Last updated: September 27, 2013
The legal world can be a confusing place, so enlisting the aid of a trained professional is usually in your best interest. Unfortunately, many people cannot afford legal representation. If you are one of them, Legal Aid is a fantastic way to even the odds in your favor. Legal Aid groups in Atlanta specialize in representing low-income individuals and people in particularly vulnerable positions, such as recent immigrants or battered women.
The keys to selecting a quality Legal Aid lawyer are to contact a group that specializes in your particular legal issue and to feel comfortable speaking earnestly with the person who will be representing your interests. To make your search easier, we have compiled a list of Legal Aid groups in Atlanta and sorted them by specialty.
Note: The Legal Aid Society is dedicated to representing poor individuals in civil matters. They have a large network of specialized lawyers and cover a wide variety of practice areas. If you are divided as to which Legal Aid group to ask for assistance, you really cannot go wrong with speaking to the Atlanta Legal Aid Society.
Note: The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation provides civil legal representation to low-income Georgians on civil matters primarily through the use of volunteer lawyers.
Note: The DeKalb Lawyers Foundation provides, through volunteer lawyers, legal services to low-income residents of DeKalb County. They handle civil matters such as domestic relations, landlord-tenant, general litigation, wills and trusts, real property, social security, bankruptcy, debtor-creditor, nonprofit corporation, foreclosure, fraud, guardian ad litem, juvenile law and employment.
Note: Legal Aid of Cobb County is a branch of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. They provide free civil (non-criminal) legal services to very low-income people living in Cobb County.
Note: The Georgia Law Center for the Homeless provides representation for the homeless throughout Georgia in civil cases and administrative proceedings. They handle a wide variety of civil issues such as landlord tenant cases, consumer cases, zoning conflicts, child deprivation, foster care issues, wage claims, employment related issues and domestic violence protective orders.
Note: The Georgia Lawyers for the Arts serves the legal needs of the artists and art organizations of Georgia. They give free legal advice to nonprofit arts organizations with budgets under $500,000 and conduct workshops on topical issues relating to the arts and the law including contracts and copyrights, taxes and record keeping and nonprofit incorporation.
Note: The Justice Center’s goal is to reduce the cost of lengthy legal battles, so they offer free mediation services. They mediate domestic problems involving family members, neighborhood disputes, landlord tenant disputes, claims over money and personal property, allegations involving misdemeanors, juvenile disputes, business related disputes, educational disputes, work place disputes, personal injury claims, disputes involving churches and congregations, public policy disputes and land use and zoning issues.
Note: The Southside Legal Center is a pro bono legal services program that provides legal services for family law, housing, real estate law, guardianships and business law matters to low-income individuals. They ask clients for a flat $50 rate, which is donated to charity.
Georgia Legal Services Program is a statewide non-profit law firm serving 154 rural counties in Georgia outside the five-county metropolitan Atlanta area. Individuals living in Atlanta are encouraged to contact the Atlanta Legal Aid Society instead. They do not handle criminal cases.
Note: The Farmworker Division of Georgia Legal Services Program handles civil cases that are related to a client's employment as a farmworker. Some of the problems they assist clients with are the recovery of unpaid wages, assistance with unsafe working conditions, unsanitary living conditions, unlawful evictions, problems from exposure to pesticides and discrimination claims.
Note: Associated with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, the Institute for Foreclosure Legal Assistance is dedicated to giving legal representation to families facing foreclosure and financial ruin because of abusive subprime mortgages.
Note: The Fulton County Family Law Information Center was designed by the Superior Court to provide individuals with accurate information and the necessary forms for self-representation in family law matters. As a government sponsored website and help desk, the information contained is highly reliable.
Note: The DeKalb County Family Law Information Center was created to serve as a resource center to assist individuals who want to represent themselves on family law matters. As a government sponsored website and help desk, the information contained is highly reliable.
Note: Clinic specializing in family law, such as child custody, marriage and divorce, child abuse, domestic violence and guardianship. The link above provides useful forms for various family law matters.
Note: Forever Family focuses on supporting children with an incarcerated parent as their parents, caregivers and extended families work to remain a family. This could be an excellent resource for incarcerated individuals with children.
Note: The Appalachian Family Law Information Center was developed to assist residents of Pickens, Gilmer and Fannin Counties who wish to represent themselves in domestic legal matters or educate themselves about domestic issues. They provide forms and legal information to people with family law disputes.
Note: The Georgia Innocence Project uses DNA testing to free those wrongly prosecuted. The Innocence Project is a useful resource for individuals who have already been convicted.
Note: The Georgia Justice Project provides legal services combined with social services and employment support for low-income individuals accused of a crime.
Note: The ACLU specializes in defending civil liberties such as privacy rights, immigrant’s rights, LGBT rights, prisoner’s rights, reproductive freedom, free speech issues and countering racial profiling.
Note: The Southern Center for Human Rights specializes in representing people of color, poor people, people with mental illnesses and other disadvantaged people facing the death penalty at trials, on appeal, and in post-conviction and clemency proceedings. The Center also challenges inhumane conditions of confinement and encourages the use of alternatives to incarceration to reduce prison overcrowding via media, advocacy, and civil rights litigation.
Note: TAPESTRI, Inc. is a coalition of ethnically diverse advocates working on issues of violence against women, primarily in immigrant and refugee communities. They use culturally sensitive methods to counter domestic violence, sexual assault and exploitation.
Note: The Women's Resource Center provides services to survivors of domestic violence and their children. They also host a 24 hour crisis hotline, provide confidential emergency shelter, peer support groups and legal advocacy.
Note: This religious organization also offers free legal services on limited matters, such as immigration rights, housing issues and foreclosure defense.
Note: Refugee Family Services is not a Legal Aid group per se, but instead supports the efforts of refugee and immigrant women and children to achieve self-sufficiency in the United States by providing education and economic opportunities.
Note: The Center for Pan-Asian Community Services promotes self-sufficiency and equity for immigrants, refugees and the under-privileged through comprehensive health and social services, capacity building and advocacy.
Note: Raksha's mission is to promote a stronger and healthier South Asian community through confidential support services, education, and advocacy. They provide technical assistance in completing appropriate immigration papers that will allow them to work in the United States, as well as refers clients to legal resources that can assist in getting them proper immigration status.
Note: The Georgia State Bar has an excellent referral system to help you find exactly the pro bono lawyer to assist you with your specific legal issue.
Note: The Georgia First Amendment Foundation conducts free workshops on state open government laws and reports open government violations occurring throughout Georgia.
Note: This law student clinic provides representation to low-income taxpayers who otherwise would be unable to afford a lawyer in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service.
Note: Government office that protects consumers from unfair or deceptive business practices. They have telephone counselors ready to help consumers during normal business hours.
Note: Lambda Legal is committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, the transgendered and people with HIV or AIDS through impact litigation, education, and public policy work.
Note: A branch of Atlanta Legal Aid Society, lawyers at the Senior Legal Hotline give legal advice, brief service and referrals to other attorneys or services where necessary. The Hotline is staffed on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., and is consultations are free for individuals over 60 years of age.
Note: The Disability Law and Policy Center of Georgia is a non-profit organization that enforces the legal rights of people with disabilities through education, individual case assistance, mediation, and complex litigation.
Note: The Georgia Advocacy Office serves individuals with physical and/or mental disabilities who have been discriminated against. They investigate abuse, neglect and rights violations, and also visit state psychiatric hospitals, prisons, jails, foster care settings, group homes and private psychiatric hospitals.