From the Executive Director

May is Older Americans Month and this year’s theme is “Communities of Strength.” Senior citizens have been one of the highest risk groups throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, not only for contracting the coronavirus, but for falling victim to schemes seeking to take advantage of vulnerable people. SLLS provides a range of legal services aimed to protect senior citizens. Our attorneys assist seniors with legal issues like foreclosure prevention assistance with reverse mortgage lenders, wills/successions, and consumer problems like scams that threaten their financial security. We also bring legal education to libraries across our service areas to make information accessible to seniors who are not tech savvy.  With access to the civil legal aid when they need it most, our seniors can remain strong and resilient members of the community.


Laura Tuggle

Executive Director

SLLS Helps Senior Citizens Get Stability


Roberta, a senior citizen undergoing cancer treatment, got behind on her mortgage and was facing foreclosure. By the time she was referred to SLLS for help, it was almost too late. The mortgage lender had hired their own attorney, and added thousands of dollars in extra fees to her debt. Her SLLS attorney acted quickly to begin the process to reinstate her mortgage. With our help, she was approved for $10,000 in mortgage assistance from Catholic Charities. Through the swift and diligent work of SLLS, her foreclosure was prevented. Now Roberta can focus on her health recovery in her own home.


Lionel, a 70-year-old man living in a homeless shelter, reached out to SLLS for assistance getting access to his social security benefits. With no permanent address or phone number he was unable to get a debit card. His attorney tried to submit documentation, so he could access the funds, but the bank would not accept the shelter address. Because he was too frail to travel by bus alone, his attorney took him to the bank. They discovered he already had an account and that $1,830 was being deposited into his account monthly. He had over $10,000 saved and had no idea it was there! Since he had not been receiving any mail at the homeless shelter, he had lost track of the account. With this income and savings he’ll be able to get out of the shelter and into permanent housing.

SLLS Wins Big at LSBA Pro Bono Publico and Children’s Law Awards

Andrea Jeanmarie

Dr. Kathleen Crapanzano

Christopher Ralston

SLLS Child in Need of Care (CINC) Unit

L-R: Mary Ann Swaim, Alexandra Kamp, Rella Zaplatel, Kirby Kenny, Josephine Vanderhorst, Managing Attorney, Emily Aucoin, and Natalie Paul.

SLLS was well represented at the Louisiana State Bar Association's 2021 Pro Bono Publico and Children's Law Awards! Congratulations to our Child in Need of Care Unit, Children's Law Award; Andrea Jeanmarie, managing attorney of our Westbank office, Career Public Interest Award; Dr. Kathleen Crapanzano, SLLS Homeless One Stop Legal Clinic, Friend of Pro Bono Award; Christopher Ralston, SLLS Board Member, David A. Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award; and our Northshore Pro Bono program volunteers Patricia Bonneau, Frances Strayham, & Ana Lopez, Pro Bono Publico Awards.

SLLS Providing Services in New Sexual Assault Center

Pictured above at the Washington Parish Sexual Assault Center grand opening are SLLS staff members Paula Charles, Theresa Robertson and Camille Kinsey.

SLLS will be providing legal services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault at the new satellite location of the Washington Parish Sexual Assault Center. An SLLS staff members will be on-site at the center on Mondays from 9 am to 4 pm. You can learn more about the center here.

New on the SLLS Blog!

The SLLS blog has lots of information on changes to COVID-19 benefit programs, new tax credits, rental assistance and much more. Check it out at

Why Your Unemployment Benefits May By Ending Soon
New Income Help for Families With Children

SLLS in the News


From the Executive Director

It is hard to believe ta year has passed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have not seen a period of sustained crisis like this since Hurricane Katrina and we know it is still far from over. Our clients are still struggling, with our caseload still increasing, yet the outlook is far from hopeless. As challenging as navigating the pandemic has been, we have been able to continue to provide exceptional service to our clients. Our legal advocacy wins have achieve impacts far beyond individual clients served. Our direct casework helped obtain or preserve over $22 million in benefits for our clients. We’ve innovated our outreach delivery to reach more people in safe ways with in-person outreach resuming in April 2021 with strict adherence to COVID protocols. 


Thank you for your continued support in the fight for fairness.


