The Louisville Bar Foundation recently awarded more than $148,000 in grants for fifteen law-related programs in the Louisville area in 2016. Grants are made possible by the generosity of Louisville area lawyers and law firms.
CASA of the River Region – Advocacy Academy - $5,000
CASA provides advocacy services to children with active cases in Family Court. To increase the number of volunteer advocates, CASA must continually train and provide continuing education. The LBF grant will support CASA’s “Advocacy Academy” program to boost volunteers’ advocacy skillset and the understanding of interrelated child welfare, justice and medical systems.
Catholic Charities of Louisville – Immigration Legal Services - $15,000
The project will provide quarterly educational sessions to Cuban and Haitian immigrants to help them navigate the complicated legal system for new entrants. LBF grants funds will also be used to provide free legal services to persons of limited financial means, including newly arriving refugees and other immigrants with income below 150% of the poverty line.
ElderServe – Crime Victim Services - $7,500
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, change locks, install door alarms, and provide emergency food, clothing, medicines and shelter.
Family & Children’s Place - Child Advocacy Center - $10,000
When the unspeakable tragedy of child sexual abuse occurs, Family & Children’s Place provides comprehensive medical assessments, mental health and forensic interviewing services. Annually, the agency will offer support to more than 5,000 children and family members. The Child Advocacy Center 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 sexual abuse. The LBF grant will be used for non-salary expenses of the Center.
Kentucky Refugee Ministries – Immigration Legal Services - $10,000
KRM 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 a “green card” and petitions to bring their spouse or unmarried children to join them. 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 YMCA Youth Association – Urban Outreach - $10,000
The Kentucky Youth Assembly provides an opportunity for students from throughout the state to convene a model state government and assume one of many legislative, judicial, administrative, lobbyist and press roles. Students spend time discussing the underlying purpose of our legal system, and the responsibilities that must accompany our rights in order for the system to function. LBF grant funds will support the Louisville Bar Foundation Scholars, students from five Louisville area high schools with an underserved population so that they may attend the 2016 Kentucky Youth Assembly.
Legal Aid Society - Apprentice Program - $10,000
The Apprentice Program is a post-graduate apprenticeship for recently admitted lawyers allowing them to gain practical skills, participate in training sessions and mentoring, as well to provide legal services to low-income clients in Legal Aid Society’s network. Over the course of a year, up to 15 uncompensated lawyer/participants will be given office space, computers, phones and access to conference rooms so that they may provide pro bono services to 15 Legal Aid clients.
Legal Aid Society – Project H.E.L.P. - $25,000
Modeled on a successful legal assistance program in place in 33 U.S. Cities, Project HELP (Homeless Experience Legal Protection) leverages resources from the private bar to reach and serve homeless individuals who have civil legal problems but lack the means by which to access the justice system to resolve them. These problems contribute to homelessness and can as barriers to employment, housing, safety and economic stability. LBF funds will support the expansion of Project HELP in Louisville from one to four locations.
Louisville Bar Association - 2016 Judicial Evaluation - $8,000
Judges of Jefferson District Court and judges of the U.S. District Court (including magistrate judges) and U.S. Bankruptcy Court who sit in Louisville will be evaluated by attorneys practicing in Jefferson County with whom they have had substantial professional contact during the past two years. Attorneys will be asked to evaluate the judges separately on each of 19 different attributes (17 for Bankruptcy Court and magistrate judges). All responses are kept strictly confidential. Results are made available to the press and public.
Louisville Bar Association – Summer Law Institute - $6,022
The Summer Law Institute is a partnership of the LBA, the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and Bellarmine University. The program provides high school students with an opportunity to interact with prominent local attorneys, judges and professors during a 7-day, 6-night residential program. It is designed to attract talented, ambitious students who are interested in a career in the legal profession. LBF grant monies will cover a portion of the direct costs of the program, such as housing and meals, thereby keeping the tuition affordable.
Restorative Justice Louisville – Young Adult Project - $11,000
The mission of Restorative Justice Louisville is “to bring together the victim, offender and community to make things right”. RJL began its Family Group Conferencing initiative for juvenile offenders in 2011 with funding assistance from the LBF. The organization is establishing a pilot diversion program to serve young adults (ages 18-25) with the support of two District Courts, the Jefferson County Attorney and the Metro Public Defender.
Spalding University – Center for Restorative Justice - $10,000
The Center for Restorative Justice will promote increased public awareness of restorative practices, establish a broader dialog within the community regarding a restorative approach to youth involved with the criminal justice system, promote relationship building and constructive problem solving through mediation and conferencing, and develop curriculum that utilizes restorative practices to address causal association between poverty, delinquency and access to affordable mental health services. The program is designed to serve up to 650 youth during the next three years. LBF grant funds will be used to assist with the start-up costs of the Center.
University of Louisville School of Law – Human Rights Advocacy Program - $6,700
The Brandeis School of Law received a grant from the LBF in 2013 to conduct an assessment of human rights needs of the immigrant/noncitizen/refugee population in our community. From this grant a report identifying the obstacles and challenges facing these individuals, and a resource guide listing the organizations and entities providing services was produced. The funds awarded in 2016 will be used to produce professional quality videos on the following topics: cultural competencies in working with the immigrant/noncitizen/refugee community; federal laws requiring language access for limited English proficiency speakers; and educational access requirements governing public school enrollment. The videos will be widely distributed throughout the metro area..
Uspiritus – Improving Child Welfare and Court Collaborations - $5,000
Uspiritus serves 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. Each year, Uspiritus staff of therapists, case managers and program directors attend more than 500 court proceedings. These appearances involve hearings regarding the youth’s custody status, termination of parental rights and charges facing the youth. LBF funds will be used to support coordination of these efforts among the various staff involved and travel expenses.
View Past LBF Grants