The Atlanta Lawyer The Atlanta Lawyer October 2012 : Page 5

celebrating service Celebrating Service Awards S Community Service Award Public Service Award State Representative Wendell Willard , who represents the 49th District in the Georgia House of Representatives, is the 2012 recipient of the Celebrating Service Public Service Award. Representative Willard has represented residents of parts of Fulton County in the legislature since 2001, and serves as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee as well as a member of Rules, Appropriations, Ethics, and Ex-Officio of Judiciary-Civil Committees. When he is not working at the Capitol, Wendell Willard is an attorney in private practice and the City Attorney for Sandy Springs. Representative Willard has been instrumental in the passage of key pieces of legislation affecting the legal community. Willard’s dedicated leadership brought the new Evidence Code to final passage in the State Legislature; as a result Georgia’s revised evidence code will go into effect January 1, 2013. Rep. Willard was also a key member of the Joint ervice to others has always been a priority for Atlanta Bar Association Community Service Award winner, the Honorable Asha Jackson . Long before committing her professional career to public service as a Superior Court Judge in Dekalb County, Jackson spent countless hours donating her time to others. Quoting Mother Teresa, Judge Jackson explains that “service is the rent we pay for our place here on earth. Serving others is innate – almost like breathing. I always gain more than I give when I serve.” As just one example of her commitment to service, Judge Jackson previously served as the Community Service Chair for the Atlanta Bar Association’s Women in the Profession Section. As Community Service Chair, Judge Jackson was instrumental in identifying volunteer opportunity for its members, including: organizing a team to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for breast cancer; packing medical supplies for Medshare; preparing dinners at Nicholas House, a shelter for homeless families; collecting items for the shoe box project for United Way, which provides needed toiletries to homeless men and women; supporting the children and families of ForeverFamily, which provides mentoring, family visitation, education and civic opportunities to children whose parents are incarcerated, through cooking classes and meal preparation. In addition to her service with the Women in the Profession section, Judge Jackson has committed her time to numerous other Atlanta Bar Association community service events. For years, she has volunteered as an elf with the Atlanta Bar Association’s Santa Project, which spreads the joy of the holiday season to local children and adults. Jackson has also volunteered with Law Day and Service Juris. Judge Jackson is committed to recognizing and developing potential in all members of the community, particularly our youth and young adults. In furtherance of this goal, Judge Jackson created a program in her court for non-violent, first time offenders under the age of 25 called “Project Pinnacle.” This project brings together offenders, community stakeholders and law enforcement to teach accountability, professionalism and service to reduce, and hopefully eliminate, recidivism in the program graduates. Additionally, Judge Jackson has volunteered with ForeverFamily for many years, and she currently serves as National Chair of its Advisory Board. The Atlanta Bar Association is honored to recognize Judge Asha Jackson as the 2011-2012 Community Service Award Recipient. This award is given to an Atlanta Bar Member or Section that participated in or coordinated in a community service project that was adopted, created or sponsored by or through the Atlanta Bar Association or one of its sections. The Official News Publication of the Atlanta Bar Association About the Cover: The recipients of the Awards to be presented at the Celebrating Service Pro Bono Fair and Luncheon on October 19, 2012 are left to right: Stephen T. LaBriola , representing the Litigation Section, recipient of the Pro Bono Award; The Honorable Asha Jackson , recipient of the Community Service Award; State Representative Wendell K. Willard , recipient of the Public Service Award; and Rita A. Sheffey , recipient of the Public Interest Law Section’s new award named for Rita. Photography by Bill Mahan October 2012 THE ATLANTA LAWYER 5

About The Cover

The recipients of the Awards to be presented at the Celebrating Service Pro Bono Fair and Luncheon on October 19, 2012 are left to right:

Stephen T. LaBriola, representing the Litigation Section, recipient of the Pro Bono Award; The Honorable Asha Jackson, recipient of the Community Service Award; State Representative Wendell K. Willard, recipient of the Public Service Award; and Rita A. Sheffey, recipient of the Public Interest Law Section’s new award named for Rita.

