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Public Service Intern Honored for Pro Bono Work
While working on an undergraduate degree at Tulane University, Byria Hamblin devoted over 60 hours of free civil legal aid for SLLS clients so far. She is a prelaw student who aspires to combine her passion of helping people overcome financial hardships with her interest in law.
“As my first professional experience in the legal field,” said Hamblin. “SLLS has continued to reinforce in my mind that this is the right profession for me.”
Hamblin works in the Pro Bono unit in the New Orleans office. Her primary duties include conducting research, developing resources for clients and volunteers, and drafting and designing materials for training and promotional purposes.
“There really is a niche for people who want to pursue law but also want to give back to their communities,” said Hamblin. “SLLS continues to show me that the legal field and humanitarianism can coexist and promote equitable justice for all.”
With these new legal experiences under her belt, Hamblin has the desire to explore a career in legal advocacy and join us in the fight for fairness. We appreciate all of her hard work.
Juliana serves as the Volunteer Coordinator at SLLS. She believes that every hurdle in the justice system demands bold actions. She is an artistic person who is passionate about economic development and language access.
Throughout her 11-month service term at SLLS, Juliana hopes to recruit a dynamic pool of volunteers that are eager to join the fight for fairness in the justice system. Additionally, she hopes to learn more about career opportunities in the legal field. As a member of Serve Louisiana, Louisiana’s longest-running AmeriCorps program, Juliana plans to affect long-standing systemic barriers to justice through community engagement and collaboration.
Prior to SLLS, Juliana worked as a Coordinator for the New Orleans Interfaith Sanctuary Coalition in New Orleans, La., as well as the Interview Coordinator and a DJ for WTUL New Orleans. Her desire to give back to the community and help low-income families receive civil legal aid drove her to SLLS. Her efforts at SLLS have become an integral part of the office and we are thankful to have her onboard.
Keoni serves as the Strategic Communications Coordinator at SLLS. He believes that everyone deserves the right to receive easily-accessible legal services in the justice system. He is a driven, young professional who is passionate about mental health and wellness education, as well as protecting the rights of domestic violence victims.
As a member of Serve Louisiana, Louisiana’s longest-running AmeriCorps program, Keoni is given the opportunity to address a variety of social issues and affect true, long-term change in the community. During his 11-month service term, Keoni hopes to give a voice to special populations (e.g. homeless, disabled, disaster victims, and the elderly) and inspire others to help those individuals meet life’s most basic needs – food, housing, shelter and safety.
Keoni is a graduate of The University of Alabama. Prior to SLLS, he worked as an Account Services intern at DVL Seigenthaler, a Finn Partners Company, in Nashville, Tenn. His passion for social justice led him to the Orleans office, and he has quickly become a vital asset to the team.
Thanks to federal funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), AmeriCorps programs like Serve Louisiana engages more than 75,000 members annually in intensive service with a community-based organization, such as Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, to deliver real impact where it’s needed most.
About Serve Louisiana
AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its Americorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. Since 1994, more than 980,000 Americans have provided more than 1.2 billion hours of service to their communities, and country, through AmeriCorps. For more information about AmeriCorps, please visit NationalService.gov. For more information about Serve Louisiana, please visit ServeLouisiana.org.
The goal of the project grant is to increase the program’s capacity, promote better coordination of resources, ensure we provide satisfying and rewarding experiences for volunteers, facilitate greater collaboration, fill in gaps in service, and expand pro bono services for clients. We are especially excited to expand pro bono services to our rural areas and for vulnerable populations. For more information about this project please contact SLLS’ Pro Bono Unit Managing Attorney Elena Perez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dorian Tuminello (pictured on the left) is a 1995 graduate of LSU Law School, who specializes in the area of employment law. She has worked in law firms and in-house. She is currently a consultant providing human resources support to small and mid-sized businesses. She stated, “I enjoy volunteering because it allows me to give back to my community.”
