Last updated: October 7, 2013
Red Stick has it all. Residents can enjoy arts, events, sports, and world class universities. All of this leads to a lot of fun and good times in the Capital Region. But as everyone knows, it ain't all fun and games. Like everywhere else, folks in Baton Rouge have to respond to economic troubles, natural disasters, bad luck, crime, and more. Thankfully, residents have a few options for legal services. This guide will help you find the services that might help resolve your issues.
It's a good idea, when you're starting out, to check with the larger organizations to see what kind of legal help you really need as it is easy to be confused. For example, a person might think that he/she has a workplace injury problem, but a lawyer might find a discrimination issue as well. In Baton Rouge, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services is the largest provider of free legal services. You may want to begin there, and then widen your search after talking to someone.
If you cannot find the services you need, consider looking in other parts of Louisiana. Visit the FindLaw page for New Orleans Legal Aid.
Many times law students are eager to help people who have little ability to pay. Law schools create programs to help organize the students and their efforts. Baton Rouge has two schools in town and others nearby that may be able to help you with your legal issue: (1) Paul M. Hebert Law Center (LSU) and (2) Southern University Law Center.
SLLS offers free legal help for people with low income across Southeast part of the state. They have an office right here in Baton Rouge to help with your local issue. They help people from each of the Capital Region parishes. The organization works on domestic violence/family law, housing, tax, disability, employment and other types of legal problems. Call for an intake appointment.
Thirst for Justice Pro Bono Project
Lawyers provide free legal counseling on non-criminal matters from 3:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. every Wednesday and Thursday. Get there early because they have a first-come, first-serve policy.
Ask-A-Lawyer Pro Bono Project
Various locations. Check the online schedule.
This clinic provides free legal advice to clients who are already being served by one of Baton Rouge's social service agencies such as: Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge and the East Baton Rouge Parish Branch Libraries. Visit the clinic for more information.
Call the BRBA's Lawyer Referral and Information Service, and the organization will arrange a consultation with an experienced lawyer. The consultation will cost $50, but that is a relatively low cost for this service. After this first meeting, you and the attorney will work out a plan for fees and the scope of services he/she will provide. You can also email Carole McGehee, a representative of the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Self-Help Resource Center has a small, volunteer staff that helps people (1) fill out court forms, (2) find free legal help, (3) get case information, and (4) resolve questions about Family Court. The center is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.