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Savannah Regional Office, Georgia Legal Services Program®

GLSP enlists the support both of retired attorneys and of those new to the practice to give of their time and talents in pursuit of justice for all.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I hear a lot about the need for volunteer attorneys. Tell me why I'm needed.

We need you to help us beat the odds. There are over a million poor people in Georgia who cannot afford a lawyer. A Georgia study shows that 40% of poor households will have a new legal need each year. Many of these people will have civil legal needs pertaining to healthcare, affordable housing, or loss of income. GLSP has only 80 staff attorneys spread out over 154 counties to meet the overwhelming demand for legal help outside metro Atlanta, and while they close an almost 16,000 cases annually, they only meet about 20% of the legal needs of poor Georgians. And most lawyers-- 75% to be exact -- work in metro Atlanta where only about 25% of the poor live.

  • I already do some pro bono work for clients from time to time, but I hear about pro bono programs. Should I join a program to do my pro bono service?

The pro bono programs you mention are those run by Georgia Legal Services-- and, yes, please join our structured, coordinated pro bono program! Our pro bono program follows the ABA Standards for Pro Bono and is designed to identify the most critical legal needs of the poor in your area so you know your contribution has meaning. By joining our program, you can strengthen the force of our larger organized pro bono community and help clients not just with a case, but to move out of poverty.

  • What help can I expect from your program?

GLSP does many things to assist you. We are there to help you help the client. GLSP has experienced pro bono coordinators in each of its offices around the state who are available to help you work with the client. The coordinator can help you communicate with the client, talk to you about any case support needs you may have and link you up with GLSP attorneys who can offer you advice or practice pointers. The coordinator also follows the progress of the case and can provide you with sample pleadings and case materials as well as information on help with paying costs and expenses of the case.

  • Will I have to travel all over the state on GLSP cases?

You choose the counties or circuits in which you'd like to handle cases.

  • What if I do not handle criminal cases?

GLSP represents clients in civil matters only. You will not be asked to handle criminal cases.

  • Will volunteering with GLSP take a lot of my time?

Our volunteers tell us that the time factors of taking on a pro bono case are minimal compared to the rewards. We respect your valuable time, so we screen clients for low-income eligibility and the merits of the case. We offer appropriate resource material and attorneys in various specialty areas to help with cases and training.

  • What if a case that I'm assigned becomes more than I can handle?

GLSP steps in as co-counsel or helps identify other ways to move the case along.

  • What about out-of-pocket expenses?

GLSP will cover out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, discovery costs, and similar items. We may ask you for an estimate of expenses before the case gets underway.

  • Will I be assigned cases in areas of the law outside of my specialty?

You can request cases in your practice area. We provide you with a menu of case types from which we ask you to make a selection. We may ask you to consider a case outside your practice area.

If so, we will provide assistance, training, materials and support to ensure that you are prepared to represent your pro bono client. Some volunteers have found that doing something new is very refreshing.

  • Will my malpractice insurance cover pro bono cases that I take on with GLSP?

GLSP provides malpractice insurance protection for each case that is referred to volunteer lawyers.

  • Does the Bar recognize pro bono service?

Each year at its Annual Meeting, the State Bar formally honors an outstanding volunteer lawyer, and many local bar associations provide recognition ceremonies for local volunteers. Also, pro bono lawyers are listed annually in the Georgia Bar Journal.

  • What if I cannot volunteer with GLSP, but would like to support the program?

You can make a monetary contribution to the "And Justice for All" State Bar Campaign for GLSP or the Georgia Legal Services Foundation (an endowment fund established in 1996). You can make a donation of in-kind services. And, you can participate on a panel or other public forum in discussions on relevant pro bono issues. To learn more about the giving opportunities, contact GLSP's development department at 404-463-1611.

Visit our web site at: www.GLSP.org then double-click on "GLSP Special Projects and Practice Areas." Or, contact Mike Monahan, Project Director, Pro Bono Project of the State Bar of Georgia, 404-527-8762, or mikem@gabar.org.

  • Counties of Volunteer Opportunity: Bryan, Bulloch, Candler, Chatham, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Liberty, Long, Tattnall, Toombs
  • Area of law: Community Development, Consumer, Debt/Credit/Bankruptcy, Education, Elder Law, Employment, Family & Juvenile, Foreclosure, Health, HIV/AIDS, Homeless, Housing, Life Planning, Nonprofit Organizations, Public Benefits, Veterans, Probate, Wills, Real Property
  • Populations Served: Children, Communities of Color, Domestic Violence Victims, Elderly, Low Income, Military/Veterans, Nonprofits, Persons with Disabilities, Working poor and unemployed
  • Opportunities For: Law Students, Lawyers, Mentors, Nonlitigation Projects, Senior Lawyers
  • Need for non-English services: Spanish
  • Hours for Pro Bono Opportunities: Flexible
  • Does the organization provide malpractice insurance for volunteers? Yes
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Training Required: No
  • CLE credit for trainings: Yes
  • CLE credit for pro bono: Yes
  • Mentoring or supervision offered: No
  • Volunteer lawyers need to meet a caseload or hours requirement: No
  • Types of projects in need of Pro Bono help: Client intake and screening, Client counseling (e.g., brief advice), Draft legal documents (e.g., briefs), Litigation: Impact, Litigation: Trial/Direct Representation, Litigation: Support (e.g., discovery), Mentor volunteer lawyers or law students, Prepare legal education materials, Legal Research, Transactional work
  • Volunteers may participate long-distance: No
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