Read the full article at http://www.bluetoad.com/article/About+The+Cover/1200242/129119/article.html.

Celebrating Service Awards

Community Service Award

Service to others has always been a priority for Atlanta Bar Association Community Service Award winner, the Honorable Asha Jackson. Long before committing her professional career to public service as a Superior Court Judge in Dekalb County, Jackson spent countless hours donating her time to others. Quoting Mother Teresa, Judge Jackson explains that “service is the rent we pay for our place here on earth. Serving others is innate – almost like breathing. I always gain more than I give when I serve.”

As just one example of her commitment to service, Judge Jackson previously served as the Community Service Chair for the Atlanta Bar Association’s Women in the Profession Section. As Community Service Chair, Judge Jackson was instrumental in identifying volunteer opportunity for its members, including: organizing a team to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for breast cancer; packing medical supplies for Medshare; preparing dinners at Nicholas House, a shelter for homeless families; collecting items for the shoe box project for United Way, which provides needed toiletries to homeless men and women; supporting the children and families of ForeverFamily, which provides mentoring, family visitation, education and civic opportunities to children whose parents are incarcerated, through cooking classes and meal preparation.

In addition to her service with the Women in the Profession section, Judge Jackson has committed her time to numerous other Atlanta Bar Association community service events. For years, she has volunteered as an elf with the Atlanta Bar Association’s Santa Project, which spreads the joy of the holiday season to local children and adults. Jackson has also volunteered with Law Day and Service Juris.

Judge Jackson is committed to recognizing and developing potential in all members of the community, particularly our youth and young adults. In furtherance of this goal, Judge Jackson created a program in her court for non-violent, first time offenders under the age of 25 called “Project Pinnacle.” This project brings together offenders, community stakeholders and law enforcement to teach accountability, professionalism and service to reduce, and hopefully eliminate, recidivism in the program graduates. Additionally, Judge Jackson has volunteered with ForeverFamily for many years, and she currently serves as National Chair of its Advisory Board.

The Atlanta Bar Association is honored to recognize Judge Asha Jackson as the 2011-2012 Community Service Award Recipient. This award is given to an Atlanta Bar Member or Section that participated in or coordinated in a community service project that was adopted, created or sponsored by or through the Atlanta Bar Association or one of its sections.

Public Service Award

State Representative Wendell Willard, who represents the 49th District in the Georgia House of Representatives, is the 2012 recipient of the Celebrating Service Public Service Award. Representative Willard has represented residents of parts of Fulton County in the legislature since 2001, and serves as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee as well as a member of Rules, Appropriations, Ethics, and Ex-Officio of Judiciary-Civil Committees. When he is not working at the Capitol, Wendell Willard is an attorney in private practice and the City Attorney for Sandy Springs.

Representative Willard has been instrumental in the passage of key pieces of legislation affecting the legal community.Willard’s dedicated leadership brought the new Evidence Code to final passage in the State Legislature; as a result Georgia’s revised evidence code will go into effect January 1, 2013. Rep. Willard was also a key member of the Joint Committee on Criminal Justice Reform, which passed sweeping criminal justice reform legislation in 2012. Currently Rep. Willard serves on the Juvenile Justice Reform Panel which is focused on overhauling the juvenile justice system.The panel, with Willard as one of its leaders, is examining ways to reduce recidivism with a focus on rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.

Rep. Willard was also an integral member of the Fulton County Court Improvement Task Force formed by Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Cynthia D. Wright and State Court Chief Judge Patsy Y. Porter. The Task Force was created in 2011 to recommend improvements to court organization, jurisdiction and operations that can serve as a foundation for the courts to better and more efficiently serve the public through long-range planning and collaboration.Representative Willard spent countless hours examining the challenges facing the courts and gave thoughtful and insightful suggestions on how the General Assembly can help the Courts during the budget crisis. The Task Force, which also included Atlanta Bar Association representatives, gave Its final report and recommendations in September 2012.

