By DAN CHAPMAN
FORT GAINES, Ga. — Ryan Wheeler, graduating from law school in Atlanta this month, needs a job.
Clay County, a rural southwest Georgia community without a full-time, private-practice attorney, needs all the legal help it can get.
A match made in heaven?
Despite the job-search difficulty facing the newly minted graduates of Georgia State, Emory, the University of Georgia, Mercer and other law schools, few will end up practicing in rural Georgia, where legal representation is sorely lacking.
Bilingual Staff Attorney Jana Edmondson
Bilingual Staff Attorney Jana Edmondson of the Macon regional office spoke on a panel in Washington, D.C., at a conference called the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts. She and others advocated for enhancing language access in the courts. “I came back with a renewed passion for working to make sure that our LEP clients have meaningful access to our justice system,” said Edmondson, who works under GLSP’s Goizuetta Foundation grant. Read more about the conference…
Please join the Georgia Legal Services Program (GLSP) in honoring its 2012-13 Champions of Justice at a reception on March 14, 2013 at the State Bar of Georgia Conference Center.
A Champion of Justice acts as an ambassador for GLSP with the Bar and/or state and federal policymakers and/or the public at large and is recognized for achievements, contributions, or other services to GLSP and continuing service to the legal profession and the cause of justice. Purchase your tickets now!
Georgia has traditionally been one of the most aggressive states in the country in the investigation of intentional program violations in the Food Stamp Program, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In 2005 Georgia disqualified more SNAP recipients than any other state (Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Stamp Program State Activity Report: Federal Fiscal Year 2005, at 32 (May 2007)). In 2006 Georgia led the nation in the amount of dollars recovered due to alleged SNAP fraud (Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Stamp Program State Activity Report: Federal Fiscal Year 2006, at 43 (Feb. 2008)). This zealous pursuit of fraud has often resulted in a “disqualification at all costs” mentality. Georgia would use questionable means to disqualify thousands of its residents from receiving benefits, while draining significant federal dollars from the local economy. Read more…
The DeKalb County Domestic Violence Task Force has named the county’s chief assistant solicitor the recipient of its annual award. Jennifer Stolarski won 2012 Deborah McDorman Flame Award for her career’s work with victims of domestic violence. Stolarski is the former staff attorney at Georgia Legal Services. Read more…
Linda S. Lowe
GLSP Health Policy Specialist Linda S. Lowe argues that Gov. Nathan Deal is short-sighted in his reluctance to expand Medicaid health coverage in Georgia. In an Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-ed, she tells the real-life story of a woman who nearly died because she didn’t have health coverage, then her illness cost taxpayers in the state much more than it should have because she didn’t receive care early in her disease. Gov. Deal maintains on the same page that what he calls “Obamacare” would cost too much, even though the federal government would pay for 90 percent or more of the cost. AJC’s editorial board sides with those in Georgia who need coverage by saying Deal should change his mind and accept the expansion of Medicaid. Read all three opinions as well as reader comments here…
Tomieka Daniel and Ira Foster of Macon GLSP
On Tuesday August 28, 2012, the Macon Office of GLSP partnered with Applebee’s and several other community service groups including the Macon Bar Association and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to provide back-to-school supplies and free dinner to low-income inner-city Macon youth. More than $2,000 in school supplies were collected and donated to the youth. The school supplies were presented to 268 low income youth. Each student was also provided a free dinner at Applebee’s after receiving their school supplies. One of the planning and organizing chairs of the event was Macon Office GLSP Supervising Attorney Ira L. Foster.
Wanda Andrews, center, with Judith Compton (R) and Dawn Kaley of the Savannah Girl Scouts
Wanda Andrews, a Senior Staff Attorney at Georgia Legal Services, has been chosen as one of four Women of Distinction for 2013 by the Girl Scouts of Historic Savannah. Awardees are area women who, through their service to others and their community, have set an example of excellence for girls in southeast Georgia. The Women of Distinction recognition pays tribute to women who have demonstrated extraordinary accomplishment and leadership, been innovators of unique programs and services, and have a lifelong commitment to the development of opportunity for women and girls everywhere.
Honorees will be presented at the fifth annual Girl Scouts Women of Distinction Luncheon on March 8, 2013 at the Morris Center, Trustees Garden, Savannah.
Ms. Andrews is known throughout southeast Georgia for her legal advocacy on behalf of victims of domestic violence. As an attorney with Georgia Legal Services for almost 30 years, she has been tireless in her work with victims, their families, advocates, the courts and the bar, seeking to insure that the protections the law provides are available to those least able to access help.
Vicky Kimbrell, the GLSP Family Violence Project Director, was asked to speak about her work on domestic violence at a forum during the Legal Services Corporation Board meeting at the University of Michigan Law School inAnn Arbor. She presented on a panel focusing on the statewide impact that GLSP has had inGeorgiain our fight against domestic violence. The meeting was attended by the LSC board including: Jim Sandman, Martha Minor, dean of the Harvard law School, and Chief Justice Teitelman of Missouri and Chief Justice Kilbride of Illinois, both of whom were former legal services attorneys. She focused on the following successes of our program: Read more…
By Torin Togut
Regarding “Hard times put squeeze on legal aid” (July 23): As one of those lawyers recently laid off from Georgia Legal Services Program, I am certainly familiar with the plight of these legal aid organizations and the individuals they serve.
For 25 years, I represented low-income families of children with disabilities and children and adults with developmental and mental disabilities throughout the state of Georgia. For the past five years, I primarily represented families of children with disabilities in Athens-Clarke County and surrounding counties, but this legal service is no longer available to eligible clients.