A2J Grants For Self-Represented Litigant Programs

By Tabitha Ponder and Nick Gettys, GSU Legal Intern

Tabitha PonderNick GettysThe Judicial Council’s renamed Committee, Access to Justice, has received additional funding in the amount of $40,000 from the State Bar of Georgia to be used for strengthening local programs intended to aid self-represented litigants.  The needs of self-represented litigants have become increasingly greater in recent years.  In 2016, self-represented litigants made up approximately 800,000 cases in Georgia.

This new funding is a result of a partnership between the State Bar’s Justice for All Committee and the Access to Justice Committee.   The Access to Justice Committee will post an announcement in late August with details on how to apply for funding.  The grant awards will be capped at $5,000 each.

In July, previous state bar funds were granted to Dougherty Superior Court based on a proposal from Judge William Lockette and to the Middle Georgia Access to Justice Council after a proposal from former Judge Bill Adams.  Both proposals listed local efforts to aid self-represented litigants. Laureen Kelly, J.D. is the court librarian for Dougherty Superior Court and she reports that the new funding will help staff the legal library program she started, which aims to assist and educate self-represented litigants throughout southwest Georgia. Dougherty’s law library has seen its attendance quadruple since the implementation of the legal program, both showcasing the success of Laureen’s efforts, as well as highlighting the great need for more available tools to assist self-represented litigants.

For more information, please visit A2J.georgiacourts.gov.



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