Pro Bono and Community
At Barrasso Usdin, we are proud to call New Orleans home. That's why we are dedicated to giving back to our community. We are proud to be a part of the on-going evolution of our great city, and we are especially dedicated to improving public education in New Orleans so we can help pave the path for our future leaders.
The firm has made significant donations to many of New Orleans’s charitable causes, including:
For several years, the firm has supported Teach For America, a well-known and acclaimed program that has made a phenomenal and lasting impact on New Orleans’s at-risk youth by infusing New Orleans’s classrooms with the teaching and skills of many of the nation’s top college graduates.
Celeste Coco-Ewing serves on the Executive Committee and as Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors of Louisiana Appleseed. Louisiana Appleseed is a nonprofit public interest law center dedicated to solving Louisiana’s most challenging issues at the root cause, by creating access to justice, opportunity, and education. Louisiana Appleseed is the only organization of its kind in Louisiana. During Celeste’s tenure, Louisiana Appleseed helped 753,000 school children get fed by advocating for schools’ participation in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). Over 1,010 Louisiana schools adopted CEP as a result of Louisiana Appleseed’s initiatives. To learn more about the projects accomplished in 2019 and the important work of Louisiana Appleseed, visit www.louisianaappleseed.org.
As one of our community projects, one year the firm partnered with Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School to create opportunities for the firm’s employees to participate in activities with the school’s students. To kick off the partnership with Clark, the firm sponsored a “work day” at the high school to help get the building ready for the new school year. Barrasso Usdin employees sorted books, painted class rooms, cleaned floors, and hung banners throughout the school. The day was a huge success, and the firm’s employees had a great time contributing to the revitalization of Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School.
In the past, Barrasso Usdin Kupperman Freeman & Sarver established a scholarship fund for the New Orleans Charter Science and Math School to enable students to participate in ACT and SAT test preparation seminars. The seminars offer the preparation and practice needed to raise scores to make students more competitive as college applicants. If the students stay in Louisiana, earning a designated score on the ACT will qualify them for T.O.P.S., a full-tuition scholarship at any state college or university.
We have also supported The Roots of Music, an acclaimed program founded by Derrick Tabb of the Rebirth Brass Band. The Roots of Music provides students with free after school music instruction, instruments, academic tutoring, meals, uniforms, a safe place to rehearse, and transportation. It also pairs local students to work one-on-one with college students from Tulane, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth and Stanford universities.
The firm also sponsored and built a home in The Habitat Musicians’ Village in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Conceived by New Orleans natives Harry Connick, Jr. and Branford Marsalis, NOLA Musicians' Village provides a home for both the artists who have defined the city’s culture and the sounds that have shaped the musical vernacular of the world.
In addition to the contributions listed above, our lawyers have contributed regularly to the community by participating in the following organizations:
Downtown Development District • Audubon Institute • The Pro Bono Project • Louisiana Appleseed • Tulane University Hospital and Clinic • CASA • KIDsmART • Langston Hughes Academy Charter School • Propeller • New Orleans Young Leadership Council • Tulane University Medical Center • Anti-Defamation League • Dillard University • Summerbridge • Touro Infirmary • Audubon Zoo • Jewish Endowment Foundation • The Ogden Museum of Southern Art • HELP Program • ArtSmart • Teen Life Counts • Trinity Episcopal School • Goodwill Industries • Touro Synagogue • Dress for Success • 504ward • Legacy Donor Foundation • Lakeview Civic Improvement Association • Teach for America • Fête Française • Tulane Cancer Center • Metrovision • Prospect1 • Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans • Symphony Chorus of New Orleans • Louisiana Children’s Medical Center • Isidore Newman School • American Cancer Society • Junior League of New Orleans • Arts Council of New Orleans • New Orleans Children’s Museum • Boys’ Hope Program • Louisiana Nature and Science Center