Two recent CLE programs have generated about 130 new volunteer attorneys in Georgia.
In late spring, the Administrative Office of the Courts called some of us pro bono types together to conjure up a CLE program aimed at readying lawyers to serve low-income senior citizens with critical legal issues. We drafted a legal training program covering fair debt collection practices, garnishments of social security benefits, grandparent adoptions, and wills, advance directives and powers of attorney.
The need for the day-long training sprouted out of the release of last year’s statewide legal needs study that identified senior legal issues as unmet legal needs.
With the wonderful support of ICLE in Georgia, we were able to stage the CLE program in a relatively short time frame. We settled on two locations in Georgia- Ellijay and Macon– in an attempt to reach out to small city and rural lawyers. Both locations were also convenient for metro-Atlanta lawyers.
We invited lawyers to sign up for the training– and we arranged to provide the training for free- well, almost free. In exchange for the 5 or 6 hours of CLE credit, we asked the lawyers to sign up to take two pro bono cases over the next year.
Both CLE programs were well-attended and well-received. We had capped registration in both locations, but ended up allowing in more attendees than we had anticipated.
We now have over 130 new volunteer lawyers who will each help two senior citizens with a critical legal need over the coming year.
The CLE attendees can access additional training materials and support on our statewide volunteer lawyer support website, GeorgiaAdvocates.org.