2015 Legislative Session: LSBA Board of Governors Takes Positions on BillsThe LSBA’s Board of Governors on April 25 approved several bill position recommendations of the LSBA’s Legislation Committee. Note that, until the legislative session has concluded, bill positions may change subsequent to bill amendments. To review the bills and reasons for support or opposition, go to: http://www.lsba.org/legislation, then click on “2015 Regular Session.”
Yes, It Really Is Important to Report Your Pro Bono Hours!
Pro bono and civil legal aid organizations do benefit from LSBA members who report their pro bono service hours. It helps the organizations answer questions from funders, such as: “What are attorneys doing to help poor people?” Each year, thousands of volunteer hours of legal services to poor people go unreported by attorneys because attorneys think it doesn’t matter or because they think it is self-aggrandizement to report. Support your local public interest organizations by reporting your hours and providing them with a response to that question. Complete the online “Voluntary Pro Bono Reporting Form” at: https://www.lsba.org/ATJ/ProBonoVoluntaryReporting.aspx.
If you need assistance, contact Nicole Louque at (800)421-5722, ext. 106, or email email@example.com
Learn More: LSBA Video-Conferencing (Blue Jeans) System The LSBA Video-Conferencing (Blue Jeans) System is a cloud-based, video-collaboration service, requiring no additional hardware or software. Users just need video-enabled devices and Internet access. Video-enabled devices include PCs or laptops with cameras and microphones, using a browser; an IPad or Android tablet or a Smart Phone, using the App; or a full IP room system. For training videos, video-conferencing tips and other information: http://www.lsba.org/BarGovernance/vc.aspx.
Application Forms Available for Lawyers to Earn CLE Credit for Pro Bono Representation
Effective May 1, attorneys who provide pro bono legal services can earn one hour of CLE credit for every five hours of pro bono representation, up to a maximum of three hours of CLE credit a year, under an order signed by Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson. The Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Committee has uploaded the forms needed to claim credit for “uncompensated pro bono legal representation to an indigent or near-indigent client or clients.” To be eligible for credit, “the matter must have been assigned by a court, a bar association, or a legal services or pro bono organization that has as its primary purpose the furnishing of such pro bono legal services.”
Entities wanting to qualify as a pro bono organization must complete the Application for Approval as a Qualifying Pro Bono Organization. Download the application here: http://www.lascmcle.org/pdf/ProBonoOrganization.pdf
To earn credit for pro bono representation, attorneys must complete the Application for CLE Credit for Pro Bono Representation. Download the application here: http://www.lascmcle.org/pdf/ProBonoCLE.pdf
Louisiana Bar Center to Close for Memorial Day
The Louisiana Bar Center will be closed on Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day. The office will reopen for business at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 26.
LBLS Sets June 3 Public Hearing on Amendment to Family Law Standards
The Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization (LBLS) will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, June 3, beginning at 4 p.m. in the Lafayette Room of the Louisiana Bar Center, 601 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, to provide a forum for Bar members to comment on a proposed amendment to the LBLS Family Law Standards. The amendment would permit family law specialization CLE credit to be earned for the pro bono representation of client(s) in accordance with the Louisiana Supreme Court Rules on Continuing Legal Education. Any questions or requests for a copy of the proposed amendment to the Family Law Standards may be directed to LBLS Executive Director Barbara Shafranski at firstname.lastname@example.org
Application Deadline is June 19 for Leadership LSBA 2015/16 Class
LSBA President-Elect Mark A. Cunningham is currently seeking applications from young lawyers for the Leadership LSBA 2015/2016 Class. All applicants must have been admitted to the practice of law for at least two years (admitted before May 2013). This program was created in 2002 by LSBA President Larry Feldman, Jr. and provides exposure to how the LSBA functions as well as the pressing issues that face the Association and the legal profession. It also provides participants with general information on the responsibilities of volunteer leaders. Through at least one project (previous projects included a high school art contest, a series of pro bono CLEs, a 5K benefiting the Lawyers Assistance Program, and a legal aid hackathon), the program strives to further develop young attorneys’ leadership skills and to provide them with opportunities for statewide networking. Prior classes have ranged in size from 5 to 16.
By conclusion of FY 2015/2016 (which ends in June 2016), participants will be required to:
- Attend one meeting of the Board of Governors;
- Attend one meeting of the House of Delegates;
- Attend one meeting of the Young Lawyers Division Council;
- Attend one Budget Committee meeting;
- Attend one meeting of the Access to Justice Committee;
- Attend one meeting of an LSBA committee of their choice;
- Work with their class to develop and implement a class projects with the help of staff; and
- Commit to serve on an LSBA committee for 2016/2017.
For the above events and other activities (with the exception of the Annual Meeting in Sandestin), the LSBA will reimburse expenses in accordance with existing policies. At the conclusion of the year, class members who have completed all requirements will be recognized at the LSBA Annual Meeting.
So that these appointments may be made by mid-July, candidates should send their completed application (see below) along with a resume or CV, no later than Friday, June 19, to:
Communications Coordinator – Online Media
601 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70130
Click here to download the Leadership Class Interest Application
Volunteer Opportunities for Attorneys: Suit Up for the Future Program
Attorneys have several opportunities to volunteer for the 2015 LSBA Suit Up for the Future High School Summer Legal Institute and Internship Program (June 15-26 and July 6-10). This program is available to incoming high school juniors, seniors, and recent graduates who are interested in the legal profession. Students participate in a three-week legal institute, during which they attend an abridged law school session, field trips to law schools and courts, and an internship consisting of shadowing at area law offices and courts. Over the course of the three-week program, students will be introduced to lawyers, legal documents, and the legal system all designed to assist them in pondering one important question, “Do I really want to be a lawyer?”
• Volunteer for 1 Hour.
Want to spend time from noon to 1 p.m. talking with Suit Up students? Email LSBA Member Outreach and Diversity staff at email@example.com
• Shadowing Opportunities
(June 22-26). Students are assigned to “shadow” attorneys at firms, courts and organizations during the second week of the program. Attorneys and firms should email firstname.lastname@example.org
to participate in the “shadowing” project.
The LSBA hosts the annual internship program in partnership with the Just the Beginning Foundation and the Louisiana Bar Foundation. For more information about the Suit Up for the Future program, click here
Mediators/Arbitrators: It’s Time to Book a Listing in “Who’s Who in ADR 2015” Directory
Text listings and photos from arbitrators and mediators are now being accepted for the “Who’s Who in ADR 2015” Directory, printed and mailed with the October/November 2015 Louisiana Bar Journal, then uploaded to the LSBA website for a full year of access. The cost is still $125 per listing. The submission deadline is July 31. More information at: http://www.lsba.org/newsandpublications/directoryarbitratorsmediators.aspx
Lawyers’ Assistance Program Offers Services to LSBA Members and Their Families
The Lawyers’ Assistance Program, Inc. provides confidential assistance to LSBA members and their families who are experiencing problems such as alcoholism, substance abuse, mental health issues, gambling and all other addictions. LAP is first and foremost an absolutely confidential method of providing help to an impaired lawyer or judge. The goal is to improve the quality of services rendered to the public by Louisiana lawyers through helping lawyers impaired by alcohol and other drugs to deal with their problems and regain their ability to provide legal services unaffected by drugs and alcohol.
To review the program's services, to obtain literature on lawyer depression and substance abuse, or to find the nearest LAP Support Group meeting, go to: http://www.lsba.org/lap