“Lawyers have a license to practice law, a monopoly on certain services. But for that privilege and status, lawyers have an obligation to provide legal services to those without the wherewithal to pay, to respond to needs outside themselves, to help repair tears in their communities.” – U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (March 2014)

Are you an attorney (either currently practicing or retired) in East Feliciana, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, St James, St John, or West Feliciana?  Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) would like to speak with you about opportunities to volunteer and/or create a partnership with you to bring legal services to those who need it most.

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) fights for fairness for vulnerable people. We provide free, civil legal aid to low-income people in six offices, across 22 parishes throughout southeast Louisiana. Our six offices are located in Baton Rouge, Covington, Gretna, Hammond, Houma, and New Orleans. Everyday we:

  • protect domestic violence victims,
  • empower abused and neglected children by giving them a voice in their lives and the courtroom,
  • preserve housing for hard-working families,
  • end homelessness for people with disabilities and veterans,
  • protect elderly consumers,
  • remove barriers to access medical care,
  • improve access to employment and education for vulnerable people,
  • and so much more.

No matter what challenges our communities face, we work every day to increase access to justice and help vulnerable people clear life's legal hurdles.  But we can’t do it alone and that’s why we need your help.  To find out more information, please contact Cindy Horne, CP at 225-448-0080, ext. 302 or by email at chorne@slls.org or Douglas Carey at 504-529-1000, ext. 246 or by email at dcarey@slls.org.  Our website can also be found at www.SLLS.org.

“Our society has major unmet legal needs that adversely affect low and middle income families. It’s a situation that threatens the well-being of our democracy. According to California’s Business and Professions Code, lawyers should ‘Never to reject, for any consideration personal to himself or herself, the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed.’ The entire legal professional has an opportunity to address this crisis.” – Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye (October 2014)

About SLLS

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) provides free legal assistance to indigent and other vulnerable people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. We protect their livelihoods, health, housing, and families.  Through legal representation, we can assure fairness for our clients as they navigate through the civil justice system. SLLS works to combat the inequities and disproportionate impacts faced by marginalized communities of color. We are the largest nonprofit civil legal services provider in Louisiana serving 50% of the state’s poverty population in twenty-two parishes across southeast Louisiana.

Request for Proposals

Overview

SLLS seeks proposals for a redesign of its current website, www.slls.org. The site should be a visually appealing, accessible, and easy-to-navigate space for clients, volunteers, donors, and the community to apply for legal assistance, find legal resources and learn more about SLLS.

Design Goals

The website design should be clean, interactive, fully responsive, and consistent with SLLS branding. There should be a consistent style sheet across all pages. The homepage design should include at a minimum:

Functionality Goals

The website should be easy to manage with the ability to add additional elements as needed. We would prefer to use WordPress and Divi but are open to other CMS. Specific functionality needs include:

Additional Needs

Timeline

We would like to soft launch the site by June 2023.

Proposal Requirements

Proposals should be submitted by Wednesday, March 1, 2023, to Lynette Martin at lmartin@slls.org. Proposals should include at minimum:

Evaluation Criteria and Award of Contract

SLLS may elect to schedule a conference call with potential consultants prior to awarding a final contract. Please include contact information for scheduling purposes in the RFP.

Proposals will be evaluated upon the contractor’s responsiveness to the RFP, qualifications, demonstrated experience with similar projects, and total price quoted for all items covered by the RFP. Award of the contract resulting from the RFP will be based upon the most responsive contract that is most advantageous to SLLS in terms of cost, functionality, experience, and quality of past work.

SLLS ideally seeks a firm that understands its needs as a nonprofit and legal services organization and is invested in our missions of achieving justice and social change by fighting poverty.

SLLS reserves the right to accept or reject any and all proposals and to waive any minor discrepancies or technicalities in the proposal or specifications, when deemed to be in the best interest of SLLS. We also reserve the right to negotiate with all respondents to the RFP and reject any or all offers and discontinue this RFP process without obligation or liability to any respondent.

Cost of Proposals

SLLS will not pay any costs associate with preparing proposals in response to this RFP.

