Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice
Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice is a public interest law center working to increase justice in Georgia through law and policy reform. We seek to better the laws of Georgia, so they may better serve the people of Georgia, particularly those who are most vulnerable. Our work makes a difference in whole systems and in individual lives. Georgia Appleseed champions justice by investigating root causes of issues (using many pro bono volunteers), reporting on what we have learned, and then engaging community stakeholders to bring about lasting change that increases fairness and provides greater opportunity.
What does this look like in practice?
- A great example is our seven-year effort on behalf of a new juvenile code for Georgia. This intricate project revealed the so-called ‘school to prison pipeline,’ a track that too often moves a student from the classroom into the juvenile justice system.
- Ensuring the due process rights of a student in a public school disciplinary tribunal was identified as one way to help.
- Our Georgia Appleseed Young Professionals Council (YPC) committed to train attorneys to provide pro bono representation at school tribunals and created a CLE and on-line ‘Representing Students in Georgia Schools Attorney Training Manual.’
Another systemic-level project with tremendous personal impact is YPC’s Heir Property Project.
- Heir property is land passed down from one generation to the next without benefit of a will or probate; it’s prevalent among low- and middle-income African-Americans all over our state. Under Georgia law, ownership of such property becomes fractionalized over successive generations.
- The lack of a clear title means families are vulnerable to unanticipated land loss and prevents family members living on the land to leverage the property into an economic asset.
- To help heir property owners safeguard their land and preserve their property rights, the YPC created the ‘Heir Property in Georgia Attorney Training Manual,’ a tool for use by pro bono non-real estate attorneys working with heir property clients. A CLE was created, too. See the video on our home page to learn just what an impact this project is having on some residents of Fitzgerald, GA.
- Georgia Appleseed is working toward creation of a statewide heir property legal clinic as a long-term solution. Until then, pro bono attorneys help fill the gap for property owners at risk.
We welcome your core support of Georgia Appleseed with your contribution or as a volunteer. Learn more and download our free publications at www.GaAppleseed.org