Joining the ranks of Georgia Legal Services is Skadden Fellow Veronica Allen, a Duke University law school student, who will provide critical legal assistance to many of the students who are failing in Central Georgia’s public school system.
Allen will focus on at-risk students whose unmet civil legal needs may be affecting their academic performance, such as students who are facing discipline proceedings, students who have special needs not being met, and students from financially unstable homes. Allen will join GLSP in September 2010 for a two-year Skadden Fellowship.
“Over 35% of children live in poverty in Central Georgia and fewer than 60% of students graduate from high school,” said Phyllis Holmen, executive director of Georgia Legal Services. “We will expand access to civil legal services for at-risk students in Central Georgia, many of whom could very easily become victims of the school to prison pipeline, if they are not helped.”
“These students may have unmet civil legal needs that could be adversely affecting their academic performance,” said Allen. “I hope that my work with Georgia Legal Services will eventually provide greater access to needed legal services for students in Central Georgia who experience disproportionate limitations on their potential for success.”
“We’re trying to keep kids out of juvenile court,” said Lisa Krisher, litigation director of Georgia Legal Services. “Our experience indicates that many low-income parents in poor, rural communities have few resources to help them guide their children successfully through school. Access to free legal representation to enforce rights guaranteed under federal laws is paramount for these parents and their children. Our work prevents many at-risk students from falling through the cracks and into the juvenile justice system.”
Skadden Fellowships are awarded for two years by the Skadden Fellowship Foundation through a competitive application process. The aim of the Foundation is to give Fellows the freedom to pursue public interest work; thus, the Fellows create their own projects at public interest organizations. The Foundation provides each Fellow with a salary and pays all fringe benefits to which an employee of the sponsoring organization would be entitled.
Contributed by GLSP.org