The Atlanta Bar Association thanks Rep. Willard for his efforts to support the legal community and the justice system in the legislature, and is honored to award him the 2011-2012 Public Service Award. This award is given to recognize significant contributions by an elected or appointed legislator or other public servant who has advanced the fair administration of justice in our community and fostered professionalism and ethics in the political or legislative process.

Pro Bono Award

The Celebrating Service Pro Bono Award is given to an individual or Atlanta Bar Association Section that has made a significant contribution for providing pro bono legal services, or otherwise furthering the provision of pro bono legal services, to indigent individuals or non-profit organizations.This year, the Atlanta Bar Association honors the Litigation Section for its generous contributions to pro bono legal services and non-profit organizations.

In recognition of the impact that the downturn on the economy has had on many pro bono providers, the Litigation Section increased its financial contribution to several organizations.In total, the Litigation Section donated $33,000 to pro bono entities. Immediate Past Chair Steve Labriola explained: “There was a great need of funding for many organizations that had a strong track record of providing outstanding service to the community. The Litigation Section was pleased to assist these organizations to help stave off declining contributions. Although we may not be able to duplicate this level of commitment in future years, we were glad we could increase our financial support this year.”

In 2011-2012, the Litigation Section doubled its sponsorship of the Atlanta Bar Association High School Intern program, which increased from five to ten high school students who spent the summer working for judges and other non-profit organizations. The section also increased its sponsorship of the AVLF Wine Tasting Gala and provided separate additional funding to AVLF. The section also gave Atlanta Legal Aid an unrequested donation and increased its sponsorship of the Pro Bono March Madness program. It also sponsored the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy and provided a generous contribution to the Georgia Lawyers for the Arts Gala.

The Litigation Section partnered with the Atlanta Bar’s newest section, the Public Interest Law Section (formerly the Public Interest Committee) to help plan, promote and support two speaker series: “The Mariel Boat Lift” program and “The Leo Frank Case: A Retrospective” program. The Litigation Section’s unwavering support and generosity helped to spotlight these public interest cases and the wide impact of pro bono services provided by the members of the Atlanta Bar.

American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia (ACLU)

The ACLU of Georgia is one of the 52 affiliates of the ACLU, and we currently have close to 5,000 card-carrying members and donors. We are located on the perimeter of Atlanta and work throughout the state. Structurally, we are comprised of two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, and the ACLU Foundation of Georgia. Both are statewide organizations with the same overall mission that share office space and employees.

Asian American Legal Advocacy Center, Inc.

The Asian American Legal Advocacy Center, Inc. (AALAC) of Georgia is the first non-profit law center focused on Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Asian-ethnic refugees (“Asian Americans”) in the Southeast. AALAC was formed in the spring of 2010 in response to Asian Americans wanting a stronger voice and presence in the state’s civic, social and political power structures.

Atlanta Bar Foundation

The Atlanta Bar Foundation, as the charitable arm of the Atlanta Bar Association, supports Atlanta Bar charitable projects that promote equal access to justice, assistance to youth and public understanding of the law. The Atlanta Bar Foundation also maintains an annual grant program to support Atlanta-area pro bono legal service providers serving low-income citizens in Atlanta.

Since its inception in 1985, the Atlanta Bar Foundation has distributed more than $1.4 million to fund Atlanta Bar Association community service projects and other law-related programs in the Atlanta area.

Atlanta Bar Lawyer Referral & Information Service

The Atlanta Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) program has served the public since 1955. In 2011 the LRIS referred over 12,000 citizens to qualified attorneys who reflect legal professionalism, integrity and a commitment to service.

Since the inception of the percentage fee program in September, 2004, LRIS attorneys’ have generated over $2,000,000 in fees, closed over 1,200 cases, and have consulted with thousands of Atlanta citizens.

Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc.

