Louisiana Access to Justice Commission Awarded Justice For All Grant

New Orleans, La., October 15, 2019 - The Louisiana State Bar Association is proud to announce that the Louisiana Access to Justice Commission has been awarded a grant under the Justice for All (JFA) project, currently funded by The JPB Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Open Society Foundations, and is housed at the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). Louisiana is one of only three state recipients in 2019 and one of fourteen total recipients since the project was launched in 2016.

The JFA grants were created in an effort to implement two advanced resolutions promulgated by the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators. Recognizing that the ever-increasing gap in meaningful access to the justice system coupled with severe funding deficiencies is thwarting our civil justice system’s promise of equal access, the resolutions aim to right the ship. One resolution sets the aspirational goal of 100% meaningful access to effective assistance for essential civil legal needs, while the second calls on courts, civil legal aid organizations, Access to Justice Commissions, and various other traditional and non-traditional stakeholders to collaborate to develop a comprehensive and layered approach to achieve meaningful access to justice.

The award will support the Access to Justice Commission’s efforts to form partnerships with relevant stakeholders in the civil justice community and beyond to develop state assessments and strategic action plans to help reach the goal of 100% meaningful access.  Louisiana, Illinois, and Michigan each will receive an initial strategic action planning grant of up to $100,000 and will be eligible to apply for funding in the following year to begin implementation of their plans. 

Through this first phase process, the Louisiana Access to Justice Commission hopes to:
·  Conduct a statewide inventory assessment of legal, social, and community services that exist; 
·  Identify accessibility of services and programs by area and subject matter; 
·  Identify gaps in services and resources;
·  Increase knowledge and awareness of available services through strategic planning with traditional and non-traditional partners; 
·  Prioritize components identified in gap analysis; 
·  Continue collaborations with traditional and non-traditional partners; and
·  Expedite the rollout of our comprehensive Civil Legal Navigator system.

The Justice for all Initiative was designed to “begin to change each state’s access to justice landscape in a significant, sustainable way as part of building an integrated ecosystem to accomplish the vision of meaningful access to justice for all.” Louisiana is looking forward to the benefit of learning from previous award recipients and the project advisory committee expert working group who lead the initiative. 

“The Justice for All Advisory Committee was impressed by how these states are reimagining their access to justice efforts and networks,” noted Hon. Laurie Zelon, associate justice of the California Court of Appeal and co-chair of the JFA Advisory Committee. “We applaud their staunch commitment to developing a comprehensive solution to the crisis facing our civil justice system and look forward to seeing their proposed plans and collaborations come to life.”

Justice for all leadership includes active participation from State Courts, Access to Justice Commissions, State court administrators, civil legal aid providers and associations (including LSC and NLADA); private bar leaders; and the National Association for Court Management.  The Louisiana Justice for All Grant will be administered through the Louisiana Bar Foundation

Louisiana State Bar Association
601 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70130
(800) 421-LSBA(5722) / (504) 566-1600