WASHINGTON, D.C. – Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO) announced today that it has selected Entergy Corporation, a signatory to the CPBO Challenge® initiative, the Louisiana Civil Justice Center (LCJC), and the Orleans Parish Civil District Court to receive the 2016 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award. The awardees were selected for their creation of the Self Help Resource Center (SHRC), a help desk that successfully assists low-income, under-represented persons in the Greater New Orleans area with domestic legal issues. CPBO, the global partnership project of Pro Bono Institute (PBI) and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), will present the award at the 2016 PBI Annual Dinner on November 3 in New York.
“This is an exemplary partnership that shows how community partners can help thousands of individuals in underserved communities gain access to justice in a very practical way,” said PBI President and CEO Eve Runyon. “This help desk brings much-needed assistance and resolution on critical legal matters to people who otherwise might never receive it.”
Entergy began expanding its pro bono efforts in 2012, seeking to boost its legal department’s commitment to assisting vulnerable individuals in the communities that Entergy serves. Since then, the 75-member department provided more than 6,000 hours of pro bono services through the end of 2015.
In 2013, Entergy partnered with the Court to more fully implement and support the SHRC, and LCJC joined the partnership in mid-2014, ensuring dedicated staffing and administration. Each week at the SHRC, volunteer attorneys assist self-represented litigants with domestic legal issues by completing court forms, filing pleadings, and conducting legal research on a case-by-case basis.
“The partnership between Entergy, LCJC, and the Court demonstrates how the whole can be much greater than the sum of its parts,” said ACC President and CEO Veta T. Richardson. “By pooling resources and expertise, this collaboration creates an accessible, practical, and useful tool that addresses a previously unfilled gap in access to justice in New Orleans. ACC applauds their ingenuity.”
Through Entergy’s leadership, the SHRC has become the first stop for unrepresented individuals struggling with domestic issues in Orleans Parish with an average of 25 visitors a day. Since 2013, the SHRC has served nearly 8,000 individuals with domestic legal issues at the Orleans Parish location, resolving the issues for more than 95 percent of visitors. In addition, 2,800 individuals have been served at a replicated center in a District Court in neighboring Jefferson Parish. The SRHC helps unclog the Court’s dockets, reduces the burden on the judges’ staff, and promotes the principle that the courts are open and fair to all, creating a widespread and lasting impact on the target community.
“We are very proud of what we have accomplished with this partnership and thank PBI and CPBO for this recognition,” said Entergy’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel Marcus V. Brown. “At Entergy, our lawyers and staff are committed to volunteerism in the communities where we work and live to help improve the quality of life and provide equal protection under the law to those in need. Through the success of the Self Help Resource Center, we are helping power life by providing access to justice for communities that have long struggled to obtain it.”
About the CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award
The award honors legal departments and the organizations with which they partner in the provision of legal services to those in need. The awardees are departments, law firms, and public interest organizations that have demonstrated an impact on their community through their partnership project, shown substantial involvement in the project by in-house lawyers, made tangible steps toward sustaining the relationship among the partners, developed innovative substantive or structural approaches in support of the partnership’s effort, and addressed a critical legal need or assisted a particularly vulnerable community or target group.
About Corporate Pro Bono
Founded in 2000, Corporate Pro Bono is the global partnership project of Pro Bono Institute (PBI) and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). CPBO’s mission is to explore and identify new approaches to and resources for the provision of legal services to the poor, disadvantaged, and other individuals or groups unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems. CPBO does so by supporting, enhancing, and transforming the pro bono efforts of in-house legal departments in the U.S. and around the world. Since its inception, CPBO has worked with hundreds of legal departments and ACC chapters.
About Pro Bono Institute
Founded in 1996, Pro Bono Institute (PBI) is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization. With an unparalleled depth of knowledge, resources and expertise, PBI is the respected resource for all things pro bono. Through our work with law firms, in-house corporate legal departments, and public interest organizations, PBI is the global thought leader in exploring, identifying, evaluating, catalyzing, and taking to scale new approaches to and resources for the provision of legal services to the poor, disadvantaged, and other individuals or groups unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems.
About Entergy Corporation
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $11.5 billion and more than 13,000 employees.