2020 Grants

The Louisville Bar Foundation awarded eight additional grants in the final quarter of 2020, bringing the total amount of funds awarded this year to more than $150,000. The Louisville Bar Foundation is the charitable giving arm of the Louisville Bar Association and makes grants to local not-for-profit organizations for the delivery of legal services to the poor, improvement of the judiciary, and law-related public education. Since its founding in 1982, the Foundation has distributed more than $2.9 million in grant funds. The Foundation is supported by charitable contributions from individual attorneys and law firms. For more information on the LBF’s grants process or to make a charitable contribution in support of the LBF’s grantmaking activities, contact Jeff Been at 292-6734 or jbeen@loubar.org.


Bellewood and Brooklawn – Improving Child Welfare and Court Collaborations – $3,000

Bellewood and Brooklawn (formerly Uspiritus) serve children who need intensive support to overcome the effects of abuse, neglect, homelessness or other trauma, with the goal of helping the youth become stable, self-sufficient adults. Therapists, case managers and program directors attend more than 500 court proceedings each year. These appearances involve hearings regarding the youth’s custody status, termination of parental rights and charges facing the youth. LBF funds will support coordination of these efforts among the various staff involved and travel expenses. 

CASA of the River Region – Advocacy Academy – $10,000

CASA improves vulnerable children's access to services through Family Court, and gives them an opportunity to succeed in school, live in a safe home and have access to medical/therapeutic services to overcome trauma. Facing an increasing number of children in need of advocacy services, CASA must continually train and provide continuing education. The LBF grant will support CASA’s “Advocacy Academy” program and increase its number of trainings to boost volunteers’ advocacy skillset and the understanding of interrelated child welfare, justice and medical systems. 

Catholic Charities of Louisville – Work Authorization Program – $10,000

The Immigration Legal Services Office of Catholic Charities provides legal assistance to low-income individuals seeking to resolve immigration status. Louisville has only two non-profit agencies providing legal services to the low-income community and a backlog for these services exists, particularly for immigrants who are lawful permanent residents seeking naturalization. LBF funding will help reduce this backlog by underwriting the legal assistance Catholic Charities will provide to more than forty individuals and families.

Doctors & Lawyers for Kids – Guardianship Program – $10,000

Doctors & Lawyers for Kids is a collaborative effort of the Legal Aid Society, LBA, UofL Pediatrics, and Family Health Centers that assists children from low-income families by training healthcare providers to recognize unmet legal needs that affect patient health and by having free legal services available to families in need. LBF funds will be used to educate healthcare providers, social workers and discharge planners and enlist their help in identifying caregivers of children in need of guardianship or custody orders. DLK will train pro bono volunteers to increase attorney resources to provide this service.

ElderServe – Crime Victim Services – $10,000

With a mission to empower older adults to live independently and with dignity, ElderServe offers a variety of programs, including Crime Victims Services which is designed to reduce the barriers to accessing the justice system by older crime victims. Advocates support the victims in criminal court, family court and guardianship court. Advocates also assist victims of domestic violence in filing for emergency protective orders. LBF funds will be used to provide transportation to and from court, for program supplies, and other essentials.

Family & Children’s Place – Child Advocacy Center – $8,000

The Child Advocacy Center at the Family and Children’s Place is the only facility of its kind in Kentucky providing services to child victims up to age 17 with compassionate, coordinated intervention and investigation of child sex abuse. The LBF grant will be used to pay expenses for a highly trained forensic interviewer to record a child’s testimony and lab kits used to gather and preserve evidence for later use at trial in prosecuting child sexual offenses.

Friends of the Kentucky Legal Education Opportunity Program – Scholarships and Programming Support – $10,000

The KLEO program is a summer preparatory program designed to prepare first year law students for the rigors of law school. It focuses on students who are economically disadvantaged and come from populations that are underrepresented in the Kentucky Bar. KLEO scholars are taught the special study skills and strategies they will need to succeed in law school. LBF grant funds will provide programming support and student scholarships for up to five students in Jefferson County.

Kentucky Refugee Ministries – Immigration Legal Services – $10,500

Kentucky Refugee Ministries provides legal services to immigrants who have resettled in the Louisville area. Many of these immigrants need to file applications with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for permanent residence status or to petition for asylum. The LBF grant will provide partial fee subsidies for immigrants who cannot afford to pay the entire cost of preparing and filing these documents.

Kentucky Resources Council – Advocacy on Energy and Environmental Issues – $3,000

The Kentucky Resources Council advocates on environmental or energy issues that may adversely affect the health or quality of life of low-income communities. KRC provides legal advocacy without charge to non-profit community groups who would not otherwise be able to afford representation on these issues. LBF funds will support KRC’s advocacy for these groups in Metro Louisville.