Brief Overview

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) seeks the services of a technology consultant to assist in using publicly available data and technology to improve the way that SLLS coordinates its outreach efforts. The disaster data-driven outreach project involves two components: (1) the development of a disaster data dashboard, and (2) designing a more efficient, technology-enabled business process for coordinating outreach by staff and volunteers.  This project will provide the data needed to create a robust outreach strategy to increase disaster victims’ awareness of and access to SLLS services.

Introduction to SLLS

SLLS provides free legal assistance to indigent and other vulnerable people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. We protect their livelihoods, health, housing and families. Through legal representation, we are able to assure fairness for our clients as they navigate through the civil justice system. SLLS works to combat the inequities and disproportionate impacts faced by marginalized communities of color. We are the largest nonprofit civil legal services provider in Louisiana serving 50% of the state’s poverty population in twenty-two parishes across southeast Louisiana. Pre-pandemic, Louisiana had the third highest poverty rate in the United States, the second highest rate of women killed by their intimate partner, the highest rate of mass incarceration in the world disproportionately impacting marginalized communities, was consistently noted as one of the unhealthiest states, and had the second highest rate of food insecure seniors. We have been struck by ten presidentially declared natural disasters since 2005’s catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, the BP Oil Spill, and the people we serve have been particularly hard-hit by the impact of COVID-19 due to our economic reliance on the hospitality and oil and gas industries and Hurricane Ida.

Pre-pandemic, SLLS had about 100 team members on staff. We now have about 165 staff working from seven offices, staff embedded onsite with other partners such as hospitals, medical clinics, homeless shelters, domestic violence victim service centers, community colleges, and robust pro bono partnerships. We have almost 100 different funding sources though LSC funding is about 45% of our budget with another almost 30% from the Louisiana Bar Foundation.

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

Purpose of RFP

SLLS seeks an independent technology consultant to assist in creating a streamlined technology solution for accessing all publicly available FEMA and Census data to guide SLLS outreach post-disaster. The consultant will also design and implement an efficient, technology-enabled business process for staff and volunteers to coordinate outreach services using the technology solution.

Deliverables

In this two-pronged role, the consultant we are seeking will have primary responsibility for creating a streamlined technology solution for accessing publicly available data to guide SLLS outreach efforts. The consultant will then assist SLLS in designing and implementing a business process for staff and volunteers to effectively utilize the solution and coordinate their efforts.

Disaster Data Dashboard

The consultant will have primary responsibility for creating a technology solution for accessing and compiling all public data supporting disaster outreach. We are seeking a geographic information services (GIS) dashboard combining publicly available FEMA and Census/ACS data to guide SLLS decision-making on outreach efforts post-disaster.

FEMA provides API services for data related to its Individuals and Households Program (IHP). Updated daily, this data includes the following fields by zip code and disaster that can support a more targeted outreach strategy: number of FEMA applications, number of valid FEMA applications, number of applications found “eligible” for the IHP, Housing Assistance, and Other Needs Assistance programs, number of inspections issued, and open DRC locations. Combining these FEMA data services with other community data on disabilities, homeownership and renter-ship, and other relevant demographics can help SLLS identify particularly vulnerable areas of need.

Other important data on the number of FEMA denials and reasons for denials is not readily available. Therefore, part of this project may also include advocating for those additional data sets to be shared, in order to help legal aid partners more accurately assess needs and identify disparities in recovery. Once developed, this data dashboard can be used by all legal aid organizations across Louisiana.

Outreach Business Process Improvement

Once the data solution is developed, the consultant will then assist SLLS in designing and implementing a business process for staff and volunteers to effectively utilize the solution to coordinate their efforts. This portion of the project will focus on improving the way SLLS staff members coordinate outreach efforts among themselves and volunteers. Currently, the work to coordinate staff and volunteer attendance at regularly scheduled and stand-alone outreach events is time consuming and inefficient. Largely relying on email, staff can lose track of who is set to go where in the flurry of post-disaster outreach events.

In tandem with the disaster data dashboard, a more streamlined coordination and scheduling process will reduce frustration among staff and improve the way we conduct outreach in the aftermath of natural disasters. We seek a consultant who can thoughtfully design, implement, and train SLLS staff in an efficient, technology-enabled business process for utilizing the data dashboard and coordinating and scheduling staff and volunteer disaster outreach activities.