Begun in 1924 by 17 prominent local attorneys, Atlanta Legal Aid Society is the primary provider of legal services to lowincome people in Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Clayton and Cobb counties, and the largest provider in the state. Last year, attorneys and casehandlers accepted nearly 25,000 cases. In addition to a general civil practice, Atlanta Legal Aid has nearly a dozen special projects to serve vulnerable populations, including two statewide projects – the Georgia Senior Legal Hotline and the Health Law Partnership- and projects aiding people with terminal illness, people victimized by predatory lenders, and people with disabilities.

Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF)

AVLF coordinates the provision of free civil legal services to the poor of Atlanta through volunteer attorneys. Pro bono attorneys recruited, trained and supervised by AVLF serve as Guardians ad Litem in child custody disputes, help tenants facing imminent eviction from their homes, protect victims of intimate partner violence, provide probate advice to people who have suffered the death of a loved one, assist individuals with consumer or wage claims and aid those in need of an advance directive.

Atlanta’s Table, Atlanta Community Food Bank

The Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) began operating in 1979 in a small space at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and now distributes over 35 million pounds of food and grocery products each year from a 129,600 square-foot facility in
N. W. Atlanta. This product is utilized by more than 700 partner nonprofits that provide food assistance to families and individuals in 38 counties in metro Atlanta and North Georgia.ACFB leads seven distinct projects that reinforce its mission to fight hunger by engaging, educating and empowering our community: Atlanta Prosperity Campaign, Atlanta’s Table, Community Gardens, Hunger 101, Hunger Walk/Run, Kids In Need and Product Rescue Center.

The Atlanta Community Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the national network of more than 200 food banks.For more information on the Food Bank, visit www.ACFB.org .

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Atlanta

Catholic Charities Atlanta is an advocate and friend for individuals and families facing adversity. We provide a holistic combination of accredited social services that remove barriers to self-sufficiency and wholeness. Our services are tailored for the unique circumstances of the people we serve, and our impact is real and measurable. We are faith-based and serve our neighbors professionally, compassionately, in multiple languages and regardless of background.

Everybody Wins!

Everybody Wins! Atlanta is devoted to promoting literacy and improving the reading skills of children in low-income public elementary schools. Its primary initiative, Power Lunch, pairs volunteers from local businesses and community groups with students who are behind in their reading development.
The lunchtime one–on-one read aloud program has proven results in improving the academic performance, progressing early literacy skills and enhancing the self-esteem of student participants. Visit www.everybodywinsatlanta.org or call 404- 943-0404 to learn more.

Georgia Advocacy Office

Georgia Advocacy Office, Inc. (GAO) is a private non-profit corporation. Our mission is to work with and for oppressed and vulnerable individuals in Georgia who are labeled As disabled or mentally ill to secure their protection and advocacy. GAO’s work is mandated by Congress, and GAO has been designated by Georgia as the agency to implement protection and advocacy within the state.

Georgia Appleseed

Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice joined the national Appleseed network of non-profit, non-partisan, public interest law centers in November, 2005 and on July 1, 2007, became an independent affiliate. Georgia Appleseed connects top private practice lawyers, corporate counsel, law schools, civic leaders, and other professionals throughout Georgia to tackle difficult social problems at their root causes.

Georgia Asylum & Immigration Network

Our purpose is to provide quality pro bono legal representation to asylum seekers and immigrant victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes through direct representation and pro bono referrals.

Georgia Election Protection Coalition

We are the Election Protection Legal Committee for the Georgia Election Protection Coalition – a local presence for the National Election Protection Coalition led by the Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law. The Lawyers’ Committee is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization formed at the request of President John F. Kennedy. The Legal Committee focuses on helping to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to cast a ballot and have their vote counted.

Georgia Innocence Project (GIP)

GIP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit. The Project works to secure post-conviction DNA testing for Georgia inmates where DNA analysis could prove guilt or innocence, and adequate DNA testing was not available at trial.