Sean Williams (pictured on the right) is a graduate of Loyola Law, a native of Baton Rouge who now calls the Northshore home. She loves meeting new people and hearing their stories. After working briefly as an associate in a plaintiff’s firm, she has decided to pursue her true passion for family law and start her own practice. Sean went on to say, “I am very excited to begin this journey. I truly believe being an attorney is about being an advocate for people going through challenging times in their lives.”
If you’re interested in volunteering at our Covington Self-Help Desk, please contact our Northshore Pro Bono Coordinator.
SLLS Housing Attorney Hannah Adams Honored with the 2017 Louisiana State Bar Association Excellence in Advocacy Award at the Justice Community Conference. Amanda Golob accepted the award on Hannah’s behalf.
From LSC’s site:
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation Receives $250,515 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant, $68,119 Technology Initiative Grant
WASHINGTON – The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced today that Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation will receive a $250,515 Pro Bono Innovation Fund grant and a $68,119 Technology Initiative Grant.
LSC’s Pro Bono Innovation Fund is intended to encourage and expand robust pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients. “We are grateful to Congress for establishing the Pro Bono Innovation Fund to increase pro bono support for civil legal aid,” said LSC President Jim Sandman. “This grant program stimulates more volunteer participation in legal aid and allows our grantees to serve more people.”
This Pro Bono grant will go towards Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation’s Pro Bono Transformation Project. This project will enhance the organization’s pro bono program by centralizing its volunteer lawyers program and undertaking an in-depth assessment of how the program engages in pro bono activities. The goal of the project is to increase the program’s infrastructure capacity, promote better coordination of resources, increase positive volunteer experiences, facilitate greater collaboration, and expand pro bono services for clients.
The grant will also allow Southeast Louisiana Legal Services to create web-based legal resources and upgrade volunteer communication strategies. Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation is one of 15 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund
Established in 2000, LSC’s Technology Initiative Grant program supports projects that develop and replicate technologies to improve efficiency and provide greater access to high-quality legal assistance. The program distributes up to $4 million annually to LSC-funded legal aid organizations. Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation is receiving one of 25 technology grants.
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services will use its Technology Initiative Grant to improve its website, LouisianaLawHelp.org. The project will progress in three stages: a website evaluation phase, a site overhaul and redevelopment phase, and a site outreach and marketing phase. It will incorporate many of the recommendations from LSC’s recent statewide website evaluation project with the goal of optimizing the website for use on mobile devices and increasing overall usability.
The Graduates for Justice will work with SLLS for eight weeks while they await bar exam results.
Deanna Cuevas will work with our General Civil Law Unit in the Baton Rouge.
McKayla Smith will work with our Veterans and Innovative Projects Unit in New Orleans.
Urvi Patel will work with our Housing Unit in New Orleans.
Sara Ashton LaRosa will join us as a law clerk to our Public Housing Youth Reentry project in New Orleans.
Marcus Foster is a new Lutz Fellow assigned to our Baton Rouge office. A graduate of Tulane Law School and Ursinus College, Marcus will target domestic violence and family law.
Alexandra Kamp is our new Lutz/Louisiana Bar Foundation Child Welfare fellow in our Westbank office. A graduate of Tulane Law School and the University of Southern Mississippi, Alexandra will focus on Child in Need of Care cases.
Alexis Erkert Depp joins SLLS’ New Orleans Housing Law Unit as our new Berkeley Law Foundation Fellow. Alexis’ project focuses on mitigating the collateral consequences of mass incarceration in the greater New Orleans area by increasing access to stable, affordable housing for low-income formerly incarcerated people (FIPs). A graduate of Appalachian State University and the Northeastern University School of Law, Alexis clerked for LLS in our Housing Law Unit in the New Orleans office in 2015.
Left to Right: SLLS Executiver Director Laura Tuggle, Past SLLS Board President Warren McKenna III, SLLS Board Member Vivian Guillory