For the Good of the Gulf: UNC Law Winter/Spring Break Pro Bono Project

Monday, February 08, 2010

"a humbling experience"

After a thirteen-hour drive through the likes of Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, we arrived at our hotel late Sunday night. The group working with the Pro Bono Project was split into two sections; one working on pro se divorces, the other drafting affidavits to help clarify property successions.

Being in the successions group, I attended a quick training session on how successions and property laws function in Louisiana, and then we were given multiple files to work through.

Going through each folder to draft an affidavit is a humbling experience. Viewing various documents, including sale records and death certificates, one gets a brief sense of the events that have transpired in a family. It is clear that because of the hardship some families have to endure, the Pro Bono Project’s services are a vital source of help, perhaps even closure.

Learning the brief ins and outs of Louisiana’s succession laws, and subsequently being able to traverse various records in order to draft an affidavit, has been quite a learning experience. Working through theory and cases is valuable, but using some of the lessons learned in the classroom in order to help families in a practical way provides for a unique experience.

We will not be able to see the final outcome of every case, or get to talk to all of the clients in person, but I hope that the time and work we were able to give truly helps the families involved. For a region that has suffered through difficult times, and is still suffering in many areas, being able to lend a helping hand has been a rewarding experience. --Bradley Ayecock

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