Proposal Requirements

SLLS seeks proposals in this matter that do not exceed five pages inclusive of three references.  We request that all proposals include information on the applicable experience of the potential consultant especially in technology consultation work for comparable non-profit organizations.

Cost

Interested consultants can submit a cost proposal on an hourly rate with an estimate of hours needed to complete tasks or by using a project-based method. Please propose a payment schedule for your work under the project. Finally, SLLS requests that all candidates are prepared to provide a proposed contract for this project.

Inquiries/Contact Information

Questions about this RFP may be directed to Laura Tuggle, SLLS Executive Director, at (504) 529-1000 ext. 270 or ltuggle@slls.org

Timeline

  • Issue RFP: 1/27/2023
  • Proposals Due: 2/19/2023
  • Award of Contract: On or by 2/28/2023
  • Project Implementation: 3/1/2023-6/30/2023 (May Be Extended as Needed)

Proposal Delivery and Due Date

Proposals are due on or before 2/19/2023.  Delivery of proposals should be made electronically to Heidi Bergeron at hbergeron@whiteoakconsult.com with “SLLS Disaster Data-Driven Outreach Project” in the subject line, pdf preferred.  If you have large file size items, please provide a file sharing link with instructions for accessing the proposed materials

Evaluation Criteria and Award of Contract

SLLS may elect to schedule a conference call with potential consultants prior to awarding a final contract. Please include contact information for scheduling purposes in the RFP.

Proposals will be evaluated upon the contractor’s responsiveness to the RFP, qualifications, demonstrated experience with similar projects, and total price quoted for all items covered by the RFP. Award of the contract resulting from the RFP will be based upon the most responsive contract that is most advantageous to SLLS in terms of cost, functionality, experience, and quality of past work.

SLLS ideally seeks a firm that understands its needs as a nonprofit and legal services organization and is invested in our missions of achieving justice and social change by fighting poverty.

SLLS reserves the right to accept or reject any and all proposals and to waive any minor discrepancies or technicalities in the proposal or specifications, when deemed to be in the best interest of SLLS. We also reserve the right to negotiate with all respondents to the RFP and reject any or all offers and discontinue this RFP process without obligation or liability to any respondent.

Cost of Proposals

SLLS will not pay any costs associated with preparing proposals in response to this RFP.

Brief Overview

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) seeks the services of a consultant to assist in determining SLLS’s eligibility for the CARES Act Employee Retention Credit (ERC) and to assist in making an application if SLLS is determined to be eligible inclusive of a tax opinion regarding our eligibility. 

Introduction to SLLS

SLLS provides free legal assistance to indigent and other vulnerable people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. We protect their livelihoods, health, housing and families.  Through legal representation, we are able to assure fairness for our clients as they navigate through the civil justice system. SLLS works to combat the inequities and disproportionate impacts faced by marginalized communities of color. We are the largest nonprofit civil legal services provider in Louisiana serving 50% of the state’s poverty population in twenty-two parishes across southeast Louisiana. Pre-pandemic, Louisiana had the third highest poverty rate in the United States, the second highest rate of women killed by their intimate partner, the highest rate of mass incarceration in the world disproportionately impacting marginalized communities, was consistently noted as one of the unhealthiest states, and had the second highest rate of food insecure seniors. We have been struck by ten presidentially declared natural disasters since 2005’s catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, the BP Oil Spill, and the people we serve have been particularly hard-hit by the impact of COVID-19 due to our economic reliance on the hospitality and oil and gas industries and Hurricane Ida. 

Pre-pandemic, SLLS had about 100 team members on staff. We now have about 165 staff working from seven offices, staff embedded onsite with other partners such as hospitals, medical clinics, homeless shelters, domestic violence victim service centers, community colleges, and robust pro bono partnerships. We have almost 100 different funding sources though LSC funding is about 45% of our budget with another almost 30% from the Louisiana Bar Foundation.  

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

Purpose of RFP

SLLS seeks a consultant to determine the eligibility of the organization to receive the CARES Act Employee Retention Credit (ERC).  Should SLLS be eligible for this payroll tax credit, the selected consultant would then do all necessary work in order to complete and submit the ERC claim. A tax opinion to support our eligibility for the ERC is also required. 

