Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper, an attorney at Georgia Legal Services Program, was selected to receive the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity’s 2016 Freedom Award, presented to her by Governor Deal on April 19, 2016. The Commission cited her work on access to justice issues for individuals that are deaf or hard of hearing, or have limited English proficiency. The award letter addressed to Edmondson-Cooper states that she “not only challenged the governmental and justice systems when language access programs were underfunded or non-existent, [she] also shed light on how language access is interdisciplinary and affects many core areas of the law”.
C. Ben Garren, Jr. has been selected as the winner of the Community Champion award for the 2016 Corporate Counsel Awards, sponsored by Atlanta Business Chronicle and the Association of Corporate Counsel Georgia Chapter. The award will be presented at a luncheon in May. Garren has served as president of Georgia Legal Services Program’s Board and is currently on the Georgia Legal Services Foundation board.
“I am very honored and humbled to receive such recognition,” says Garren. “My association with the Georgia Legal Services Program and Foundation have certainly made my life richer.”
Garren is currently chief legal officer at Coca-Cola Refreshments, the North American bottling operation of The Coca-Cola Company. He began his career with The Coca-Coca Company in 1996 as litigation counsel and since then has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility. He is a member of the senior leadership teams for CCR and The Coca-Cola Company’s Legal Division. Ben received a B.S. from Clemson University in 1983 and his J.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1987.
Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper, an attorney at Georgia Legal Services Program, has been selected to receive the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity’s 2016 Freedom Award which will be presented to her by Governor Deal on April 19, 2016. The Commission cited her work on access to justice issues for individuals that are deaf or hard of hearing, or have limited English proficiency. The award letter addressed to Edmondson-Cooper states that she “not only challenged the governmental and justice systems when language access programs were underfunded or non-existent, [she] also shed light on how language access is interdisciplinary and affects many core areas of the law”.
The Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity agency was created in 1978. The mission of the agency is to investigate charges of discrimination filed by an aggrieved party or a representative of an aggrieved party. It is also the goal and aim of the agency to further the public interest in preventing future discrimination by monitoring any respondent who has been found guilty of committing a discriminatory housing practice.
The Daily Report announced on Wednesday, Mar. 23, 2016, that Georgia Legal Services Executive Director Phyllis Holmen is one of 20 lawyers to be honored for lifetime achievement. Honorees will be recognized at a June 23 dinner at the St. Regis Atlanta hotel.
“It doesn’t feel like a lifetime just yet, but I do feel fortunate to have found the work I hoped to do so many years ago. There’s much more to be done to make sure that we provide justice for all,” says Holmen. “I hope this event and this award inspires those coming up now to embrace that cause.”
Other honorees include lawyers and judges with the state Court of Appeals and U.S. District Court, Southern Center for Human Rights, Georgia Supreme Court, and King & Spalding.
Jana Edmondson-Cooper, GLSP attorney of nearly six years, was awarded the State Bar Young Lawyers Division’s Signature Service Award on Saturday, Jan. 23 in Atlanta at the organization’s 10th annual Signature Fundraiser. The Young Lawyers Division (YLD) notes that the award is “presented annually to recognize an individual who has achieved a certain level of service, as measured by his or her commitment to the YLD and other service-related organizations”.
In a Jan.15 statement, they write:
Jana Edmondson-Cooper was an obvious choice for the YLD Signature Service Award,” YLD President John R.B. “Jack” Long of Augusta said. “Through her job at GLSP, she shows her daily commitment to helping Georgia’s indigent who are in need of legal services. Furthermore, her volunteer efforts for the YLD reflect her true passion to fulfill the primary mission of the State Bar of Georgia: service to the public. I am proud to have her serve on the YLD Board of Directors, and appreciate her steadfast dedication to the YLD.
Read more about the event here.
The National Black Lawyers: Top 100 announced that Jana Edmondson-Cooper of Georgia Legal Services Program was selected for inclusion into its Top 100 Black Lawyers, an honor given to only a select group of lawyers for her superior skills and qualifications in the field. Membership in this exclusive organization is by invitation only, and is limited to the top 100 attorneys in each state or region who have demonstrated excellence and have achieved outstanding results in their careers.
Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper provides bilingual legal counsel and representation to low-income individuals, the majority of whom are limited English proficient, in administrative forums and courts of law. Her areas of practice include family law, health law, housing, public benefits, wills & estates and education law with a focus on language access as an access to justice issue.
Read more here.
This press release was originally published by the State Bar of Georgia.
The State Bar of Georgia honored five advocates at its annual pro bono awards reception held Oct. 15 at the State Bar headquarters in Atlanta.
The ceremony was hosted by the Bar’s Access to Justice Committee and the Pro Bono Project. State Bar president Robert Kauffman welcomed guests and thanked the awards recipients for their professionalism and their service to low-income Georgians.
“All Georgia lawyers can draw inspiration from the exceptional records of pro bono service rendered by these honorees,” Kauffman said. “We appreciate their many contributions, which serve to promote the cause of justice and uphold the integrity of the legal profession in our state.”
Access to Justice Committee Vice Chairperson Angela Hinton and State Bar Pro Bono Director Mike Monahan presented the awards.
