Speak Out for Justice! Focus on Civil Legal Aid

Speak Out for Justice! Focus on Civil Legal Aid is a program of the LBF’s Education Committee. The purpose of this program is to support the LBF’s educational goals by increasing the understanding of the vital need for civil legal aid services for those who cannot afford them, as well as the need to measure the effectiveness of ongoing programs. The LBF plans to simultaneously engage multiple content creators for this program.

2020-21 Speak Out for Justice! Focus on Civil Legal Aid

Here is the content created for 2020-21 Speak Out for Justice! Focus on Civil Legal Aid.

 

Lance Arnold

Lance is the Chair of Broadcast Journalism at Nicholls State University. He has many years of experience in mass communication and has filmed many LBF oral histories. Lance submitted three Public Service Announcements (PSA’s). See Lance’s PSA’s.

PSA: Why We Need Civil Legal Aid

This Public Service Announcement (PSA) from one of our creators, NOLASOME, outlines the vital need for civil legal aid services for those who cannot afford them.

Watch the PSA here.

PSA: Who Civil Legal Aid Helps

This Public Service Announcement highlights how important civil legal aid services are for those suffering from civil cases of child custody, domestic violence, and natural disasters.

Watch the PSA here.

PSA: Shop Through Amazon Smile

DYK? You can support those in need of critical civil legal aid services through shopping Amazon Smile? Check out this Public Service Announcement to learn how!

Watch the PSA here.

 

Benjamin Brown

Ben is a staff attorney at Acadiana Legal Services. He is uniquely qualified to tell stories based on actual Legal Aid cases. The client information has been changed to protect his clients. See Ben’s stories.

The Never-ending Case

“Sometimes at Legal Aid, there’s not a clean ending to a case. Sometimes, a case will just keep coming back up, year after year. It’s our job to help the client, because otherwise they would lose by attrition. That’s how it was for Mrs. Geraldine Wedgewood. I had represented Mrs. Wedgewood the year before, in a custody case against her ex-husband.”

Read the full story here.

Domestic Violence Tears

“It was raining hard in Monroe-hard enough to make noon look like 8:00 pm from where I sat looking out the window. That’s why, when she came in the door to my office, I thought it was rainwater on her cheeks. But no, Madeline had been crying for quite a while, and for good reason. She was a young, single mother trying to put herself through Med School.”

Read the full story here.

Keep Brandon Safe

“A client came into my office one day. I think it was a Tuesday. He was an elderly gentleman, and the wrinkles on his face stood out even more starkly because of the worry that was plain to see. Let’s call him Charlie. His apparent concern was for the safety of his 6-year-old grandchild, Brandon. Brandon’s parents were both drug addicts who were constantly in and out of prison. The father was in prison as we spoke, and the mother’s whereabouts were unknown.”

Read the full story here.

The Absurd Case

“Occasionally, a case will cross my desk that just makes me want to laugh at its absurdity. Unfortunately, a filed petition always has to be taken seriously; otherwise, your client could lose without a fight. One cold day in December, Mrs. Marie Jacobson came to my office. Her husband had filed for divorce against Mrs. Jacobson, based on allegations of adultery.”

Read the full story here.

 

Elizabeth Brown

Elizabeth has been a trial attorney for 30 years. Currently she is employed full time representing neglected and abused children. She has submitted a series of articles revolving around juvenile court situations, all names have been changed. See Elizabeth’s stories.

Emma’s Game

“NO! NO! NO!” wails a child’s voice directly outside the courtroom door. The sound, and the clearly evident distress echoes throughout the room. “I want to play my game!” she shrieks. The Judge stops in mid-sentence and stares at me. “Is that your client, Counselor?” she asks. “Yes, Your Honor, that is Emma. I spoke with her before court. If you will allow me a moment, I will try to find out what’s wrong.”

Read the full story here.

Jeffery’s Mom

“I want to speak to the Judge, and I want to be in the courtroom for the trial,” said thirteen-year-old, Jeffery. I could tell he was trying to be nonchalant, but stress radiated from off of him in waves. “I have already told the Judge that you wish to speak to him and to be in the courtroom. We are meeting him in his chambers before court starts,” I said.

Read the full story here

Shattered

“Both of Riley’s wrists and his left ankle were broken. His skull was fractured in multiple places. The physician stated that it was the worst he had ever seen. His skull was almost shattered.” I closed my eyes briefly before I continue. “He had HEALING rib fractures as well as four new broken ribs. At the time, Riley was seven weeks old. All he ever knew was pain.”

Read the full story here

The Grandmother

“Please, Judge, “whispers the wizened old woman with the nut-brown eyes. “I need to be with my grandchildren. I have been the only stable person in their lives, all their lives.” I think of the five young children who were extraordinarily bonded to each other and their grandmother. The problem is the grandmother’s husband - who by all accounts takes excellent care of his wife and the grandchildren.”

Read the full story here.

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