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Resources Available for Survivors and Advocates Highlighted during Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Friday, October 01, 2010

  • By: Mike Monahan
  • Organization: State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project
  • Source: Georgia

Georgia Legal Portals Feature Legal Aid Referrals, Information, Self-help Tools, and Pro Bono Attorney Resources

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Free online resources are available for domestic violence survivors and advocates at LegalAid-GA.org and GeorgiaAdvocates.org.  These websites are part of the national LawHelp.org network of nonprofit legal information and volunteer lawyer support portals

Resources accessible from LegalAid-GA.org include easy-to-understand information about what constitutes domestic violence; orders of protection; issues around housing rights, public benefits and child custody and support; and the needs of special populations such as immigrants. LegalAid-GA.org also provides referrals to local legal aid organizations that can help. Many of these resources are available in languages other than English.

LegalAid-GA.org is Georgia’s online source of free legal aid referrals, know-your-rights information and a variety of self-help tools. LegalAid-GA.org is maintained by the Atlanta Legal Aid Society and Georgia Legal Services Program, in conjunction with Pro Bono Net, a nonprofit leader in increasing access to justice for the disadvantaged.

Additional resources are available for advocates at GeorgiaAdvocates.org, Georgia’s statewide volunteer lawyer and public interest lawyer support website. The “Georgia Online Justice Community” practice area of GeorgiaAdvocates.org contains outlines, model pleadings and other resources to help lawyers assist low-income Georgians with legal problems in an efficient, cost-effective manner.

GeogiaAdvocates.org also features LiveHelp, a real-time, online chat service that helps guide visitors to the information they need. Through links to LawHelp Interactive, a free, online system for completing legal forms, GeorgiaAdvocates.org allows advocates to quickly and easily find and fill out needed documents, for example, a court form to obtain an order of protection.

“Victims of domestic violence face unique and daunting challenges in finding ways to safely obtain desperately needed help,” said Liz Keith, LawHelp Program Manager at Pro Bono Net. “LawHelp can easily be accessed from anywhere, for example a public library, to find potentially life-saving referrals, information about your rights and, increasingly, online forms and other tools for self-help.”

“LegalAid-GA.org and GeorgiaAdvocates.org are lawyer-designed and lawyer-supervised websites. Unlike so many online resources, our client education materials and our lawyer-focused resources are free and specific to Georgia,” says Mike Monahan, the Director of the State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project. “Survivors of family violence who need a legal aid lawyer-- or any lawyer of their choosing-- can use LegalAid-GA.org to understand their problem and take the next steps to escape the violence.”


About the Pro Bono Project
Co-sponsored by the State Bar of Georgia and Georgia Legal Services Program, the Pro Bono Project is headquartered at the Bar and involves private attorneys in representation of the poor in civil matters. The Project develops technology and web tools to support the delivery of pro bono and civil legal aid services.

About Pro Bono Net
Pro Bono Net is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to justice through innovative uses of technology and increased volunteer lawyer participation. Pro Bono Net uses innovative web-based platforms—www.probono.net, www.lawhelp.org and www.lawhelpinteractive.org —to recruit and support volunteer lawyers and provide direct information and tools for self representation to low-income communities. Pro Bono Net has also developed Pro Bono Manager, pro bono practice management software that helps AmLaw 200 law firms increase pro bono participation, manage pro bono caseloads more efficiently and raise internal and external awareness of pro bono efforts. For more information, please visit www.probono.net.
 

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