The School of Law was recently awarded a Self Represented Litigant Grant from the Judicial Council of Georgia to support the efforts of the Athens Access to Justice Initiative, which seeks to provide community members, who are unable to afford legal representation, with access to attorneys. The initiative operates through a partnership between the School of Law, the Western Circuit Bar Association and the Athens-Clarke County Superior Court, and includes monthly legal pop-up clinics and a Self-Represented Litigant Center and Library.
Associate Dean for Clinical Program and Experiential Learning Eleanor Crosby Lanier, who spearheaded the grant application, said the grant funding will be used to:
- recruit additional volunteers for the Self-Represented Litigant Center
- develop training and orientation materials for volunteer attorneys, paralegals, and law students
- produce information packets and materials for those being assisted in the pop-up clinics and/or the Self-Represented Litigant Center and Library
- expand Athens Access to Justice's materials to address housing and Magistrate Court matters
The Athens Access to Justice Initiative is a local effort that builds upon efforts of the State Bar's Pro Bono Resource Center and Access to Justice Committee. Volunteers making legal services available include local attorneys, judges, court personnel, School of Law students, paralegals and UGA undergraduates who have an interest in the law.