MORE PEOPLE FORGO LAWYERS, REPRESENT THEMSELVES – COURTS CONCERNED ABOUT TREND
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
- Organization: Atlanta Journal Constitution
"Atlanta Legal Aid’s executive director, Steve Gottlieb, said uncontested divorces often can be handled by individuals without a lawyer. But he would not advise handling a divorce or child custody dispute if it is contentious or it involves a complicated division of property. Foreclosures also are an area where people can quickly get in over their heads. Without a lawyer’s help, a resident easily can lose his home or become a victim of a scam, Gottlieb said.
The Atlanta Legal Aid Society serves Cobb, Clayton, DeKalb, Gwinnett and Fulton counties. Last year, the organization handled 24,636 cases. However, because of the organization’s limited resources, about half of the people who ask for assistance are turned away, Gottlieb said.
If somebody is able to handle a case himself or herself, Legal Aid lawyers may provide this person with needed forms or give him or her a brief legal consultation instead of agreeing to represent. They also provide referrals to the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, another organization that does pro bono work for low-income people."
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