February 2011

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Non-profit organizations play vital roles in our communities, addressing a wide range of needs from education, health and human services to the arts, education and the environment. These organizations typically do their important work with volunteer boards of directors and on a shoestring budget. With limited resources, it can be a struggle for the board and staff of a non-profit organization to keep up with complex and constantly changing compliance issues and legal requirements. (more…)

Several years ago, lawyers in our New Orleans office were fortunate to be part of the launch of an exciting new pro bono project – the Homeless Experience Legal Protection program, or HELP. HELP, created by United States District Court Judge Jay C. Zainey, grew out of a fairly ordinary experience. Soon after he took bench, Judge Zainey went with his fellow judges of the Eastern District of Louisiana to serve a meal at a New Orleans shelter. Like many groups from workplaces, religious organizations and civic clubs, the judges prepared and served food to the homeless at the shelter on a regular basis. As the shelter residents passed through the cafeteria line and Judge Zainey served them some food, he began to think about how much more lawyers had to offer. Providing a meal was important, of course, but lawyers had something to give that no one else could – the legal services to which so many homeless people had no access, and that could make such a huge difference in their lives. (more…)