Laura Tuggle

Executive Director

SLLS Clients and Staff Featured in TIME Documentary

New Orleans based filmmaker Kathleen Flynn followed two SLLS clients, Ronda Favre and Dominique King, both African-American single mothers who lost their jobs in the hospitality industry, as they faced the dire prospect of being evicted in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their SLLS Attorneys, Hannah Adams and Alexis Erkert, are also featured in the piece, highlighting the uphill battle our attorneys have faced trying to keep families in their homes and the disproportionate impact on women of color during the pandemic. 

Looking Back at SLLS COVID-19 Response


Our online outreach has been hugely successful in connecting the community with the resources they need. We had over 25,000 Facebook Live views and nearly a million views on our website. 


Our COVID-19 hotline has received over 15,000 calls, and streamlined our processes to make it easier for clients to get the help that they need in a crisis. 


As a result of our advocacy to keep our clients safe from COVID-19 exposure, several courts modified their processes for remote hearings and ADA accommodations.


At the start of the pandemic, Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court stopped hearing child abuse cases, leaving vulnerable children at serious risk of abuse and neglect. SLLS successfully advocated to the LA Supreme Court for these critical hearings resume. 

For Our Clients, The Crisis is Far From Over


Nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we're still seeing huge increases in the need for legal services. We've seen an over 2000% increase in unemployment compensation cases compared to the two months prior to the outbreak and despite the CDC eviction moratorium and rental assistance programs, families are still at-risk of becoming homeless as a result of eviction.

Coming Soon!


Give NOLA Day - May 4, 2021


All funds raised will support our ongoing COVID-19 Legal Relief Efforts.


From the Executive Director

As Black History Month draws to a close, we are reminded of the disproportionate toll the pandemic has taken on black families, hit hard by higher rates of COVID-19 mortality, eviction and poverty. A nationwide study found that black renters accounted for 32% of all evictions, while only being 20% of the renter population. The disproportionality is even more stark in our own caseload – 89% of our eviction cases are for people of color. While we can't always impact everyone who needs civil legal aid, we always fight for fair and equitable access to the legal assistance our clients need.


Thank you for your continued support in the fight for fairness.


Laura Tuggle

Executive Director

SLLS Gives a Voice to Our Smallest Clients

Our Child in Need of Care (CINC) unit provides civil legal representation to children who have entered the foster care system, through no fault of their own, as a result of abuse or neglect by their parent or guardian. Our average CINC client is a first grader aged six and a half. CINC cases are often long and taxing, as our attorney's fight to achieve permanent stability and safety for very small children who have experienced significant trauma in their lives. 

SLLS Delivers for a Struggling Tenant

SLLS Staff Attorney Zach Simmons and his client Ms. Parker

Our recently launched Pro Bono Innovation Fund Security Deposit Theft Project is already delivering successes for our clients. Out of no where, Ms. Parker began receiving inexplicably high water bills.  While she was able to get out of her lease and find a new place to live, her former landlord refused to refund her $1,000 security deposit, even though she hadn't caused any damage to the apartment. Zach Simmons, her SLLS attorney, sent a demand letter to the landlord requesting the full refund of her security deposit and a portion of the outrageous water bill. He was recently able to deliver the refund check for over $1,400 from the landlord to Ms. Parker on her birthday. 

SLLS Partners with the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center to Fight Evictions During the Pandemic

We are excited to announce that we received funding for a second Gillis Long fellowship, focusing on tenants rights, in response to our increase in housing cases due to the pandemic. Chris Kerrigan, a recent Loyola graduate, is our project attorney. 


Davida Finger, Clinic Professor & Associate Dean of Students, said "The Gillis Long Poverty Law Center is pleased to partner with SLLS on critical civil justice work including housing.  The challenges renters have faced during the pandemic are tremendous. The Housing Justice fellowship is one way to increase representation and access to justice and bolster the important legal work that SLLS does." 

New Report Finds that Civil Legal Aid Works!

A new report from the Louisiana Bar Foundation found that Civil Legal Aid Provides a 918% Social Return on Investment to Louisiana. For every $1 invested in Louisiana's civil legal aid services, programs deliver $9.18 in immediate and long-term consequential financial benefits. “We know best how to direct civil legal aid to have the most impact for Louisianans in need of legal help. Access to civil legal aid makes Louisiana’s communities stronger – schools, businesses, government agencies and the state all benefit from resolving civil legal problems,” said LBF Executive Director Donna Cuneo.


You can read more about the report here

Tax Tips for Your Pandemic Payments

Tax season is just around the corner. Visit the SLLS blog here for important information how the COVID-19 Stimulus Payments and Unemployment Benefits may impact your taxes.