Adams and Reese Pro Bono Paladin and partner Mark C. Surprenant has been named Vice President of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS), the state’s largest nonprofit provider of free civil legal aid. A longtime member of SLLS, Surprenant will continue to serve on the organization’s board.
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services is Louisiana's largest nonprofit provider of civil legal services to Louisiana’s poor, serving 22 parishes in six locations. SLLS has offices in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma and New Orleans, handling a range of issues spanning family, housing, foreclosure, Children in Need of Care, public benefits, consumer and tax, among others. With more than 100 attorneys, staff and volunteers, the organization works to achieve justice for low-income people by enforcing and defending their legal rights through civil legal aid, advocacy and community education.
At Adams and Reese, Surprenant is a litigation partner in the Adams and Reese New Orleans office and serves as the firm’s Pro Bono Paladin as well as Practice Team Leader of the firm’s Agricultural Chemicals Team. He is a former president of the New Orleans Bar Association and currently serves as president of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s (LSBA) Louisiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program and SOLACE, Inc. He is also a member of the Louisiana Access to Justice Commission and active in a number of local, regional and statewide pro bono and legal organizations.
Since beginning his career, Surprenant has dedicated himself to community service. In 1988, he created HUGS (Hope, Understanding, Giving and Support), the Adams and Reese corporate philanthropy and employee volunteer program. In 2000, he established CA&RE (Caring Adams and Reese Employees), the firm’s pro bono service program. Surprenant is also the co-founder of SOLACE, Inc. (Support of Lawyers/Legal Personnel All Concern Encouraged), a statewide volunteer organization that assists those in the legal community who have experienced a significant and potentially life-changing event.
Surprenant has received several awards and honors over the years recognizing his professional, pro bono and community service. In 2016, he received the 2015/2016 LSBA President’s Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions that have made a substantial impact on the bar association and the legal profession. Surprenant was also honored with an LSBA Pro Bono Century Award, recognizing his pro bono leadership in donating 100 hours of pro bono service with the LSBA in 2014 and 2015.