The Atlanta Lawyer March 2015 - Page 5

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE The money raised from the Atlanta Bar Association Bard Show (May 1 & 2, 2015), the Atlanta Bar Foundation Law Jam: Battle of the Atlanta Lawyer Bands (June 27, 2015), and a portion of the Lawyer Referral fees to the Atlanta Bar are donated to various pro bono organizations who apply for grants. In late 2014, approximately $110,000 was donated to local pro bono organizations from these Atlanta Bar groups. All of the Atlanta Bar Association’s twenty-two (22) Sections participate or support at least one type of pro bono activity, including profession improvement activities. They also financially support pro bono organizations and Pro Bono March Madness. Following are some Pro Bono section activities, which provide legal work to the less fortunate on a volunteer basis: The Bankruptcy Section has three main pro bono programs as described by Section Chair Nancy Whaley: 1. The Reaffirmation Project: Lawyers provide assistance to Pro Se Debtors in Chapter 7. 2. LICAP (Low Income Creditors Assistance Project) “The goal of LICAP is to provide low income judgment creditors with free legal assistance in bankruptcy cases. These creditors … are pursuing or have obtained judgments against employers and landlords….” 3. Adversary Proceeding Pro Bono Project. “This program provides a pro bono lawyer to a pro se debtor in bankruptcy with a pending adversary.” The Estate Planning and Probate Section provides lawyers to the Probate Information Center (PIC) in the Probate Courts of Fulton and DeKalb Counties. At least once a month the attorneys answer questions or provide help filing documents with the probate courts. The Litigation Section supports the Truancy Intervention Project (TIP) by promoting TIP and its training sessions with their membership. TIP trained attorneys serve as lawyers and Guardians ad Litem for the chronically absent children. The Criminal Law Section also supports TIP. The Official News Publication of the Atlanta Bar Association The Real Estate Section provides advice for landlords in cases involving rental disputes in Fulton County State Court. The Women in Profession Section “co-hosts a pro bono partnership assisting low income cancer patients with their legal needs” as noted on the Bar website. 4 The Intellectual Property Section (IP) is one of the groups that helped cofound and will support the new Georgia PATENT Program. The PATENT program “will be administered through Georgia Lawyers for the Arts (GLA) which will screen and refer the inventors to patent lawyers with the appropriate expertise to assist with the filing of a patent application,” according to Chris Lightner, Past IP Chair. Referrals will also be made by firms and Atlanta and Georgia IP sections. You can find more information on most of these opportunities and how to get involved at atlantabar.org, by calling the Atlanta Bar Association at (404) 521-0781 or by calling the Lawyer Referral and Information Service at (404) 521-0777. I appreciate the research assistance provided by Michelle Tanen, 3L, The Saylor La