Louisiana Appleseed is part of a national network of 17 public interest law centers across North America.  National Appleseed was founded in 1993, by members of the Harvard Law School Class of 1958, as a nonprofit dedicated to help organize, establish and guide public interest law centers throughout the country.  Louisiana Appleseed is continuing in this tradition of community-based innovation.

Louisiana Appleseed was founded in 1997 and reconstituted in January 2007, when the law firm Adams and Reese joined with national Appleseed and ConocoPhillips to re-open the Louisiana Center.  Since then, Louisiana Appleseed has proven itself as an effective advocacy organization that promotes systemic change that assists vulnerable populations.  We are a flourishing nonprofit with a diverse Board of Directors comprised of 21 professionals, including members of the judiciary. To date, we have engaged over 200 volunteers to donate pro bono time to effect long-lasting, systemic change in our state. Louisiana Appleseed continues to devise effective solutions to broad-based problems and has built meaningful community partnerships.

Louisiana Appleseed is the only organization of its kind in Louisiana.  Our volunteers use their unique skill sets to work closely with direct legal services, government agencies, and other nonprofits to identify and solve our state’s most challenging issues.  We often collaborate with community partners to provide research, advocacy, and policy-oriented solutions to enhance their direct services.

Our Staff


Christy Kane

Executive Director

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Christy Kane serves as the Executive Director of Louisiana Appleseed.

Ms. Kane began her career as a class action litigator at Adams and Reese LLP in New Orleans. In 2007, she was named the ConocoPhillips/Adams and Reese LLP Fellow for Louisiana Appleseed, splitting her time between the nonprofit and her law practice. While in private practice, Ms. Kane won numerous pro bono awards, including A&R’s 2008 Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year; she was also named a CityBusiness Woman of the Year in 2007. In late 2008, after eleven years of practicing law at Adams and Reese LLP, Ms. Kane left the firm to become Louisiana Appleseed’s full-time executive director. She has a law degree from the George Washington University; her undergraduate degree is from Loyola University. Ms. Kane is a member of the New Orleans, Louisiana State, and Federal Bar Associations. She is a Fellow of the Loyola Institute of Politics and the Louisiana Bar Foundation. Ms. Kane is co-chair of the FDIC Southeast Alliance for Economic Inclusion’s Committee to Address Needs of the Unbanked and Underbanked. In 2009, Justice Kitty Kimball appointed Ms. Kane to the Louisiana Supreme Court’s Pro Se Task Force. In 2010, Ms. Kane was invited to participate in the ABA’s Language Access Standards Project. That year, she was awarded Volunteer Advocate of the Year by ASI Federal Credit Union’s A Shared Initiative, Inc. In 2011, the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association awarded Ms. Kane the Camille Gravel Award for public service. In 2016, Supreme Court of Louisiana Chief Justice Bernette Johnson appointed Ms. Kane to the Access to Justice Commission.


Gerren Sias

Outreach Coordinator

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Gerren Sias is originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana and recently joined the staff of Louisiana Appleseed. Mr. Sias obtained an Associate of General Studies Degree from Baton Rouge Community College in 2004, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Louisiana State University in 2007 and a Master of Public Administration Degree with a specialization in State and Local Government from Louisiana State University in 2010. Prior to joining the Louisiana Appleseed team, Mr. Sias spent six years in the civil litigation division of a local Baton Rouge Firm as a litigation assistant. In 2010, Mr. Sias was named an Honorary Secretary of State of Louisiana. From 2011-2017, Mr. Sias served as the East Baton Rouge Parish Commissioner on the Atchafalaya Trace Commission, which is the coordinating entity of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area under the office of the Lt. Governor of Louisiana. Mr. Sias also has played an active role in community engagement and campaign field operations on multiple levels.


Jeannine Sullivan

Sylvia Roberts Fellow

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Jeannine A. Sullivan has been a Legal Fellow at Louisiana Appleseed since 2007. She earned her law degree at Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, graduating second in her class. While attending law school, Ms. Sullivan was the recipient of several academic awards, including Law Excellence Awards in Legal Writing and Research, Corporate and Business Law, Law and Education and Ethics. The Louisiana State Bar Association awarded her the 2004 Civil Law Studies Award for earning the highest grade point average in the Civil Law Program. Ms. Sullivan has served as a board member of the Denham Springs Civil Service Board, the Florida Parishes Human Services Authority and the Louisiana Bar Foundation’s Capital Area Community Partnership Panel.  She is a graduate of the LSU Academy of Politics and a Fellow of the Louisiana Bar Foundation.  In 2011, the Louisiana State Bar Association awarded her the Pro Bono Publico Award, recognizing her volunteer efforts in preventing teen dating violence.  While at Louisiana Appleseed, Ms. Sullivan served as the project leader of the Latino Access to Financial Institutions Project and was the primary author of the report “Immigrant Banking: Reaching the Latino Population in Louisiana.” She serves as the Project Leader of the Abuse Prevention though Education Project, an initiative that brings state-wide attention to the prevention of relationship abuse by educating youth on healthy and unhealthy relationships.  In 2015, Ms. Sullivan was named the Sylvia Roberts Fellow, a fellowship dedicated to effecting systemic change by focusing on the prevention of relationship abuse.


Christy Kane

Executive Director

Christy Kane serves as the Executive Director of Louisiana Appleseed.