Deliverables

SLLS seeks a consultant to conduct an evaluation of SLLS’ payroll and other internal documents spanning from March 13, 2020 to September 30, 2021 for the purpose of determining our eligibility for the CARES Act ERC.  SLLS’ 941 Payroll records and other finance records are easily accessible through our online database for the specified time period. This data will be made available to the consultant upon selection. Should SLLS be eligible for the ERC, the consultant will proceed to apply and submit our tax credit claim with the support from the SLLS team as required.  Additionally, SLLS requests that the selected consultant also deliver a tax opinion regarding our ERC eligibility to protect the agency.  

SLLS seeks proposals in this matter that does not exceed five pages inclusive of three references.  We request that all proposals include information on the applicable experience of the potential consultant especially in ERC consultation work for comparable non-profit organizations.  We request a cost estimate for services with the preferable compensation for a deferred payment structure.  As it may take up to 10 months for IRS approval and execution of any ERC payments, we request that all proposals offer an estimated timeline that would allow SLLS to receive the ERC by the end of 2023.  Finally, SLLS requests that all candidates are prepared to provide a proposed contract for this project

Inquiries/Contact Information

Questions about this RFP may be directed to Laura Tuggle, SLLS Executive Director, at (504) 529-1000 ext. 270 or ltuggle@slls.org 

Timeline

    • Issue RFP: 1/09/2023
    • Proposals Due to Executive Director: 1/28/2023
    • Award of Contract: On or By 1/31/2023
    • Project Implementation: 2/1/2023-6/30/2023 (May Be Extended as Needed)

Proposal Delivery and Due Date

Proposals are due on or before 1/28/2023.  Delivery of proposals should be made electronically to Laura Tuggle at ltuggle@slls.org with “SLLS Employee Retention Credit Proposal” in the subject line, pdf preferred.  If you have large file size items, please provide a file sharing link with instructions for accessing the proposed materials.

Evaluation Criteria and Award of Contract

SLLS may elect to schedule a conference call with potential consultants prior to awarding a final contract. Please include contact information for scheduling purposes in the RFP.  

Proposals will be evaluated upon the contractor’s responsiveness to the RFP, qualifications, demonstrated experience with similar projects, and total price quoted for all items covered by the RFP. Award of the contract resulting from the RFP will be based upon the most responsive contract that is most advantageous to SLLS in terms of cost, functionality, experience, and quality of past work. 

SLLS ideally seeks a firm that understands its needs as a nonprofit and legal services organization and is invested in our missions of achieving justice and social change by fighting poverty.  

SLLS reserves the right to accept or reject any and all proposals and to waive any minor discrepancies or technicalities in the proposal or specifications, when deemed to be in the best interest of SLLS. We also reserve the right to negotiate with all respondents to the RFP and reject any or all offers and discontinue this RFP process without obligation or liability to any respondent.

Cost of Proposals

SLLS will not pay any costs associate with preparing proposals in response to this RFP.

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS - Disaster Legal Services Project & Adult Learning Content Developer Consultant

Brief Overview

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) seeks the services of an independent project consultant to assist it in supervising our recently awarded almost $6.5 million three year Disaster Legal Services (DLS) grant from the Legal Services Corporation. This work also includes a subcomponent with primary responsibility for creating content working with our staff for our Adult Learning Management System and to implement our new Adult Learning Management System. The goals of our DLS project and our subcomponent project is to provide high quality legal assistance to disaster survivors and to help better prepare SLLS to respond to disasters.

Introduction to SLLS

SLLS provides free legal assistance to indigent and other vulnerable people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. We protect their livelihoods, health, housing and families. Through legal representation, we are able to assure fairness for our clients as they navigate through the civil justice system. SLLS works to combat the inequities and disproportionate impacts faced by marginalized communities of color.

