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AJMLS Students Contribute to Online Access to Justice in Georgia

Posted on: September 26th, 2012

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Four students at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School have created educational videos covering several areas of the law for low-income Georgians.  The videos, all found online now at GeorgiaLegalAid.org, cover domestic violence, consumer law, Social Security and unemployment insurance law.

Greg Gelpi, a third-year law student at John Marshall coordinated the effort after meeting with the State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project director, Mike Monahan. “Law students are looking for ways to learn and to contribute their time and talents.  Technology is such a part of our generation that we thought one good way to offer pro bono services as law students would be to help create web content to improve access to justice,” says Gelpi.

John Marshall students Sharee Malcolm, Heather Miller, Maria Keller and Jacqueline Givens developed legal education videos based on legal information brochures from Georgia Legal Services Program.  Videos entitled Breaking Free from Domestic Violence, What You Need to Know about Garnishments and Bankruptcies, Unemployment Insurance Benefits- Common Questions, and  Spanish and English versions of Overpayments and Collections- Social Security and SSI Benefits were created by the four students over the past few months.

“Many web users prefer audio or video over text.  People learn in different ways,” adds Mike Monahan, Director of the State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project and co-manager of GeorgiaLegalAid.org . “Once we get low-income clients on the web reading and listening, we can move them to take action on their legal problem or help them avoid a problem altogether.  We can also direct them on the website to legal aid programs or to local bar associations in their community to get legal assistance.”

Renata Turner, Associate Professor and Director of Pro Bono Outreach and Externships at John Marshall Law School notes, “We are honored and proud to be a part of this project. Our students had fun, learned about discrete areas of the law, and created a practical tool to improve access to justice for low-income citizens- all the goals of our pro bono  program.”

“This is just the beginning,” Gelpi said. “Our goal is to create a comprehensive video library in multiple languages to serve as a jumping-off point for those in need of legal assistance.”

For more information on these programs visit Pro Bono Project or the Georgia Legal Services Program. AJMLS would also like to extend our appreciation to Mike Mohahan for highlighting the accomplishments of our students.