Every year, we receive hundreds of requests for assistance from people who are charged with a criminal offense and cannot afford to hire an attorney. Due to our limited resources, we must turn down the vast majority of requests.
We do accept cases in DeKalb and Fulton Counties and prefer to be contacted soon after the arrest. Before we accept a client, we ask that the person seeking representation complete an application. After the application has been reviewed, we schedule an extensive interview.
We want information about not only the criminal case, but also about the applicant and his or her life. This is important because we provide a network of social services that address the client’s specific needs. Many applicants are referred to GJP from other social service agencies such as substance abuse treatment programs and teen outreach groups.
When evaluating applicants, we discuss their commitment to making positive life changes. We seek out applicants who will take maximum advantage of the opportunities we offer. Ultimately, our clients are as committed to change as we are to providing the chance.
We do not take the following cases:
- Domestic Violence
- Sex Crimes
- Federal Cases
- Child Abuse
- Cases Outside Fulton or Dekalb Counties
- Vehicle Violations
Once a client is accepted, we ask her or him to sign a contract with us. This contract outlines the commitments the client makes in exchange for our legal representation. We do not have a set program for all clients or certain requirements that are applicable to everyone involved with GJP. Rather, we assess the needs of each individual and allow those needs to dictate the services available . For instance, if he or she hasn’t graduated from high school, we provide access to GED classes. If a client is unemployed, we provide job readiness support through our employment services. Since our clients do not have to pay a monetary fee, these commitments provide the client the opportunity for involvement and ownership in their representation, cases, and changing their lives.
During the time our clients participate in these programs, we provide aggressive legal advocacy. The end result is a long-lasting trust that grows throughout a client’s relationship with GJP.
- Brenda Smeeton – Legal Director
- Doug Ammar – Attorney & Executive Director
- Erin Donohue-Koehler – Staff Attorney
- Hsindy Chen – Staff Attorney
- Katherine Langley-Drozek – Paralegal
- Molly Scott – Attorney and Coordinator of Legal Volunteers
- Natasha Alladina, Esq. – Equal Justice Works Georgia Housing Corps Fellow
- Rachel Holmes – Staff Attorney
- Ross Brockway – Equal Justice Works Fellow