Header5a - RH
Issue: Vol 3 # 5    
May, 2011     
In This Issue
Free CLE ...
Ball Time ...
Open the Door ...
Sign Up For A Clinic ...
Kicking Off The Big 25 ...
Free CLE


   Want to get involved in pro bono work but not sure how to get started?


   Attend a Free CLE: Pro Bono Academy on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 from 3:30 to 5:30 pm at U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Louisiana, Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle's Courtroom, 5th Floor, 500 Poydras Street. Two CLE credits, including 1 hour of professionalism.   


   Presenters include: The Honorable Jay Zainey, Judge and current Chair, The Pro Bono Project; Christie Lane, Louisiana Appleseed and Mark Moreau, Southeast La Legal Services


   Request a registration form via email from Jonathan Rhodes or by phone 504.619.0148.


Ball Time ...

   Planning is well underway for the 23rd Annual Justice for All Ball. This year's event will be held on Friday, November 4, 2011, from 8:00 pm to midnight at the Audubon Tea Room.


   We're also thrilled to tell you that Garland Robinette has agreed to create the art for this year's invitation, and of course, it will be the highlight of the Silent Auction.


   Honorary Co-Chairs Larry and Marian Gibbs are hard at work sending letters and making phone calls to businesses and individuals in an effort to introduce new supporters to The Project's work.


    Sponsorships for law firms and area businesses are also available by contacting Rachel Piercey at: JFAB 2011 or 504.581.4043. These packages include with tickets to the Ball and Patron Party, as well as various promotional opportunities.  Those on board by July 15th will be acknowledged in the printed invitation, which is mailed to more than 8,000 individuals locally and nationally.


  We're still working on other details of the event and so watch this space in coming issues of In Brief for more announcements  

Open the Door: Be A Partner for Pro Bono

LA Giving B&W

Please open the door for our clients and volunteers and support The Project by clicking on the Louisiana Giving logo above. 

Become a
Partner for Pro Bono
by checking the
"make this a recurring donation" box on The Project's donation page when you click the above link. Make your Annual Donation over 12 months.

 Help us plan for the future by contacting
Rachel PIercey at 504.581.4043 about the Pro Bono for Life Planned Giving program.

Sign Up For A Clinic

   Spring is a busy time for The Project.  Volunteers are needed to staff several clinics in the metro area.  For more information and exact locations, please download the complete schedule from: SPRING CLINIC SCHEDULE.    
Follow-up Links
JFAB 2010



     Congratulations abound this month at The Project!


     First, our own Executive Director, Rachel Piercey was selected by the Young Leadership Council as one of their 2011 Role Models.Like The Project, they are celebrating The Big One -- their 25th Anniversary -- and so it is enormously fitting that Rachel is among their honorees. 


     According to the YLC criteria, an honoree distinguishes themselves by: promoting a positive attitude and an unyielding desire to enhance the quality of life in our community; striving to unite our community in collaborative efforts for its future prosperity; serving as an exemplary role model to young talent in the community; taking an effective and vigorous leadership role in the community; and/or making significant contributions in their specific fields of endeavor.  


     One of 25 Role Models selected, Rachel is being honored for her dedication to the metropolitan New Orleans that she has shown through her work with The Project.She was chosen by a committee of past Role Model awardees, and select members of the YLC Board.The YLC Gala will be held on August 13, 2011 at The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.For more information on the award, event sponsorship or to purchase individual tickets: YLC GALA


     As if this wasn't enough, our current Board Chair, The Honorable Jay Zainey, Judge, US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has been awarded a Pro Bono Publico Award from the ABA's Standing Committee on Pro Bono & Public Service and the Center for Pro Bono. The award will be presented to Judge Zainey at the Pro Bono Committee Luncheon on August 8, 2011 held during the ABA's Annual Meeting in Toronto.


     This award is given to honor individual lawyers, law firms, law schools, government attorney offices, corporate law departments and other institutions in the legal profession that have enhanced the human dignity of others by improving or delivering volunteer legal services to the poor. 


     In addition to his work with The Project, Judge Zainey is also the founder of Homeless Experience Legal Protection, more commonly know as H.E.L.P. By partnering with a local non-profit, in metro New Orleans, it's The Project, volunteer attorneys staff free legal clinics in area homeless shelters. Today, there are more than 15 cities nationwide with H.E.L.P. chapters.


     Finally, we congratulate our nominees C. Peck Hayne, Jr., Michelle C. Purchner, Peter B. Sloss and the law firm of Baker Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC - all are recipients of the LSBA's 2011 Pro Bono Award.


