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COVID-19 ATLANTA BAR UPDATE FROM PRESIDENT WALSH

Friday, April 3, 2020  
Posted by: Jordan Coleman
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Dear Atlanta Bar Members:

 

Two weeks ago, I wrote with some reluctance to inform you of the Atlanta Bar’s decision to cancel or postpone all in-person events through the end of April 2020.  Since that time, the projections of the pandemic’s impact have only worsened, and it is difficult to determine when things will return to “normal” or even what that new “normal” will be. 

 

It is with this in mind that I want to convey to you all that the Atlanta Bar Association stands with you, our Atlanta Bar family, during this unprecedented time.  As I mentioned in my March 19 letter, the bar has not “shut down,” but rather has pivoted to focus on identifying new ways to support our members and keep them connected and engaged during the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19. 

 

To that end, the Atlanta Bar staff has been working diligently to research and gain access to tools that provide our members with virtual alternatives to traditional face-to-face meetings and social gatherings.  These tools have been pushed out to the Section leadership, and the Dispute Resolution Section hosted our first virtual Section meeting by Zoom earlier this week.  In addition, the staff has created a new page on the website (which we will continue to update) with links to information, tools, and resources relating to the outbreak, including hints for working remotely, information about local developments relating to COVID-19, and wellness tips in a time of “social distancing.”  And our Atlanta Bar leadership – from the Board to Section leaders to Committee Chairs and members – continues to meet on an accelerated basis to explore ways to support the evolving needs of our Atlanta Bar family.  The energy, enthusiasm, and commitment demonstrated by these volunteers in recent weeks has been truly inspirational.  

 

The Bar is also inspired by our public interest partners, which continue to provide critical legal assistance to those in need during this pandemic.  In recent weeks, the demand for their legal services has increased exponentially, while they face reductions in funding and increased logistical challenges to meet with their clients.  At this time of great need, we would ask that you please consider contributing to these partners, such as:

 

Atlanta Legal Aid Society

Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation

Truancy Intervention Project

Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network

 

The next several weeks will not be easy, but I want to reiterate that no member of our Atlanta Bar family will go through this alone.  The Bar leadership and staff will continue to find ways to support and engage our membership during this crisis, and the Atlanta Bar family will endure.  We have a number of future programs under consideration, and we look forward to announcing them to you soon.  In the interim, should you have any thoughts on things you would like to see from the Atlanta Bar, or assistance we can provide to our members, please reach out to me or Terri Bryant.

On behalf of the Atlanta Bar, I wish you all and your families health and comfort as we work through these challenges together. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Ryan K. Walsh
Atlanta Bar Association President


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