Imagine this: You’ve reached the end of your work day and you’re heading home. You shut down your computer, grab your briefcase and umbrella, and head to your car. As you ease out of the parking garage and into Atlanta rush hour traffic, you start thinking about what’s waiting for you at home. What do you have in the fridge for dinner? What veggies did you pick up at the grocery store last weekend? Should you splurge and order delivery? Or if your other half beat you home, maybe dinner will be coming together already, something simmering on the stove, delicious smells radiating from the hot oven. You make a mental note to throw a load of laundry into the washing machine before sitting down to eat.Read more
How did you get involved with AVLF? I attended a pro bono training program hosted at King & Spalding by the former head of the Safe Families Office, Liz Whipple. She was fantastic! I soon learned her infectious enthusiasm for AVLF is a common attribute of the staff.Read more
Quick snapshot: I am the Managing Attorney for Environmental Litigation and Policy at Southern Company. Prior to that, I managed a group of lawyers at Georgia Power, and I began my career as an environmental lawyer at Morris, Manning & Martin. Before working as a lawyer, I was a newspaper reporter. I graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Journalism, from Columbia University with an M.S. in Journalism, and from the University of Michigan for law school. I sit on the board of the Chattahoochee Nature Center, which is one of the most beautiful spots in metro Atlanta, and just retired from the board of Buckhead Christian Ministry, a wonderful ministry that provides assistance to the working poor.
How did you get involved with AVLF? I participated in a Domestic Violence (now Safe Families) training 10 years ago and was hooked. I had prior volunteer experience as a domestic violence crisis counselor, and AVLF offered a great opportunity to serve that community that was so close to my heart.Read more
Safety. And Stability.
If there is a way to condense what the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation means to those in our community who depend on AVLF for access to a lawyer, it might be those two words.
I offer these words not to add my voice to the swell of candidates’ screams about how we make our nation more secure. But I do urge that while the larger questions play out, there is much that we, the staff of AVLF, and you, the volunteers, donors, and supporters of the Foundation have done and can do, every day, to enhance the places we live, which in turn makes us a more just and more peaceful society.Read more
Automatic stay, default judgement, tort, pro se, adverse party, TPO’s, ex parte, standing order, judgment proof, and whatever this symbol is: §. My years of watching The Practice, Scandal, and The Good Wife did not prepare me for this. In my first few weeks at AVLF I was bombarded by these phrases and more. On top of learning new legal terms, I tried to memorize names of countless law firms while trying to remember which lawyer worked at which firm. For a person who had no prior legal experience, this was quite a task. In my five years of property management, I was accustomed to talking about closing costs, repair escrows, and FHA loans. The legal field was unfamiliar territory, but I was excited and eager to take in all that AVLF had to offer.Read more
Quick snapshot: I attended Georgia Southern University beginning in 2007. I have been working with TrustPoint International for 2 years, specializing in litigation support for law firms and corporations. I joined AVLF’s Junior Board of Directors in early 2015.
How did you get involved with AVLF? It was through my involvement with TrustPoint that I learned about AVLF and its purpose. From the first moment I met Marty Ellin, I knew I had to be involved. His passion was infectious. Through the gracious time and recommendations of Jennifer Jackson, Liz Whipple and Michael Lucas, that involvement became a reality.Read more
As my husband and I were packing for North Carolina, he asked me if I was going to miss being one of the cool kids. When I looked at him for clarification, he simply said, “AVLF.” My time at AVLF has been one of the most incredible opportunities of my life, and, while I am excited for the future, I recognize that I likely will never work in such a supportive, positive, and enthusiastic environment again. My coworkers’ passion for their work is genuine and contagious. They are also just fun people. I honestly liked staff meetings.Read more
How did you get involved with AVLF? I first learned about AVLF about 8 years ago via the Domestic Violence Project and was hooked. When I met Marty Ellin, I knew I had to do whatever I could to further the efforts of AVLF and I have been joyfully involved since that time.Read more
Good morning. My name is Jamie Perez and I oversee AVLF’s Safe and Stable Families Project. It is my pleasure to represent AVLF today to recognize our foundation’s award recipients.
I only recently joined AVLF and in just a few months with this organization, I cannot adequately express how overwhelmed I have been by the generosity of the Atlanta legal community. I was previously in private practice so I know what it means to balance billable hour requirements, caring for children and family, and being a leader in legal and community organizations.Read more
Over the past few years, I have thoroughly enjoyed my involvement with AVLF’s Safe Families Office. Safe Families pairs volunteer attorneys with clients to represent the clients at hearings for 12-month protective orders. The objective of Safe Families is to safeguard clients from future domestic violence. Not only does the Safe Families Office give me a great opportunity to get out of my office and into the courtroom, but it also allows me to use my legal education to make a genuine difference in someone else’s life.Read more
CAREY KERSTEN | September 23, 2015 The mission of Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation is to create safe and stable homes and families by inspiring attorneys to fight for equal justice. It is clear that an important extension of this work is to promote a clear understanding of the lives of the families and individuals served through […]Read more
AVLF does amazing work with the people most often taken advantage of in Atlanta: the low-income. In this group, Spanish-speakers are often disproportionately affected by slumlords and unscrupulous employers. I came into this job last year having spoken a little Spanish, but not nearly enough to properly assist these vulnerable clients. I had the opportunity last month to spend two weeks intensively studying Spanish in Monterrico, Guatemala, to help me better support the Spanish-speakers who call our office.Read more