SLLS is the largest nonprofit civil legal services provider in Louisiana serving 50% of the state’s poverty population in twenty-two parishes across southeast Louisiana. Pre-pandemic, Louisiana had the third highest poverty rate in the United States, the second highest rate of women killed by their intimate partner, the highest rate of mass incarceration in the world disproportionately impacting marginalized communities, was consistently noted as one of the unhealthiest states, and had the second highest rate of food insecure seniors. We have been struck by ten presidentially declared natural disasters since 2005’s catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, the BP Oil Spill, and the people we serve have been particularly hard-hit by the impact of COVID-19 due to our economic reliance on the hospitality and oil and gas industries and Hurricane Ida.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and in the wake of Ida, SLLS has fought for the rights of vulnerable people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, provided safeguards to domestic violence survivors, protected the livelihood of disaster victims and assisted renters who were facing eviction.  SLLS has won significant appellate cases protecting thousands of vulnerable people through eviction defense and child in need of care work, and engaging in successful policy advocacy with government agencies administering housing assistance, child protection programs, and unemployment benefits. Our 2021 case work for individual households resulted in over 30,000 people being helped through free legal aid to protect their lives, homes, and families with a direct economic impact to them through our work of over $28.5 million.

Pre-pandemic, SLLS had about 100 team members on staff. Since COVID, we have grown to have almost 175 employees, seven offices, staff embedded onsite with other partners such as hospitals, medical clinics, homeless shelters, domestic violence victim service centers, community colleges, and robust pro bono partnerships. We have almost 100 different funding sources though LSC funding is about 45% of our budget with another almost 30% from the Louisiana Bar Foundation. In response to the effects of COVID-19 on housing, we have hired 14 additional attorneys to represent people who are facing eviction and 15 new staff to represent vulnerable populations affected by natural disasters.

Request for Proposals

Purpose of RFP

SLLS seeks an independent project consultant to participate in the management of SLLS’s Disaster Legal Services grant and to assist in developing training resources for staff.  SLLS understands the importance of analyzing and adapting our resources to fit the needs of our growing organization. Our goal is to improve SLLS’s ability to respond to the legal needs of disaster survivors and to better prepare the agency to respond to future disasters internally and as part of our broader statewide civil legal aid justice community.

Deliverables

In this two pronged role, the consultant we are seeking will assist SLLS in managing our DLS Project and will have primary responsibility for our Adult Learning Content Development (ALCD) Project as a subcomponent of our DLS Project. We expect the selected consultant will need to dedicate significantly more time to accomplishing our project plan goals during the first 12 months of the project with the level of effort being significantly less during 2024 and by 2025 minimal work to be done. The rationale for this is that as the major deliverables under the contract are achieved, the work effort needed to supervise and implement the project will be less.

Disaster Legal Services (DLS) Project

In the DLS role, the consultant will provide general supervision, diligent monitoring, and reporting on the usage of SLLS’ DLS grant to ensure that it aligns with our grant performance plan. The full performance plan with tasks already completed to date is attached to this Request for Proposal as Attachment A. The consultant will have primary responsibility for issuing, coordinating, implementing, and supervising Goal 2, Objective 1, Milestone 8 regarding SLLS’ Adult Learning Management System described in more detail in the next section and Goal 3, Objective 3, Milestones 1-4 to help SLLS create an outreach plan using media and to secure a technology consultant to ensure disaster survivors have access to legal services. The selected consultant for the instant RFP will report directly to the Executive Director regarding progress on the DLS Project general oversight, supervision, and progress on deliverables.

All decisions pertaining to the management of the grant are rooted in and reflective of the Goals, Objectives, and Milestones agreed upon by SLLS and LSC. The grant term of our project is 7/1/2022-6/30/2025. The goals and objectives of the DLS project are below which our detailed Project Plan referenced in Attachment A fleshes out in more detail.

DLS Goals and Objectives:

  • Provide advice and legal representation to address disaster-related legal issues for low-income survivors.
    • Direct Services –Sustain and Increase Level of Direct Assistance through 30 essential disaster response staff
    • Provide training and support to disaster staff to facilitate their skills and ability to deliver direct legal assistance to disaster survivors
  • Enhance legal aid capabilities to better serve survivors of 2020-2021 declared disasters.
    • Improve SLLS’ disaster resilience through improved technology and software
    • Transition SLLS’ current case management system to a new case management system to better serve 2020-2021 disaster survivors
  • To provide outreach and education to the survivors of the 2020-2021 declared disasters.
    • Outreach and Community Education – Expand outreach and knowledge for survivors of the 2020 and 2021 disasters
    • Improve SLLS’ intake/outreach process to better serve disaster survivors.
    • Develop and implement an outreach plan using media and technology to ensure disaster survivors have access to legal services.

