Former GLSP Attorney Named Georgia’s Magistrate of the Year

Patricia Barron was named Georgia’s 2015 Magistrate of the Year at the Georgia Council’s annual meeting in May. Judge Barron, currently Athens-Clarke County Chief Magistrate Court Judge, worked at Georgia Legal Services Program throughout the state for twenty years.

“She was devoted to her clients and set a high standard for her staff during her service as Managing Attorney of the Gainesville office,” GLSP Executive Director Phyllis Holmen remembers of Judge Barron’s work. “We’ve watched her career as Magistrate in Athens, and are proud of the innovations she has brought to that court to underscore her commitment to access to justice.”

Patricia Barron, a native of Atlanta and an alumna of Georgetown University Law Center, also worked at the University of Georgia School of Law’s Family Violence Clinic, where as a managing attorney she trained law students on representing victims of domestic violence. The judge has served at the Athens-Clarke Magistrate Court for nearly fifteen years, and was appointed chief judge in only her second year at the Court.

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New York Times highlights GLSP school-discipline case

The New York Times carried a front page story Dec. 11, 2014, about an African-American  Henry County girl harshly disciplined for writing one word on a locker, “Hi,” while the white child involved in the incident received a lesser punishment, though her actions were more destructive. GLSP attorney Mike Tafelski is pictured and quoted.

CLICK HERE to read the entire article.

Mike Tafelski was also interviewed on NPR’s “The Takeaway” on Dec. 12, 2014.

To listen to that radio program, CLICK HERE.

And, Mike Tafelski was interviewed on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “On Second Thought” on Dec. 15, 2014.

To listen to that radio program, CLICK HERE

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Macon GLSP’s Edmondson-Cooper on YLD board, named to Lawyers of Color Hot List

jana-edmondsonJana Edmondson-Cooper, bilingual staff attorney with GLSP’s Macon office has been named to the board of directors of the Young Lawyers Division of the Georgia State Bar. She will be Director of Membership Outreach. To read more CLICK HERE


Early- to Mid-Career Minority Attorneys in the Southern Region

​​Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper, Bilingual Staff Attorney with Georgia Legal Services Program, has been named to Lawyers of Color’s Second Annual Hot List, which recognizes early- to mid-career minority attorneys excelling in the legal profession working as in-house counsel, government attorneys, and law firm associates and partners.

Honorees will be profiled in Lawyers Of Color’s  forthcoming Hot List 2014 Issue. The Southern Region honorees were also feted at a reception hosted by Greenberg Traurig on July 24th. A full list of this year’s Southern Region honorees can be found here .

Jana provides bilingual legal counsel and representation to low-income individuals in various civil litigation matters with a focus on language access as an access to justice issue.  Previously recognized as a “Trailblazing Lawyer for Justice,” Jana was one of six attorneys, nationally, recognized as an emerging leader and awarded a scholarship to attend the 2012 National Legal Aid and Defender Association Litigation and Advocacy Directors’ Conference.    A former legal interpreter, in 2013 Jana was appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia Commission on Interpreters and contributed to the Georgia Fatality Review Project, an annual publication jointly issued by the Georgia Commission on Family Violence and Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, as a subject-matter expert on the dynamics of domestic violence as experienced by immigrant victims. Most recently, she had the privilege of co-chairing Georgia’s first comprehensive statewide CLE on language access for attorneys and judges.


The honorees were chosen through a two-pronged process. The selection committee spent months reviewing nominations and researching bar association publications and legal blogs in order to identify promising candidates. Nominations from mentors, peers, and colleagues were accepted. The selection committee also made editorial picks of attorneys who had noteworthy accomplishments, especially those active in legal pipeline initiatives.


Lawyers of Color was initially founded as On Being A Black Lawyer but now also produces publications for lawyers of South Asian American, Pacific Asian American, Hispanic, and Native American heritage. LOC has been recognized by the American Bar Association, National Black Law Students Association, and National Association of Black Journalists. Our company provides research, career development, and brand marketing opportunities to our clients. With a core readership of 35,000, nearly 200,000 unique blog visitors, and nearly 4,000 followers and fans, we have the largest social media presence of any minority legal organization. A full-list of



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GLSP Macon lawyer honored by alma mater

Jana with Judge DillardMacon GLSP attorney Jana Edmondson-Cooper was recently honored,by her law school alma mater, Mississippi College School of Law. Edmondson-Cooper received the Young Lawyer of the Year Award, which recognizes a lawyer who has graduated within the past 10 years who has made outstanding contributions to the legal community. Also honored by the Mississippi College School of Law was Judge Stephen Dillard from the Georgia Court of Appeals.  Judge Dillard is an alum as well and received the State Judge of the Year Award for outstanding judicial service.

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Ga. Supreme Court Justices urge the use of qualified intepreters in court at GLSP-sponsored CLE

Jana E-C and Justice Melton

GLSP Bilingual Staff Attorney Jana Edmondson-Cooper turns mic over to Justice Harold Melton

Atlanta, February 26, 2014 – Two Georgia Supreme Court Justices and several superior court judges lent support to the idea that “equal justice for all” includes providing language access to the courts through well-qualified interpreters to people with limited English, as well as those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Justices Harold Melton and Keith Blackwell both spoke at a Continuing Legal Education Session on Feb. 20 at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta, sponsored by Georgia Legal Services Program, the Southern Center for Human Rights, the State Bar of Georgia Access to Justice

picCommittee and the Supreme Court of Georgia Commission on Interpreters, among others. Justice Melton is stepping down as chair of the Commission on Interpreters and Justice Blackwell is taking over the chairmanship. The Justices spoke of the need not only for certified interpreters proficient in a number of languages, but also for well-qualified interpreters who understand legal terminology and their obligation to protect the confidentiality of their clients. Judges from rural areas of Georgia spoke about the difficulty of making sure qualified interpreters are available, especially in cases where parties are low-income and the court is obliged to pay for language services.

Georgia Legal Services Program, which serves low-income Georgians in civil matters in 154 counties outside Metro Atlanta, has made language access a major priority in its service to Limited English Proficiency clients, as well as to clients who are deaf or hard of hearing. GLSP staff members were among the leaders in planning for and presenting the CLE. GLSP Litigation Director Lisa Krisher and

GLSlP Director of Litigation spoke about the Legal Underpinnings for Language Access

GLSlP Director of Litigation spoke about the Legal Underpinnings for Language Access

Bilingual Staff Attorney Jana Edmondson-Cooper spoke at the CLE about the importance of providing interpretation services and on how interpreters must be highly trained to be effective.

The CLE also included discussions of “Legal Underpinnings for Language Accesss,” “Cultural Competency,” “Best Practices for Working with Interpreters: From Client Intake to the Bench,” and “Ethical Considerations When Representing Limited English Proficient and Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Clients.”

To look at the detailed materials from the CLE, please click here…

Legal Underpinnings for Language Access

GLSP Director of Litigation Lisa Krisher, Administrative Office of the Courts Director Marla Moore, Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Gail Tusan, District Court Administrator of Fulton County Supeiror Court Yolanda Lewis, Bibb County Superior Court Chief Judge Tilman E. Self, III, DeKalb County State Court Judge Dax Lopez on panel on Legal Underpinnings for Language Access: A Stakeholders Panel Discussion

The Supreme Court of Georgia put information about the CLE up on the court’s website at:

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