APRIL 2020
COVID-19 Volunteer Update
We are happy to have had an influx of volunteers reaching out to see how they can help during this time of crisis. In partnership with Georgia Legal Services Program, we are working on remote CLE trainings to be scheduled soon on the big topics facing our clients due to COVID-19, including public benefits issues, estate planning needs, and unemployment insurance specifically, along with others. We will release the training dates and sign up information as soon as we have it.

In the meantime, we would love to hear from any attorneys, paralegals, or law students interested in volunteering their time, particularly if they are interested in the following projects:

  • The Unemployment Benefits Project - This is an existing Legal Aid project which we are reinvigorating during this time of increased need. Clients are instructed on how to apply for unemployment benefits themselves. If the client gets denied and appeals the decision, that's when our pro bono attorneys get involved to represent clients over telephone hearings. This project is fairly limited in scope and training for lawyers who are unfamiliar with the process is simple and straightforward. 
  • Public Benefits Check-Ups - We anticipate that many clients who qualify for increased benefits (food stamps, unemployment, etc.) during this time may not know that they are qualified. With that in mind, we will need volunteers to proactively call our clients to make sure they are familiar with the changes and are able to apply for what they need. 
  • The Bankruptcy Project - Volunteers through this project will either represent clients in Chapter 7 bankruptcies, provide background expertise for Legal Aid staff who are taking on these cases, or provide brief advice over the phone to volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering, please reach out to us at  volunteers@atlantalegalaid.org .

To learn more about how Atlanta Legal Aid is responding to the COVID-19 crisis, please visit: atlantalegalaid.org/our-response-to-covid-19/
The legal community has really shown up during this time of crisis for our clients. Your support has been invaluable as we pivot our operations to work remotely. To everyone who has reached out, taken a case, or offered support during this time, THANK YOU! We are so grateful to have you as part of our community.
Meet Our New Pro Bono Staff Attorney
A graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law, Lori Anderson has been practicing law since 2010 at the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. Lori began her legal career at Atlanta Legal Aid's Southside office in East Point, Georgia, as a general practitioner, focusing primarily on landlord/tenant cases, public benefits denials and appeals, and temporary protective order cases. Lori moved to the Fulton County Family Law Unit of Atlanta Legal Aid in 2014, where she specialized in representing survivors of domestic violence in family law cases such as divorce, child custody, child support, protective orders, and appeals. In March of 2020, Lori moved to the Pro Bono Unit of Atlanta Legal Aid, where she serves as the staff attorney.
The Family Law Information Clinic Proceeds Remotely
The Fulton County Family Law Information Center (FLIC) continues to receive calls from pro se litigants in need every single day. Thank you to the following volunteers who have agreed to help with free phone consultations through FLIC. By handling these consultations, they helped ensure that our staff resources remain focused on regular client services, as well as the mounting need for emergency assistance with access to food, shelter, and income.
Laura Sclafani
Liz Raskin
Sheri Lake
Erik Chambers
Kimberly Blackwell
Victoria Brunner
Annie Mulligan
Jennifer DeLoach 
Terri Herron
Nancy Ghertner
Joy Edwards
Steven Jacob
Christine Stadler
Amadu Wiltshire
Elena Sanchez Curtis
Elaine Mundwiller
Caitlyn Herndon
Dan Palumbo
Melody Swilling
Dennis Collard
Your Interests, Your Schedule, Your Work, For Good.
Find volunteer opportunities and help us make a difference in the lives of our clients.

Find training, clinics, and other volunteer opportunities using our calendar tool.

Find cases that fit your interests and schedule by using our convenient filters. Filter by subject, time commitment, location, experience and more!
Volunteer Attorney Prevents Homelessness in Time of Crisis
At the start of this crisis in Georgia, a 69 year old senior Ms. Hunter*, who had lived in extended stay for five years, called the Senior Legal Hotline and left a voicemail message. Volunteer Randy Beebe received the voicemail shortly after and learned that Ms. Hunter had received a notice to vacate a week ago but was calling to ask for help since she had to be out by 11AM that day. Recognizing the urgency of the call, Randy passed the message along to paralegal Alisha Brown, who immediately did an intake and placed the case with another volunteer attorney, Marqus Cole. Despite having two toddlers in tow at home, Marqus called the extended stay hotel and was able to get the client’s stay extended for a few weeks, giving her time to work out a more permanent solution. 

This quick teamwork prevented homelessness for an especially vulnerable person during this time of crisis. Great work, team!

*Name changed to protect client confidentiality
What Does Home Mean to You?
Having a safe home is perhaps more important right now than ever before. Before this pandemic, many of us took having a safe home for granted. Home was where we laid our heads after a long day of work and where we relaxed with friends on the weekends. But as our world has rapidly changed and we are forced inwards, we realize how our homes have been safe havens all along. 

So we want to know: What does home mean to you? Take a selfie or a picture of your home (could include your family, your pets, your couch, etc. -- the possibilities are endless!) and share it on your social media accounts with the answer to the prompt, “What does home mean to you?” Tag u s (@ Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc. on Facebook or @atlantalegalaid on Instagram) and use #KeepPeopleHoused to show your support for Atlanta Legal Aid. 

Then, if you're able, make a donation to our upcoming Giving Tuesday campaign https://www.gagives.org/story/Keeppeoplehoused to support our housing initiatives in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Help us spread the word about this campaign by telling people in your post why you give and why you want to #KeepPeopleHoused.

If you're interested in further ways to get involved with this campaign, reach out to us at sconlan@atlantalegalaid.org
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