Adult Learning Content Developer (ALCD)

In the ALCD subcomponent of the DLS Project, the consultant will identify, collect, revise, create, design, test, and integrate resources into SLLS’ Learn Upon Learning Management System working in close collaboration with in-house staff subject matter experts (SME). This  work involves breaking down often complex concepts into fundamental pieces and weaving them into engaging learning segments to create learning modules that are easily understood and digested for use by legal aid staff and partners. Major duties in this subcomponent include:

  • Establish and maintain collaborative working relationships with staff, volunteers, and other key stakeholders
  • Facilitate engagement with stakeholders from multiple sectors and audiences
  • Coordinate resources and helping design learning pathways for the learning management system such as videos, power points, graphic design tools, and other resources
  • Work with SLLS staff to implement a testing and evaluation period for LMS resources
  • Collaborate closely and professionally with SME’s to ensure they provide content in a timely fashion and/or work with SME’s to revise already created content
  • Work with our LMS vendor to address and resolve any LMS issues
  • Implement instructional design best practices to create/revise SME content into well-organized, bite-sized chunks with the adult learner at the center
  • Create appropriate interactions in each lesson/module to keep staff engaged while learning for retention
  • Convene planning meetings with necessary SLLS staff and partners
  • Collect documentation for the project
  • Assisting in preparing a project plan and grant progress reports
  • Assist in making presentations to SLLS staff, volunteers, and partners as needed

Reporting Deadlines for DLS Grant

Progress and fiscal reports are due to the funder on the below schedule:

Reporting Period 7/1/2022-12/31/2022  -  Due 1/31/2023

Reporting Period 1/1/2023-6/30/2023    -  Due 7/31/2023

Reporting Period 7/1/2023-12/31/2023  -  Due 1/31/2024

Reporting Period 1/1/2024 – 6/30/2024  - Due 7/31/2024

Reporting Period 7/1/2024- 12/31/2024  - Due 1/31/2025

Reporting Period 1/1/2025-6/30/2025     - Due 7/31/2025

Cost

Interested consultants can submit a cost proposal on an hourly rate with an estimate of hours needed to complete tasks or by using a project based method. Please propose a payment schedule for your work under the project.

Inquiries/Contact Information

Questions about this RFP may be directed Laura Tuggle, SLLS Executive Director at (504) 529-1000 ext. 270 or ltuggle@slls.org.

Timeline

  • Issue RFP: 9/26/2022
  • Proposals Due to Executive Director: 10/23/2022
  • Award of Contract: 11/1/2022
  • Project Implementation: 11/01/2022-6/30/2025

Proposal Delivery and Due Date

Proposals are due on or before 10/26/2022. Delivery of proposals should be made electronically to Laura Tuggle at ltuggle@slls.org with “SLLS “DLS & ALCD Proposal” in the subject line. PDF is preferred. If you have large file size items, please provide a file sharing link with instructions for accessing the proposed materials.

Evaluation Criteria and Award of Contract

SLLS may elect to schedule a conference call with potential consultants prior to awarding a final contract. We anticipate conference calls will be scheduled between 10/25-10/26/2022. Please include contact information for scheduling purposes in the RFP.

Proposals will be evaluated upon the contractor’s responsiveness to the RFP, qualifications, demonstrated experience with similar projects, and total price quoted for all items covered by the RFP. Award of the contract resulting from the RFP will be based upon the most responsive contract that is most advantageous to SLLS in terms of cost, functionality, experience, and quality of past work.

SLLS ideally seeks a firm that understands its needs as a nonprofit and legal services organization and is invested in our mission of achieving justice and social change by fighting poverty.

SLLS reserves the right to accept or reject any and all proposals and to waive any minor discrepancies or technicalities in the proposal or specifications, when deemed to be in the best interest of SLLS. We also reserve the right to negotiate with all respondents to the RFP and reject any or all offers and discontinue this RFP process without obligation or liability to any respondent.