“When you hear the stories about the work of our award winners tonight, we hope you take them to heart and that you share them with others in your community,” Hinton noted in her remarks. “To our award winners tonight, we say ‘thank you,’ and we are honored to have you with us.” Savannah lawyer Elsie “Dolly” Robinson Chisholm was presented the H. Sol Clark Award for her lengthy pro bono service record and for her role in the Georgia Legal Services Program Foundation. Her law firm, Bouhan Falligant LLP, received praise for its support of Chisholm’s work and for its pro bono service in the Savannah community. The award is named for former Georgia Court of Appeals Judge H. Sol Clark of Savannah, who is known as the “father of legal aid in Georgia.” The prestigious award honors an individual lawyer who has excelled in one or more of a variety of activities that extend civil legal services to the poor.
Alpharetta lawyer Jay Fox received the William B. Spann Jr. Award for his pro bono involvement in Atlanta Legal Aid’s Durable Powers of Attorney Project of the Georgia Senior Legal Hotline. The Spann Award is given to a local bar association, law firm, or community organization in Georgia that has developed a civil pro bono program that has satisfied previously unmet legal needs or extended services to underserved segments of the population. The award is named for a former president of the American Bar Association and former executive director of the State Bar of Georgia.
The Bar presented Ira Foster, managing attorney of the Macon Regional Office of Georgia Legal Services Program Inc., with the Dan Bradley Legal Services Award for his legal work helping children with access to education and improper and excessive school discipline as well as for his lengthy career in public interest law. The award honors the memory of Georgia native and Mercer Law graduate Dan J. Bradley, who was president of the federal Legal Services Corporation from 1979 to 1982. He is credited by many
with having been instrumental in saving the Legal Services Corporation, which funds programs like Georgia Legal Services Program and the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, from elimination in the early 1980s.
The Bar also presented the A Business Commitment Award to the Atlanta office of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, which has accepted hundreds of pro bono cases for nonprofits serving low-income and marginalized communities in Georgia. The firm has also been a long-term sponsor of the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta, an agency that helps provide pro bono services to the nonprofit community.
The Law School Excellence in Access to Justice Individual Award was presented to Meagan M. Rafferty for the access to justice activities she undertook as a student at the Savannah Law School. Associate professor Andrew Wright praised Rafferty for her academic performance and the variety of ways she contributed to increasing access to justice through public interest law.
“Law students like Meagan demonstrate that the future of the practice of law — especially when it comes to pro bono — is in good hands. We were very impressed by her involvement in public interest initiatives and more so when we saw that she was also an academic standout,” said Monahan.
The Law School Excellence in Access to Justice Award specifically recognizes a law student who has excelled in participation in support of a civil pro bono or legal aid program or who has developed or has been instrumental in the development of a civil pro bono program satisfying previously unmet civil legal needs or extended services to underserved segments of the population.
Georgians for a Healthy Future’s First Annual Consumer Health Impact Awards were held on Sept. 9, 2015, and included a Health Advocacy Award in honor of Linda Lowe, Health Policy Specialist at Georgia Legal Services. The award is to be given to a professional or volunteer advocate whose “work advances access to quality, affordable health care in Georgia”, focusing on a vulnerable population and working toward policy change. Georgians for a Healthy Future say Linda, “has dedicated her career to serving as an advocate on behalf of underserved Georgians who need a voice on health and human services issues.” Linda is a public policy advocate focusing on Medicaid and other health programs for low-income Georgians, and has been at GLSP for over thirty years.
Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper was selected by the National Bar Association (NBA) to receive its Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Under 40 Award during the NBA’s 90th Annual Convention held in Los Angeles, CA July 19 -23, 2015. The award recognizes the nation’s top lawyers under 40 who exemplify a broad range of high achievement, including in innovation, vision, leadership and legal and community involvement. In addition to the 40 Under 40 recognition, five of the forty awardees were deemed to have distinguished themselves further by exemplifying Excellence in Activism, Excellence in Innovation, Excellence in Leadership, Excellence in Service and as Best Advocate of the Year, respectively and honored with a second award to that effect. Jana was honored with the Excellence in Service Award for exemplifying service to low-income and underrepresented individuals, particularly those who have limited or no ability to communicate in English.
GLSP’s recent campaign through the State Bar of Georgia has surpassed its fundraising goal by netting $554,299.
“We are so pleased to see growing support among the private bar,” said Executive Director Phyllis Holmen.
Donations to the State Bar “And Justice for All” campaign come from individual lawyers around the state who either write individual checks or opt in to a GLSP donation through their State Bar dues payment. The funds were presented to Holmen by State Bar President Charles Ruffin at the Bar convention in Amelia Island, Florida in June.
“It is gratifying to see lawyers across the state write checks to support civil legal services for the poor,” said Holmen. The Bar campaign represents less than five percent of GLSP’s total budget, but is the way the organization connects with Georgia lawyers who believe in supporting civil legal aid. Many state lawyers also support GLSP by volunteering to represent low-income clients pro bono.
Most of GLSP’s funding comes from grants from the Legal Services Corporation, which is funded by Congress and supports legal aid organizations across the country. Other GLSP funding comes from contracts through the Older Americans Act, as well as grants from the Judicial Council of Georgia, the Georgia Bar Foundation, the State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the Georgia Legal Services Foundation, the National Council on Aging, various fundraising events and others.