Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Attorneys at email@example.com.Also, visit www.pblcbatonrouge.org for the next "Know Your Rights" presentation.
Martin Luther King, Jr. - AmeriCorps National Day of Service