2 Intended Audience

This manual is designed as a practical guide for lawyers representing low-income clients. When crafting their revisions or their new chapters, the authors of this edition were asked to imagine a hypothetical reader: a lawyer who wants to engage in pro bono work but feels reluctant due to the specialized substantive and procedural requirements of the areas of the greatest unmet need such as family law and landlord-tenant law. It is my hope that these lawyers find in these virtual pages a succinct yet comprehensive guide that they can put to use in representing low-income Louisianans with unmet civil legal needs. 

In addition to lawyers taking on direct representation of low-income clients, this manual is also intended as a resource for working in an advisory capacity. As we know, clients often have more than one legal problem at a time. Attorneys working with low-income clients in a variety of settings have reported that they often use the manual to help answer their clients’ questions about areas of law outside of the immediate representation. Similarly, lawyers working at help desks and at “Ask A Lawyer” events can expect questions across the range of issues affecting low-income Louisianans. My hope is that this edition of the manual, particularly in its more accessible digital form, will be a resource in both situations.

Finally, while I hope that all who access the manual can find value in it, laypersons (particularly those engaged in self-representation) should be aware that the manual’s chapters assume familiarity with many basic legal concepts. There are a number of resources available to those litigants who are representing themselves in civil court in Louisiana.1  

Disclaimer: The articles in the Gillis Long Desk Manual do not contain any legal advice.