Support of Lawyers/Legal Personnel - All Concern Encouraged (SOLACE)
SOLACE (Support of Lawyers/Legal Personnel - All Concern Encouraged) is coordinated by the Louisiana State Bar Association/Louisiana Bar Foundation's Community Action Committee. The sole purpose of the program is to allow the legal community to reach out in meaningful and compassionate ways to judges, lawyers, court personnel, paralegals, legal secretaries and their families who experience a sudden catastrophic loss.
The way the program works is simple, but the effects can be significant. Individuals can notify one of the statewide SOLACE Program Coordinators when they learn of a tragedy occurring to someone in their local legal community due to an unexpected disaster, death, illness, sickness or injury. SOLACE program volunteers will work with the person in need, families or close acquaintances to craft an appropriate email requesting practical assistance, with sensitivity and confidentiality being paramount concerns. The email alert is then sent to all participating LSBA members, and others who request to be on the distribution list, e.g., paralegals, office staff, court staff, etc.
Assistance can range from simply sending the family a card signed by local and state leaders to providing the family with meals, clothing after a fire, help with grocery shopping or child care, or other similar services. The program does not solicit cash, but can assist with contributions of gift cards, frequent flyer miles, a rare blood type donation, transportation, medical community contacts and referrals, and a myriad of other possible solutions. SOLACE has been expanding to become a nationwide network, with chapters in Alaska, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington, DC. If any LSBA members need help from a SOLACE program in another state, an email can be sent to that chapter’s members.
All members of the LSBA are invited to participate in the program. SOLACE will send participants one to two emails per month. Anyone can opt out of emails at any time by following “unsubscribe” directions at the bottom of any email. SOLACE will not seek cash contributions, offer the opportunity for public service announcements or generate a prayer chain or list, and it will not operate as an employment recruitment service. Past recipients of SOLACE assistance have been most appreciative. In addition, volunteers working on this project have experienced a true sense of doing something for others in need.