Georgia Justice Project (GJP)

GJP breaks the cycle of poverty by defending the indigent criminally accused and, win or lose, standing with them as they rebuild their lives.With over 25 years of experience, GJP has developed a comprehensive suite of services, coupling holistic legal defense and social services with advocacy support, to address the barriers to economic stability faced by the criminally accused.

Georgia Law Center for the Homeless

The Georgia Law Center for the Homeless provides representation for homeless people in administrative and judicial proceedings of a civil nature, with attorneys and paralegals. The Law Center performs significant community outreach to make its services available by visiting homeless shelters, transitional housing, and community kitchens on a regular basis.

The Law Center’s mission is to provide free, quality civil legal services to homeless people and to play a leadership role in addressing the issues underlying homelessness.

Georgia Lawyers for the Arts

Georgia Lawyers for the Arts (GLA) is a nonprofit organization that provides legal assistance and educational programming to artists and arts organizations in Georgia.

GLA, through our full schedule of educational seminars and classes, our resource library, and our network of over 500 volunteer and member attorneys, provides legal assistance to musicians, songwriters, photographers, filmmakers, painters, poets, graphic designers, actors, theatre companies, dance troupes, museums and artists from many other disciplines.

Georgia Legal Services Program, Inc.

Georgia Legal Services provides access to justice and opportunities out of poverty for needy clients who live outside metro Atlanta and who have high-stakes civil legal problems. Our clients are experiencing domestic violence, facing eviction or foreclosure, being denied benefits such as unemployment and health care coverage, being kicked out of school. GLS attorneys and paralegals, along with volunteer attorneys, solve these problems and change lives.GLS volunteer attorneys find that this work helps them in their practice while they make a real difference for a family.

Georgia Public Defender Standards Council’s Pro Bono Appellate Project

The Georgia Public Defender Standards Council is an independent agency within the executive branch of the state government of Georgia. Our mission is to ensure, independently of political considerations or private interests, that each client whose cause has been entrusted to a circuit public defender receives zealous, adequate, effective, timely, and ethical legal representation, consistent with the guarantees of the Constitution of the State of Georgia, the Constitution of the United States and the mandates of the Georgia Indigent Defense Act of 2003; to provide all such legal services in a cost efficient manner; and to conduct that representation in such a way that the criminal justice system operates effectively to achieve justice. Our website is www.gpdsc.org.

GreenLaw

When Georgia’s environmental organizations need a lawyer to stop illegal pollution that endangers our water and air – they turn to GreenLaw for high quality legal assistance that would otherwise be cost prohibitive. While polluters hire private law firms that charge upwards of $500 an hour, nonprofit organizations cannot afford to hire their own attorneys. GreenLaw provides those services free of charge.GreenLaw has literally provided Georgia’s environmental community with millions of dollars worth of legal services For free - and with those services, GreenLaw has prevented millions upon millions of tons of pollutants from entering our air and water.

GSU College of Law Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic

“The Philip C. Cook Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic is a nationally recognized component of Georgia State University College of Law’s lawyer skills training program. The Clinic was founded in 1992 to address the need to provide legal representation to underserved taxpayers throughout Georgia and to provide practical legal training to law students.

The Clinic’s student-attorneys provide representation before the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Tax Court in Federal Income Tax controversy matters to approximately 300 clients at any one time. Since its founding, it has represented approximately 3500 clients.

The Clinic receives referrals from Atlanta Legal Aid, numerous social service organizations, and practitioners. Anyone interested in learning more about the Clinic can visit the Clinic’s website, GSULITC.org, and referrals should be directed to the Clinic at 404-413-9230.”

Health Law Partnership

The Health Law Partnership (HeLP) is an interdisciplinary community collaboration among the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Georgia State University College of Law to improve the health of low-income children and their families.

By combining the healthcare expertise of hospital professionals with the legal expertise of attorneys, HeLP provides a coordinated and integrated set of services to address the multiple determinants of children’s health. HeLP is also an educational project that promotes interdisciplinary teaching and learning. HeLP seeks to improve the public’s health by fostering knowledge, understanding, and a cooperative spirit between the healthcare and legal professions.