Kentucky YMCA Youth Association – Civic and Leadership Development – $3,000

Due to the pandemic, the YMCA Youth Association restructured its civics and leadership development program so that Jefferson County students may access the content online with assistance from mentors throughout the school year. This program educates participants on how our government and judiciary work and it instills in them a deeper understanding of our legal system. The LBF grant will provide funds to make this programing available to public school students in low income communities which otherwise would not have access.

La Casita Center – Legal Outreach and Clinic Services – $10,290

In addition to the numerous social, nutritional, and cultural programs La Casita Center provides in the Latino immigrant community, it specifically conducts outreach to Latina women and families in need of legal services. Through its targeted outreach and legal clinics, participants receive help on understanding the legal system, immigration issues, family law matters and other legal problems. LBF funds will support the Center’s targeted outreach to the Latino community and the development of a pro bono attorney panel to assist program participants in understanding legal problems and how to resolve them.

Legal Aid Society – COVID 19: Justice in Action – $30,000

COVID19: Justice in Action Program is Legal Aid Society's strategic response to the COVID19 pandemic, serving individuals and families directly impacted in the economic aftermath of the virus. With over one million claims for unemployment filed in Kentucky since March, Legal Aid will provide direct legal assistance to low-income families on issues such as eviction, unemployment and government benefit denials, tax, wage garnishments, and family law issues related to a rise in domestic violence due to social distancing. LBF funds will support Legal Aid as it meets the dramatic increase in the number of individuals eligible for its services and in requests for assistance.

Louisville Bar Association – Video Conference Equipment – $9,000

Like many non-profits, the LBA was required to re-think its programming in the COVID 19 environment and design systems to allow participants to engage in meetings, continuing legal education programs, and pro bono initiatives. The LBF grant allows the LBA to purchase and implement video conference technology to offer streaming CLE programs, to provide virtual meetings for LBA Sections, and to support pro bono efforts such as a clinic to offer life-planning documents to healthcare workers on the front line of the pandemic.

Mary Byron Project – Legal Fellows Program – $8,000

The Mary Byron Legal Fellows Program is a leadership and skill-building program that equips attorneys to provide pro bono legal services to victims of intimate partner violence. Up to 10 volunteer attorneys will receive extensive training on effectively representing victims in the appellate courts. Following their completion of the training portion of the program, attorneys are then required to provide pro bono appellate legal services for a period of up to three years or for a minimum of five appeals. LBF funds will support the educational training for these volunteer attorneys.

Mission Behind Bars and Beyond – Mentor Training Program – $4,500

MB3 provides a mentor support network to individuals who are returning to the community from incarceration. This intensive mentoring support has been instrumental in reducing recidivism and removing many of the barriers and obstacles faced by citizens returning to their community. MB3 has trained over 200 individuals to serve as mentors but has a waiting list of individuals requesting to be matched with mentors. LBF funds will be used to train additional mentors.

University of Louisville School of Law – Ackerson Law Clinic Mediation Program – $5,000

The Ackerson Law Clinic at the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law offers students who have completed initial course requirements the opportunity for practical experience by representing clients under the supervision of clinical instructors.  The Mediation Program allows students to apply their mediation skills to assist low-income clients on issues which traditionally complicate and delay judicial resolution of Family Court disputes – custody, visitation, child support. LBF funds support this program designed to help the underserved population, to improve the efficiency of Family Courts, and to enhance the practical skills of law students.

YMCA Safe Place – LMPD Field Release Program – $5,000

The YMCA Safe Place program works in close collaboration with the Louisville Metro Police Department to offer an alternative to the youth detention facility. When a youth is arrested and LMPD is unable to locate a parent, rather than leaving the youth at the detention facility where the youth could be exposed to more serious criminal elements, LMPD may release the youth to Safe Place staff who will contact the parent and provide targeted case management and family support.  LBF funds will support the intervention and case management by Safe Place staff which significantly decreases the chances that at-risk and low-level offenders will enter the juvenile justice system.

YouthBuild – Legal Assistance Case Management Services – $4,366

YouthBuild helps young adults (18 - 24 years old), often with prior involvement with the court system, obtain GEDs, secure employment and enroll in college or vocational programs. As a result of YouthBuild’s intensive interventions and programming, only 11 percent of its participants re-offend, compared to national recidivism rates trends where over 50 percent generally re-offend. YouthBuild’s case managers provide individualized support to participants to accomplish this success. LBF funds will assist case managers in identifying legal issues for participants and linking participants with legal resources to avoid and resolve issues that could lead to court involvement.