By: Martin Ellin, Executive Director, AVLF
The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation is proud to launch our new web site- http://www.avlf.org/! We hope that our site will allow you to easily become familiar with the Foundation’s many pro bono programs, with the extraordinary AVLF Staff members who direct those programs, with the opportunities that are available for volunteer lawyers to become involved in meaningful pro bono legal work, and more. We want our site to be of real value to everyone that visits.
This enhanced web site is but one part of the social action adventure upon which we have embarked. We hope that you will see our Facebook Cause page, and that you will ‘friend” or at least “like” us so that AVLF’s posts will show up on your newsfeed. We will be adding video to this site, and invite you now to follow us on Twitter, as well as this Blogspot page. Our new “Marty’s Blog” page will post entries from the breadth of the AVLF Staff- we hope you read us regularly.
In the near future, we will add a contributor page to our website which lists all of our current grantors, a page that archives and makes available our previous newsletter issues, a community resource page for clients and the general public and a resource page for victims of DV. Finally, to assist our many generous financial donors, our site will be contoured to reveal monthly and planned giving options and a very special link so that Winetasting 2010 donors will be able to pay for sponsorship and tickets to our November 4th party with the click of a button.
Why add these features, and why now? The first answer is so that I may earn my children’s respect: I am tired of them leaning on me to honor a promise I made some time ago to go beyond personal visits (which all the AVLF Staff will continue to make), hand written letters (which I still intend to write frequently) and phone calls from a land line as a means of keeping in touch with the people the Foundation serves. But even more importantly, so that we may interact with our clients, public interest partners, volunteer attorneys, Court personnel and friends more quickly and more fully, and because the demand for our service is dramatic and increases so quickly that finding avenues to reach out, and to hear back, could not wait.
The Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation receives close to 30,000 telephone calls and 5,000 visits to its website each year. We give advice and direction to thousands, and are able to arrange for as many as 4,000-5,000 low-income citizens of Atlanta to receive the direct assistance of an attorney or paralegal to whom they otherwise could not have had access. We coordinate the provision of that free legal service through private attorneys who need the Foundation’s help to learn of volunteer opportunities, and the Staff’s assistance to supervise them as they offer a variety of legal support. We support each of the Courts of Fulton County- our volunteer programs work with the Superior, State, magistrate, Probate and Juvenile Courts of the County- and increasingly partner with those courts as they serve to promote access to justice for the unrepresented.
There are few places in our community that we and our volunteer attorneys do not touch. And now, our ability to touch those places electronically gives us a greater reach than ever before. Join us as we do everything that we can- with your help- to promote equal access to justice for the poor, the marginalized and the voiceless of our community. Enjoy!