Lambda Legal

Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving the full civil rights of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, and people living with HIV/AIDS through impact litigation, education, and public policy work. We have brought historic cases such as Lawrence v. Texas (U.S. Supreme Court strikes down sodomy laws), Calhoun v. Pennington (raid of Atlanta Eagle bar), and Glenn v. Brumby (Eleventh Circuit rules that transitioning employee suffered sex discrimination). For more information, see: www.lambdalegal.org.

Latin American Association

The Latin American Association’s (LAA)mission is to help Latino individuals and families achieve their aspirations for academic, social and economic advancement.

Established in 1972, the LAA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves more than 50,000 individuals annually. Our goal is to help Latinos achieve self-sufficiency, put down roots, build a better life for themselves and their families, and contribute to strong, thriving communities.

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta provides pro bono opportunities to transactional lawyers at corporations and law firms by matching them with eligible nonprofits seeking free legal assistance. Typical projects include reviewing contracts and leases, drafting board policies, registering trademarks and advising on employment laws. For more information, visit www.pbpatl.org or email info@pbpatl.org.

Contact Info for Attorneys Interested in Volunteering Rachel Spears, 404-407-5059, Rachel.Spears@pbpatl.org

Southern Center for Human Rights

The Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) provides legal representation to people facing the death penalty, challenges human rights violations in prisons and jails, litigates to improve legal representation for poor people accused of crimes, and advocates for criminal justice reform on behalf of those affected by the system in Georgia. SCHR’s innovative and bold litigation is complemented by strategic policy reform that educates lawmakers, the courts, and the public about the deep-rooted problems in the criminal justice system.

Southern Poverty Law Center, Immigrant Justice Project

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.

Founded by civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin Jr. In 1971, the SPLC is internationally known for tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups. Our innovative Teaching Tolerance program produces and distributes – free of charge – documentary films, books, lesson plans and other materials that promote tolerance and respect in our nation’s schools.

We are based in Montgomery, Ala., the birthplace of the modern civil rights movement, and have offices in Atlanta, New Orleans, Miami, Fla., and Jackson, Miss.

State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project

Co-sponsored by the Georgia Legal Services Program and the Georgia State Bar, the Pro Bono Project is headquartered at the Bar and involves private attorneys in representation of the poor in civil matters. The Project also provides information to lawyers on what programs are available when they want to volunteer. The Project gives technical assistance to local bar associations when they want to develop or revise a pro bono program.

Equal justice under the law is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society. It is fundamental that justice should be The same, in substance and availability without regard to economic status. -Lewis Powell Jr. Justice, U.S. Supreme Court”

State Bar Veterans Project

The State Bar of Georgia Military Legal Assistance Program addresses the legal needs of veterans and service members.The Military Legal Assistance Program promotes pro bono and other opportunities for Georgia lawyers to connect with veterans and service members, produces specialized training and other support for lawyers, and connects Georgia lawyers with veterans and service members who have legal problems.

Truancy Intervention Project

Caring intervention in the life of a child can be life changing.The objective of the Truancy Intervention Project (“TIP”) is to provide early, positive intervention with children reported to the Juvenile Court as truants from the Atlanta Public and Fulton County school systems.

In order to meet this goal, TIP pairs truant children with volunteer attorneys and non-attorneys to provide direct legal representation at the adjudication and disposition proceedings in Juvenile Court, and to bring together a myriad of social and community resources to help the truant and his or her family.

Operating in Fulton County since 1992, TIP provides advocacy and other resources to children and their families to prevent school failure.

Join TIP on Thursday, October 25 from 8:00-1:00 for a CLE seminar (4 hours) and learn more. Contact Adrian Wright at (404) 613-4742 or awright@truancyproject.org for registration information.”

Read the full article at http://www.bluetoad.com/article/Celebrating+Service+Awards/1200243/129119/article.html.

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