During the week of May 12 to 19, 2012, fifteen law students from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law travelled to New Orleans, Louisiana, to participate in the Legal Services Society (LSS) New Orleans Outreach Program through volunteering at the Orleans Public Defenders Office.
The students spent the week assisting local public defenders in meeting some of the legal needs of their most impoverished clients. During the 2012 trip, each student dedicated over forty hours to assisting the Orleans Public Defenders staff in a variety of ways, including: conducting client intake interviews and jail visits, providing clients and their families with information about the status of their cases, researching legal issues, writing motions and memorandums of law, reviewing and summarizing discovery evidence, and assisting with court appearances.
Catholic University’s Legal Services Society first sent students to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. One of the five deadliest hurricanes in American history, the storm left Gulf Coast residents with staggering legal, physical, and health problems in its wake.
Over the past six years, the students’ mission has broadened beyond just offering assistance with hurricane-related damage to general support of the greater New Orleans area with a host of legal needs.
Several participants from the 2012 New Orleans Outreach Program provided testimonials
regarding their impressions of the experience.