***This blog post is part of a weekly series titled #SignalBoostSunday. This series will highlight organizations and social causes that are of importance and provide assistance to the Greater Atlanta area. ***
For this week’s edition of #SignalBoostSunday we’ll be looking at two unique local organizations that offer free legal aid services. They’re unique because they serve very specific demographics: one organization primarily serves LGBTQ individuals and the other focuses on the legal needs of local artists.
Launched in January 2018 and sponsored by Emory University, the organization, Emory LGBTQ Legal Services (ELLS) works to provide legal assistance to local, low-income LGBTQ individuals. Clients are helped by pro-bono attorneys and volunteer law students.
As it is a fairly new organization, their current listing of services offered seems limited; however, they do welcome inquiries about “any LGBTQ-related legal issues” from prospective clients as they would like to learn more about the community’s exact needs. A few of their listed services include: filing insurance denial appeals for those who are trans and completing advance directives for LGBTQ individuals. An advance directive is a legal document that allows you to state your healthcare decisions (specifically those concerning end-of-life care), if you’re in a situation where you are physically unable to communicate your wishes with the doctor.
ELLS also offers drop-in hours for clients on Thursday evenings, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Rush Center.
Georgia Lawyers for the Arts (GLA) provides free legal assistance to a wide variety of artists. The list of the types artists they are willing to help includes but is not limited to: painters, sculptors, dancers, actors, filmmakers, musicians, songwriters and photographers. Legal assistance is provided by volunteer attorneys.
Some examples of the types of cases they handle include: copyright protection, negotiations between artists and galleries and mediations. GLA even assists inventors through their Georgia PATENTS program. With this program, inventors can get help with drafting and filing patents for their inventions.
GLA also offers free or low-cost educational seminars that cover legal or business topics.