SOLACE Support Program
What is SOLACE?
Hon. Nancy Allf,
SOLACE Program Chair
SOLACE is an acronym for Support of Lawyers/Legal Personnel, All Concern Encouraged. The sole purpose of the program is to enable the legal community to reach out in a small, but meaningful and compassionate way to those judges, lawyers, court personnel, paralegals, legal secretaries, bar staff and their families who experience a death or some catastrophic illness, injury or circumstance.
Established in Louisiana in 2002 with a few attorneys and legal professionals forming the initial assistance network, it is now supported by the Louisiana State Bar Association and is made up of more than 7,000 legal professionals, all within e-mail reach.
SOLACE is guided by the motto “There’s Nothing Too Big, There’s Nothing Too Small.”
What Support Does the Program Provide?
Members notify the program administrator when they learn of some tragedy or dire circumstance occurring to someone in the legal community. Working with that member and close friends of the family, a determination can then be made as to what would be the most appropriate expression of support and concern. That can range from simply sending the family a card signed by recognized local and state leaders to providing the family with meals, needed support, assistance with grocery shopping or child care, or whatever the situation might warrant. The program works quite simply, but the effects can be significant.
Here’s how SOLACE works.
Each member provides an e-mail address that is added to the SOLACE network. When a request comes in for help, a group e-mail goes out to every member. Members read the e-mail and decide if they, or a member of their network of family and friends, can help and in what way. There is never any pressure to offer assistance—this is a purely voluntary organization. The e-mails are a way for legal professionals to learn of situations where someone in the legal “family” needs help, and gives an opportunity to provide that help. Read real examples from successful SOLACE users.