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PATRISE M. PERKINS-HOOKER: Georgia Leagal Services earns national award

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The Legal Services Program provides service to those outside Atlanta who canot afford a lawyer

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

On behalf of the State Bar of Georgia, I would like to offer congratulations to the Georgia Legal Services Program (GLSP) for receiving the 2014 Hodson Award, presented by the American Bar Association for outstanding work in the government and public sector.

Through its local offices for the Albany/Valdosta area and other regions across the state, GLSP provides civil legal services for Georgians outside metro Atlanta who cannot afford to hire an attorney. GLSP earned national recognition for implementing innovative strategies to meet recession-driven legal needs in the face of a 20 percent cut in its budget. During the economic downturn in recent years, Georgia had the nation’s third largest increase in poverty population.

GLSP established a toll-free benefits hotline with funding from the National Council on Aging, helping needy seniors to obtain food stamps, ending the routine delays they had been encountering. GLSP also developed a domestic violence project for underserved clients in rural areas, provided bilingual advocacy on behalf of farm workers and works with Georgia Appleseed and the Southern Center for Human Rights to address racial inequality in education for low-income Georgians.

We applaud the officers, management and staff of GLSP at the local and state levels on earning this prestigious national award and for their everyday efforts on behalf of those in need, which in turn inspires all Georgia lawyers to meet our duty to serve others and help uphold the constitutional promise of justice for all.

PATRISE PERKINS-HOOKER

Atlanta

EDITOR’S NOTE: Patrise Perkins-Hooker is president of the State Bar of Georgia.