Law Center News

American Bar Association President visits during Pro Bono Week

During 'Pro Boneaux Week', American Bar Association president, Judy Martinez visited the Law Center to promote the great work ----. The SULC Pro Bono Project hosted the week's programming. 'Pro Boneaux Week' is part of a national celebration of pro bono legal services.
On Wednesday, the organization held a forum in observance of Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Twahna Harris, founder of The Butterfly Society, a domestic violence non-profit, joined Martinez as panel speakers. Following, there was after a balloon release ceremony for those affected by the respective causes.
Harris shared her personal experience with domestic violence with the students. While state legislative efforts have improved, Harris said that there is still work to do. Louisiana has 64 parishes, but only 13 parishes have shelters. There are currently two shelters in Baton Rouge serving other parishes.
Martinez emphasized the connection between pro bono work and issues like domestic violence.
"There is no greater cause for you to get involved in, than domestic and sexual violence advocacy," said Martinez.
"We also have to think of this, as no different than any other issue--climate change, and other issues as being rule of law issues," said Martinez. She asked the audience to examine if the laws, as they stand, are just and if they meet the needs of the people.
Martinez shared that one of her former firms had a staff safety plan. The plan taught staff how to help someone in a domestic violence situation in the office.
"It's about empowerment, it's about taking on what you have as responsibilities in this community," Martinez said.
Martinez closed by saying that citizens look for guidance for civil engagement. "People look to you to see what should be done," Martinez said. "They are watching you now that you're in law school, to understand how you be the best you can in our civil society."


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