     As well, we extend our congratulations to our many volunteers, Board members, past Chairs, supporting Law Firms and law students who also received LSBA awards. We invite you to view the full listing at: LSBA AWARD WINNERS 


     An awards ceremony and reception honoring all the recipients will be held on May 24, 2011 at the Louisiana Supreme Court, please contact the LSBA's Access to Justice Department for more information: RECEPTION INFO 


     As we celebrate our first 25 years and open the door on the next 25 years, we offer heartfelt applause and appreciation to all for their dedication to pro bono and their unwavering commitment to the metro New Orleans community.


All the best,


The Board of The Pro Bono Project


PS -- Spread the word about The Pro Bono Project by using the new social media buttons and connect this newsletter to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media page. Thanks!  


Kicking Off The Big 25 ...


     April 1st, 2011 proved a day of celebration for The Pro Bono Project, acknowledging 25 years of service since The Project was founded in 1986. Gathering in the Armstrong Room of John Besh's restaurant within the World War II Museum, The American Sector, many former Chairs of The Pro Bono Project reminisced about the last quarter-century dedicated to the cause of pro bono service.  


     A handful of past Chairs, including Judge Madeleine Landrieu (1996) and Tom Casey (1994), remembered beginning their pro bono work either during law school or after passing the Bar exam.  They fondly recalled the beginnings of The Project and expressed pride in how much it has come to mean to the citizens of New Orleans.


     Among the toasts, congratulations, and smiles, the drive to continue the success of

Jay and Norm 04 01 2011
Board Chair Judge Jay Zainey and Board Member Norm Rubenstein at 25th Anniversary Kick-off Luncheon

The Project remains the obvious goal of each member.  


     As an established non-profit, each past Chair recognized the nature and importance of giving, both through The Project and to The Project. The Project itself is dedicated to giving back to the community on a daily basis through the steadfast dedication of its current volunteer attorneys, providing pro bono hours to individuals in need. In order for The Project to remain active, it is the giving back to The Project that is unequivocally necessary to its future.


     Mark Surprenant, the 2008 past Chair, pointedly recognized the need for former Chairs to stay loyal to the network created within the walls of The Pro Bono Project.  


     Surprenant affirmed that the continued support of the former Chairpersons is necessary to help with the issues and challenges that The Project inevitably faces, now and in the future, as an established non-profit competing for time and dollars. With the economic downturn compounded by the BP disaster, citizens of the Gulf Coast are in need more than ever. Every dollar counts, and re-engaging former chairs, former donors, and those yet to donate to The Project will play a key role in moving the organization forward.

      The luncheon re-affirmed the willingness of many former Chairs to actively give time and funds to The Project. In acknowledging the "admirable and heroic" actions of Mark Surprenant through his personal dedication and recent donation of $2500, Board Member Norm Rubenstein matched the donation, encouraging others to do the same. The dual generosity moved the Chairs to discuss a potential goal of $25,000 raised for 25 years of service, ideally achieved by the annual Justice for All Ball, scheduled for November 4, 2011.

      Other fundraising opportunities for The Project remained the principal topic of conversation, with organized programs introduced like the planned giving program and various corporate matching opportunities.


     The planned giving program - Pro Bono for Life - provides giving opportunities where The Project is acknowledged through estate programs, cash legacy, asset legacy, IRA, 401K, or even as a life insurance beneficiary. As well, many corporations also can be solicited to apply their corporate matching programs, which will match individual contribution, and greatly benefit The Project.   


     While organized opportunities prove promising for the future, the Board hopes to engage others on a more personal level. Many Chairs are hoping to re-engage some of their former pro bono contemporaries, encouraging them to continue their support.  


     Throughout the years, many relationships have been created through the establishment of The Pro Bono Project. It is the hope of the current Board, former Chairs, dedicated volunteers, and the hardworking, yet small staff of The Pro Bono Project, that those who have been a key part of the past will continue to play a part in its bright future. 


     For more information on Pro Bono For Life, Corporate Matching or to support The Project's 25 for $25K Campaign please contact Rachel Piercey via EMAIL or at 504.581.4043.  


   You can also make a secure online donation to The Project  through LOUISIANA GIVING, where you can specify the funds use, give for a specific reason (graduation, wedding, etc.) or in memory of someone.  Thanks for your help. 


 -- Article by Mathilde Semmes   

Communications Intern


Our Mission

The Pro Bono Project's mission is to provide free, quality civil legal services to the poor by engaging volunteer attorneys to render pro bono services.
  The Project serves Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany and Washington Parishes with funding from the Justice For All Ball and other sources.  The Project works in collaboration with other legal and social service providers to improve the quality of life for our clients and our community.