Ms. Kane began her career as a class action litigator at Adams and Reese LLP in New Orleans. In 2007, she was named the ConocoPhillips/Adams and Reese LLP Fellow for Louisiana Appleseed, splitting her time between the nonprofit and her law practice. While in private practice, Ms. Kane won numerous pro bono awards, including A&R’s 2008 Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year; she was also named a CityBusiness Woman of the Year in 2007. In late 2008, after eleven years of practicing law at Adams and Reese LLP, Ms. Kane left the firm to become Louisiana Appleseed’s full-time executive director. She has a law degree from the George Washington University; her undergraduate degree is from Loyola University. Ms. Kane is a member of the New Orleans, Louisiana State, and Federal Bar Associations. She is a Fellow of the Loyola Institute of Politics and the Louisiana Bar Foundation. Ms. Kane is co-chair of the FDIC Southeast Alliance for Economic Inclusion’s Committee to Address Needs of the Unbanked and Underbanked. In 2009, Justice Kitty Kimball appointed Ms. Kane to the Louisiana Supreme Court’s Pro Se Task Force. In 2010, Ms. Kane was invited to participate in the ABA’s Language Access Standards Project. That year, she was awarded Volunteer Advocate of the Year by ASI Federal Credit Union’s A Shared Initiative, Inc. In 2011, the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association awarded Ms. Kane the Camille Gravel Award for public service. In 2016, Supreme Court of Louisiana Chief Justice Bernette Johnson appointed Ms. Kane to the Access to Justice Commission.

Gerren Sias

Outreach Coordinator

Gerren Sias is originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana and recently joined the staff of Louisiana Appleseed. Mr. Sias obtained an Associate of General Studies Degree from Baton Rouge Community College in 2004, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Louisiana State University in 2007 and a Master of Public Administration Degree with a specialization in State and Local Government from Louisiana State University in 2010. Prior to joining the Louisiana Appleseed team, Mr. Sias spent six years in the civil litigation division of a local Baton Rouge Firm as a litigation assistant. In 2010, Mr. Sias was named an Honorary Secretary of State of Louisiana. From 2011-2017, Mr. Sias served as the East Baton Rouge Parish Commissioner on the Atchafalaya Trace Commission, which is the coordinating entity of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area under the office of the Lt. Governor of Louisiana. Mr. Sias also has played an active role in community engagement and campaign field operations on multiple levels.

Jeannine Sullivan

Sylvia Roberts Fellow

Jeannine A. Sullivan has been a Legal Fellow at Louisiana Appleseed since 2007. She earned her law degree at Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, graduating second in her class. While attending law school, Ms. Sullivan was the recipient of several academic awards, including Law Excellence Awards in Legal Writing and Research, Corporate and Business Law, Law and Education and Ethics. The Louisiana State Bar Association awarded her the 2004 Civil Law Studies Award for earning the highest grade point average in the Civil Law Program. Ms. Sullivan has served as a board member of the Denham Springs Civil Service Board, the Florida Parishes Human Services Authority and the Louisiana Bar Foundation’s Capital Area Community Partnership Panel.  She is a graduate of the LSU Academy of Politics and a Fellow of the Louisiana Bar Foundation.  In 2011, the Louisiana State Bar Association awarded her the Pro Bono Publico Award, recognizing her volunteer efforts in preventing teen dating violence.  While at Louisiana Appleseed, Ms. Sullivan served as the project leader of the Latino Access to Financial Institutions Project and was the primary author of the report “Immigrant Banking: Reaching the Latino Population in Louisiana.” She serves as the Project Leader of the Abuse Prevention though Education Project, an initiative that brings state-wide attention to the prevention of relationship abuse by educating youth on healthy and unhealthy relationships.  In 2015, Ms. Sullivan was named the Sylvia Roberts Fellow, a fellowship dedicated to effecting systemic change by focusing on the prevention of relationship abuse.

Board of Directors


Donald R. Abaunza

Of Counsel, Liskow & Lewis

Paula A. Brown

Judge, Louisiana Court of Appeal, Fourth Circuit

Elwood F. Cahill, Jr.

Partner, Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert, L.L.C.

Linda Perez Clark

Partner, Kean Miller LLP

Celeste Coco-Ewing

Member, Barrasso, Usdin, Kupperman Freeman & Sarver

Richard F. Cortizas

Partner, Jones Walker LLP

C. Caroline Fayard

Member, Fayard Law Firm, LLC

Keva Landrum-Johnson

Deputy Chief Judge, Orleans Parish Criminal District Court

Steven J. Lane

Partner, Herman, Herman & Katz, LLC

Rosemary Ledet

Judge, Louisiana Court of Appeal, Fourth Circuit

Carlos Mickan

Vice Chairman of the Board & Chief Financial Officer, Pan-American Life Insurance Group

Harry J. “Skip” Philips, Jr.

Partner, Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips L.L.P.

Pilar S. Ramos

Executive Vice President, Associate General Counsel, North America, MasterCard

Drew Ranier

Founding Member, Ranier Law Firm

Herschel E. Richard, Jr.

Of Counsel, Cook Yancey King & Galloway

Harry Rosenberg

Partner, Phelps Dunbar LLP

William D. Shea

Partner, Adams and Reese LLP

Nathalie G. Simon

Special Counsel to the CEO & President – Public Policy Initiatives, Laitram, LLC

Allison Berger Tiller

President, Allient Advisors, LLC

Irving J. Warshauer

Partner, Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, L.L.C.

Charlie Weems

Partner, Gold Weems Bruser Sues & Rundell, APLC

Jack M. Weiss

Of Counsel, Liskow & Lewis

Camille Whitworth

Media Professional and Owner, Victory and Drink Lab

Phillip A. Wittmann

Partner, Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann L.L.C.