Orleans Public Defenders

Orleans Public Defenders

ABOUT THE AGENCY
The mission of the Orleans Public Defenders Office (OPD) is to provide each eligible client with client-centered legal representation of the highest quality – zealous, conscientious, caring, professional, ethical and skilled – whether in criminal, juvenile or municipal/traffic court.

WHAT YOU DO
Students serving in Client Services perform initial intake for clients with OPD. Tasks include but are not limited to intake interviews, bond calls, preparing case files, and documentation of client information for each case in a personalized intake memo.

*Students serving at OPD must sign up for and attend 10 volunteer shifts. All shifts are scheduled to be between 3 and 4 hours long, but may end early.  Therefore, students must be willing to serve more hours than most service learning courses require, possibly up to 40 hours.

WHAT YOU LEARN
Students will learn the ins and outs of the criminal justice system in New Orleans and the defendants' initial interaction with the system. They will also develop interpersonal and communication skills by interacting with everyone involved in the system from indigent arrestees to the lawyers representing them. They will also gain experience in interviewing, memo-writing and critical thinking.

INTERACTIONS
Adults who are facing criminal charges or prosecution • who have been incarcerated • with a criminal history • with low literacy

LOCATION
2601 Tulane Avenue, Suite 700

CONTACT
Virginia Ryan • Client Advocate • vryan@opdla.org • 504.827.8206
or
Nathan Fennell • Client Advocate • nfennell@opdla.org • 504.827.7047

DAYS & TIMES

Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs & Fri Sat & Sun
8:30am - 12:30pm;
1:30pm - 5:30pm;
6:00pm - 9:00pm
9am - 12pm;
4pm - 7pm

*Students serving at OPD must sign up for and attend 10 volunteer shifts.  All shifts are scheduled to be between 3 and 4 hours long, but occasionally end early. Therefore, students must be willing to serve more hours than most service learning courses require, possibly up to 40 hours. 

TRANSPORTATION
Map & directions
Biking • 30 min
Public transit • 50 min
Driving • 12 min, off-street parking available

PRESERVICE REQUIREMENTS 

  1. Attend an on-campus session • Wed, Jan. 22, 6-7pm • Seminar Rm. 1, Monroe Library • Bring your resume.
  2. Students interested in serving with OPD should be prepared to have their resume reviewed.
  3. Students will also be required to attend on-site training sessions. 
  4. Complete online cell phone etiquette training
  5. Complete online email etiquette training.