Cost of Proposals

SLLS will not pay any costs associated with preparing proposals in response to this RFP.

You can download this Request for Proposals here.

Request for Proposals - Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant

Brief Overview

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) seeks the services of an independent diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) consultant to assist it in implementing diversity, inclusion to increase employee engagement, and growth and cultural competency to better serve our clients.

Introduction to SLLS

SLLS provides free legal assistance to indigent and other vulnerable people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. We protect their livelihoods, health, housing and families.  Through legal representation, we are able to assure fairness for our clients as they navigate through the civil justice system. SLLS works to combat the inequities and disproportionate impacts faced by marginalized communities of color.

SLLS is the largest nonprofit civil legal services provider in Louisiana serving 50% of the state’s poverty population in twenty-two parishes across southeast Louisiana. Pre-pandemic, Louisiana had the third highest poverty rate in the United States, the second highest rate of women killed by their intimate partner, the highest rate of mass incarceration in the world disproportionately impacting marginalized communities, was consistently noted as one of the unhealthiest states, and had the second highest rate of food insecure seniors. We have been struck by ten presidentially declared natural disasters since 2005’s catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, the BP Oil Spill, and the people we serve have been particularly hard-hit by the impact of COVID-19 due to our economic reliance on the hospitality and oil and gas industries and Hurricane Ida.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and in the wake of Ida, SLLS has fought for the rights of vulnerable people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, provided safeguards to domestic violence survivors, protected the livelihood of disaster victims and assisted renters who were facing eviction.  SLLS has won significant appellate cases protecting thousands of vulnerable people through eviction defense and child in need of care work, and engaging in successful policy advocacy with government agencies administering housing assistance, child protection programs, and unemployment benefits.  Our 2021 case work for individual households resulted in over 30,000 people being helped through free legal aid to protect their lives, homes, and families with a direct economic impact to them through our work of over $28.5 million.

Pre-pandemic, SLLS has about 100 team members on staff. Since COVID, we have grown to have almost 175 employees, seven offices, staff embedded onsite with other partners such as hospitals, medical clinics, homeless shelters, domestic violence victim service centers, community colleges, and robust pro bono partnerships. We have almost 100 different funding sources though LSC funding is about 45% of our budget with another almost 30% from the Louisiana Bar Foundation. In response to the effects of COVID-19 on housing, we have hired 14 additional attorneys to represent people who are facing evictions.  We have also hired 15 new staff to represent vulnerable populations that are affected by disasters.

Request for Proposals

Purpose of RFP

SLLS seeks a consultant to assist it in creating a culture of inclusion and promote diversity within the organization. SLLS understands the importance of diversity and inclusion in an organization that provides legal services to vulnerable communities.  Our goal is to develop staff who are culturally competent and will practice empathy when interacting with underrepresented and underserved clients.

Deliverables

SLLS seeks a consultant to assist it in advancing practices that will attract, engage and retain diverse employees. We are seeking a consultant who will conduct quantitative and qualitative research, and immersive observation to discover any potential barriers to diversity and equality. We also are seeking assistance in providing training that includes interactive group training and diversity discussions which promote honesty about diversity and inclusion.  We are seeking training that fosters inclusion and behavioral change.  SLLS seeks to have a diversity consultant provide training and implement strategies to address and avoid unconscious and implicit biases.  We would also like the consultant to assist SLLS in fostering an environment that recognizes the importance of diversity and inclusion within a legal aid organization internally and externally.   We further seek a consultant to assist the staff in identifying and addressing racial inequities that contribute to systemic poverty and disparate treatment.  We seek a consultant to facilitate and incorporate a plan to combat the racial issues facing vulnerable communities. We anticipate that the cost of services under this proposal will not exceed $25,000.

