Access to Justice Commission

In conjunction with the Supreme Court of Louisiana, the Louisiana State Bar Association has created the Louisiana Access to Justice Commission. Continuing the work of the former LSBA ATJ Policy Committee, the Commission will pursue a coordinated and systemic approach to ensuring the public’s access to the legal system.

The purpose of the commission is to “assure continuity of policy and purpose in the collaboration between the private bar, the courts, and the civil justice community so as to further the goal of assuring that Louisianans, regardless of their economic circumstance, have access to equal justice under the law.”

To view a the End of Year Louisiana Access to Justice Commision Report Click Here.

Commission News and Articles

Latest Economic Impact Study of Louisiana's Civil Legal Aid Organizations

At the request of the Louisiana Legislature, the Access to Justice Commission conducted an Economic Impact and Social Return on Investment Analysis, or SROI, funded by the Louisiana Bar Foundation (LBF). To learn more about the astonishing economic returns to the state because of investments to civil legal aid click here to visit the LBF's site and download the entire study or short synopsis of the its findings.

ATJ Developing Leadership Intern Program

This year's ATJ Developing Leadership Intern Program began with an Orientation Program on Monday, May 15th that included lunch with Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson and a tour of the Louisiana Supreme Court. This is the second year of the program that was born out of the the March 2015 Access to Justice Summit where participants concluded that cultivating the next generation of access to justice leaders should not only be a priority but necessary as sensible succession planning to ensure continued efforts within Louisiana’s Justice Community. In response, representatives of LSBA, LBF, Louisiana civil legal aid providers, Louisiana District Judges Association, Louisiana law schools, the Louisiana Supreme Court and private bar law firms joined forces to create the ATJ Developing Leadership Intern Program. This new initiative is a unique opportunity for law students to gain the insight and skills needed to become the next generation of access to justice leaders and unlike any other program in the country. Only four students were selected to participate in the program; one from which of our four Louisiana law schools. The interns will work with numerous civil legal aid providers and judges and are sponsored by prestigious law firms with records of dedication to access to justice issues. Over the six week period, programming will focus on the various civil legal needs of low-income people; the ways in which organizations within the justice community address those needs; and how these services are increasing the quality of life for those served. The sponsoring firms are Adams and Reese, Baker Donelson, Jones Walker, and Phelps Dunbar LLP.

The two interns from LSU Law School and Southern University Law Center will spend a majority of their time working with Baton Rouge area civil legal aid providers which include the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation Pro Bono Project, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, the Parole Project, and Southeast Louisiana Leagal Services. In addition to the Baton Rouge civil legal aid providers, the SULC and LSU intern will work with Judge Jeff Cashe with the 21st JDC Judge Lisa Woodruff White with the East Baton Rouge Family Court. The two interns from Loyola University College of Law and Tulane University Law School will spend a majority of their time with New Orleans area civil legal aid providers and judges. The New Orleans area civil legal aid providers include Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the Louisiana Civil Justice Center, The Pro Bono Project of New Orleans, and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. In addition, the Loyola and Tulane interns will spend time with Judge Bernadette D'Souza with Civil District Court and Judge John Molaison with the 24th JDC. All four interns will spend time together with Louisiana Appleseed and Judge Tim Marcel with the 29th JDC as well as attend the May 19th ATJ Commission meeting.

(Pictured from Left to Right: Monte Mollere, LSBA Access to Justice, Annie Lemoine, 2016 ATJ Intern, Anais Jaccard, 2017 Phelps Dunbar ATJ Intern, Chris Ralston, Phelps Dunbar, LLP, Judge Bernadette D'Souza, Civil District Court, Leila Abu-Orf, Adams and Reese ATJ Intern, Monette Davis, Jones Walker ATJ Intern, Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson, Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, MJ Hernandez, Baker Donelson ATJ Intern, Rachael Mills, LSBA Access to Justice, Kara Brown, 2016 ATJ Intern, Micah Fincher, Jones Walker, Professor Robert Lancaster, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Chris Vitenas, Baker Donelson, and Mark Surprenant, Adams and Reese)


ABA Day is a three day conference that brings together leaders of the ABA, state and local bars from across the country to take the message of lawyers to Congress. Each year, LSBA leaders take to the Hill to advocate on behalf of the profession on issues of great importance.

Dona Renegar; 2017-2018 LSBA President-Elect, Darrell Papillion; 2016-2017 LSBA President, Monte Mollere; LSBA Access to Justice Director, Judy Perry Martinez;Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, LLP and David Bienvenu; Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, LLP

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