The Atlanta Lawyer — March 2013 The Atlanta Lawyer
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Pro Bono March Madness
Lynn M. Roberson

Swift Currie McGhee & Hiers LLP

The Atlanta Lawyer this month highlights our annual march madness© cle program which trains many, many atlanta area lawyers to properly prepare them for pro bono work. Hundreds of our lawyers have taken advantage of these programs over the years and have gone on to provide desperately needed legal services to the poor. These lawyers and the trainers are to be congratulated on consistent good work and selfless service!

The atlanta bar sections are also doing an outstanding job of providing opportunities for their members to engage in pro bono and public or community service. The Women in the profession section has for years provided services to those battling breast cancer. The real estate section just recently met with the atlanta police Department and the atlanta police foundation to discuss providing attorney assistance to police officers being provided houses inside the city limits which have been in foreclosure. Legal services will be needed for the department and their officers in changing ownership on these houses and the atlanta bar’s real estate section has agreed to help. I congratulate all the atlanta bar sections on their continuing good works!

On another note. . .

The atlanta bar board recently unanimously agreed to stand up and be counted in support of equal rights for all. We were invited to join with numerous other bar associations around the country in an amicus brief to the united states supreme court in opposition to california’s proposition 8 banning gay marriage. The board understands and appreciates that taking a position on the issue of gay marriage may be a political hot button issue. And, generally, it is my position as your president that we should avoid taking positions on hot button political issues because our membership has varying views on many issues. But all of us felt it was important to take a position on what may be the civil rights issue of our time and to have the courage to take what may be perceived by some as an unpopular view in support of equality and not to take the less courageous approach of simply remaining silent after we were requested to support this endeavor. In particular, given our bar’s long ago shameful position barring membership to those who were not in the majority, our board felt it was particularly important to stand up for the equality of all under the law and constitution. Individuals and religious organizations are not forced by this position to support gay marriage. This position simply holds that our government cannot discriminate against adult citizens based upon with whom they have a consensual, loving relationship. We are hopeful that our members will be supportive and proud of the position taken by the board. I certainly am! ¦