The SLLS Board of Directors Governance Committee will work with SLLS’ Executive team to select the Diversity consultant. Input will also be sought from our SLLS DEI Committee. Once selected, SLLS will designate a staff point person(s) for the consultant who will likely be Talya Bergeron, our Directing Attorney in our Baton Rouge office who is also our DEI Officer. We will work closely with the consultant to determine which SLLS staff and partners will be involved with the DEI plan and how best to obtain their input into the process. SLLS is committed to ongoing review of the plan to track progress in meeting plan objectives. The diversity plan will implement strategies to promote diversity, recognition and respect. We have established an internal SLLS Diversity Committee to assist with these efforts.

Inquiries/Contact Information

Questions about this RFP may be directed or Talya Bergeron, SLLS Directing Attorney/DEI Officer at tbergeron@slls.org or (225) 448-0080 or Laura Tuggle, SLLS Executive Director at (504) 529-1000 ext. 270 or ltuggle@slls.org .

Timeline

  • Issue RFP: 8/15/2022
  • Proposals Due to Executive Director: 9/15/2022
  • Award of Contract: 9/30/2022
  • Project Implementation: 10/1/2022-9/30/2023

Proposal Delivery and Due Date

Proposals are due on or before 9/16/2022. Delivery of proposals should be made electronically to Laura Tuggle at ltuggle@slls.org with “SLLS Diversity Planning Proposal” in the subject line, PDF preferred. If you have large file size items, please provide a file sharing link with instructions for accessing the proposed materials.

Evaluation Criteria and Award of Contract

SLLS may elect to schedule a conference call with potential consultants prior to awarding a final contract. We anticipate that conference calls will be scheduled between 9/20/2022-9/28/2022. Please include contact information for scheduling purposes in the RFP.

Proposals will be evaluated upon the contractor’s responsiveness to the RFP, qualifications, demonstrated experience with similar projects, and total price quoted for all items covered by the RFP. Award of the contract resulting from the RFP will be based upon the most responsive contract that is most advantageous to SLLS in terms of cost, functionality, experience, and quality of past work.

SLLS ideally seeks a firm that understands its needs as a nonprofit and legal services organization and is invested in our missions of achieving justice and social change by fighting poverty.

SLLS reserves the right to accept or reject any and all proposals and to waive any minor discrepancies or technicalities in the proposal or specifications, when deemed to be in the best interest of SLLS. We also reserve the right to negotiate with all respondents to the RFP and reject any or all offers and discontinue this RFP process without obligation or liability to any respondent.

Cost of Proposals

SLLS will not pay any costs associated with preparing proposals in response to this RFP.

You can download the request for proposals here.

Please take a few moments to respond to these quick surveys. Your responses are like a temperature check about today’s most pressing legal needs. SLLS will use this information to help determine what areas our community needs the most legal assistance in so people can get the most benefit from our services.

Each survey will take you two to three minutes.

General Legal Needs – The Big Picture 

Work Issues, Including Unemployment

Family Issues

Government Aid Issues

Housing Issues

Money & Debt Issues

On October 15, 2021 SLLS filed an intervention in a foreclosure action by Fannie Mae against five multifamily rental properties owned by LLC's controlled by Joshua Bruno of Metrowide Apartments. The purpose of the intervention is to support Fannie Mae's action to have the properties transferred to a third-party management company. SLLS's clients urge the Court to enforce the appointment of a new management company because the properties present imminent health and safety concerns due to years of deferred maintenance and mismanagement.

You can read the petition here.

A selection of photos included in the petition are below:

 

Squalid Living Conditions
Squalid Living Conditions
Squalid Living Conditions
Squalid Living Conditions
Squalid Living Conditions
Squalid Living Conditions

The Rural Summer Legal Corps helps address the access to justice crisis for people living in rural communities throughout the United States. The SLLS Rural Summer Legal Corps Student Fellow will assist SLLS in expanding access to justice in two rural parishes with some of the highest poverty rates in our service area.

The Fellow will engage in extensive community outreach with at least 16 government, nonprofit, and community stakeholders to raise awareness of how civil legal aid can help improve the lives of vulnerable community members. The Fellow will work to create a successful model of working with rural libraries, holding monthly legal clinics and Know Your Rights sessions on hot legal topics to increase access to civil legal aid.

The Fellow will be based out of our Hammond office, either virtually or in-person.

The application for the 2021 Rural Summer Legal Corps is available hereApplications for the program are due at 11:59 p.m. ET on February 8, 2021.