Access to Justice Committee

Access to Justice Committee

The mission of the Access to Justice Committee is to assure that every Louisiana citizen has access to competent civil legal representation by promoting and supporting a broad based and effective justice community through collaboration between the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Louisiana Bar Foundation, Louisiana Law Schools, private practitioners, local bar associations, pro bono programs and legal aid providers.

The Access to Justice Committee was established in 1996 to consolidate the efforts of two existing LSBA committees (The Legal Services Committee and The Volunteers In Public Service Committee). As the mission states, the committee helps to strengthen an integrated delivery network by supporting all those who deliver legal services to the poor. The current committee is comprised of 40 volunteer members, both attorneys and non-attorneys, with the common interest of assisting the indigent with their legal needs. These volunteers, with various backgrounds, reside throughout Louisiana and include corporate counsel, legal service attorneys, legal educators, large and small firm representatives, and pro bono directors. Their diverse backgrounds only enhance the committee's ability to work through initiatives from a variety of approaches.

Latest Access to Justice News and Events

Civil Legal Aid Awards

The Louisiana State Bar Association is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Civil Legal Aid Awards to recognize the outstanding work of lawyers serving in the public interest community. There will be two awards presented on October 9, 2015 at the Louisiana Justice Community Conference in Baton Rouge.

Award Categories:

 Legal Service Innovation Award - This award will be presented to an attorney who or organization that has developed an innovative method of delivering legal services to those with unmet legal needs.

 Legal Service Excellence in Advocacy Award - This award will be presented to a Louisiana public interest attorney who has demonstrated exceptional service, professionalism and passion for representing vulnerable clients. 

2015 Pro Bono Publico and Children's Law Awards
LSBA Honors Exceptional Louisiana Pro Bono Work
NEW ORLEANS -- The Louisiana Supreme Court hosted the Louisiana State Bar Association’s 30th Annual Pro Bono Awards Ceremony on May 19th. LSBA President Joseph "Larry" Shea, Jr. and members of the Louisiana Supreme Court presented the awards to the 2015 Pro Bono Publico and Children’s Law Award recipients as LSBA President-Elect Mark Cunningham. announced the award winners. In attendance at the ceremony and reception were Justice Clark, Justice Hughes, Justice Weimer and Justice Crichton. The ceremony was held in the Louisiana Supreme Court Building in New Orleans, and was followed by a reception.

The Pro Bono Awards Ceremony honors attorneys and other public interest legal professionals from around the state who provided exceptional pro bono services to Louisiana’s indigent, who may not otherwise have received adequate representation or access to the legal system.

The awards and the 2015 recipients follow:

Children's Law Awards
Baton Rouge Bar Foundation - Teen Court
Kathleen Gasparian - New Orleans

Law Student Pro Bono Awards
Gabrielle Alessi-Friedlander-Bowersox - Louisiana State University Law School
Sophia Mire - Loyola University Law School
Christopher Kubacki - Southern University Law School
Brittany Wolf - Tulane University Law School

Friend of Pro Bono Awards
Kay E. Donnelly & Associates - New Orleans, LA
Dwayne M. Murray - Baton Rouge, LA

Pro Bono Publico Awards
Stone Pigman Law Firm - New Orleans, LA
Joseph R. Ballard - Baton Rouge, LA
Valerie B. Bargas - Baton Rouge, LA
Roy K. Burns, Jr. - Covington, LA
La’Gretta Fortune - Baton Rouge, LA
Valerie G. Garrett - Lafayette, LA
J. Spencer Hays - Bossier, LA
Benjamin W. Kadden - New Orleans, LA
Gregory A. Koury - Lafayette, LA
Michael W. Magner - New Orleans, LA
Charles W. Montz, Jr. - Lafayette, LA
Wendy H. Robinson - New Orleans, LA
Sophia D. Rosado - Kenner, LA
Michelle M. Rutherford - New Orleans, LA
Dwazendra Smith - Lafayette, LA
K. Wade Trahan - Lafayette, LA

Career Public Interest Award
Joseph R. Oelkers, III - Lafayette, LA

David A. Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award
Jay M. Jalenak - Baton Rouge, LA

Century Club Awards
Amy M. Bernadas - New Orleans, LA
Mandi A. Borne - Lafayette, LA
Philip H. Boudreaux, Jr. - Lafayette, LA
Marianna Broussard - Lafayette, LA
William G. Cherbonnier - New Orleans, LA
Jeffrey K. Coreil - Lafayette, LA
L’Reece David - Lafayette, LA
Elizabeth H. Emmett - New Orleans, LA
Matthew R. Emmons - Mandeville, LA
Bradford H. Felder - Lafayette, LA
Valerie G. Garrett - Lafayette, LA
Irain J. Gonzalez - Metairie, LA
Catharine O. Gracia - New Orleans, LA
Valerie V. Guidry - Lafayette, LA
Jane A. Jackson - New Orleans, LA
Amythist L. Kearney - Slidell, LA
Gregory A. Koury - Lafayette, LA
Cliff A. Lacour - Lafayette, LA
Craig D. Little - Lafayette, LA
Seth T. Mansfield - Lafayette, LA
Jason Matt - Lafayette, LA
Alysson L. Mills - New Orleans, LA
Charles Montz, Jr. - Lafayette, LA
Jason T. Reed - Lafayette, LA
Wendy Hickok Robinson - New Orleans, LA
Dwazendra J. Smith - Lafayette, LA
Hugh R. Straub - New Orleans, LA
Mark C. Surprenant - New Orleans, LA
K. Wade Trahan - Lafayette, LA
Danielle E. Treadaway - Metairie, LA

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