Middle Georgia Access To Justice Council Inc

aka Middle Georgia Justice   |   MACON, GA   |  www.mgajustice.org

Mission

To support and supplement existing systems for providing legal assistance to those in need by identifying gaps in services, developing new programs, and facilitating collaboration among existing legal service providers.

Ruling year info

2018

President

William P. Adams

Executive Director

Michael Horner

Main address

P.O. Box 1732

MACON, GA 31202 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

82-3547410

NTEE code info

Legal Services (I80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The justice gap in our community is substantial. We fall short in this community, and in society as a whole, in attaining equal justice for all. This justice gap prevents many from overcoming legal obstacles that impact quality of life in many ways, including: preventing residents from obtaining/maintaining employment and benefits; preventing residents from addressing important family/domestic legal issues, including violence and abuse, and issues concerning child support, child custody, and divorce; and preventing residents from obtaining/maintaining housing for themselves and their family.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Attorney Referral Service

Through recruitment and support of lawyers willing to provide pro bono and reduced-fee services, we will strive to match people of limited means who have legal needs with lawyers prepared to meet those needs. .

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

The Self Help Center at Middle Georgia Justice was opened in 2020 in order to help meet the huge need for assistance in Middle Georgia on Family Law/Domestic cases. We have taken the forms from the counties that we serve (Bibb, Houston, Peach, Crawford, Jones, Monroe, and Twiggs), simplified them, and created forms that can be filled out, with assistance, here in our offices.

While many people do not need an attorney to resolve their Family Law issue, many often need assistance in filling out the required Court forms.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

The Middle Georgia Justice Incubator Program offers licensed attorneys the opportunity to start a solo law practice in a supportive setting at a reasonable fee. In exchange for the strong support provided to them, attorneys selected to participate in the program will be required to do a certain amount of pro bono and reduced fee legal work. The attorneys in the eighteen-month program will start and operate their own law practices and will receive the following benefits:

Office space in a downtown Macon location.
Equipment, technology, and furniture.
Training in substantive law as well as law office management.
Experienced mentors
Referral to fee-paying clients
Participation in a structured pro bono program
CLE at no cost

Population(s) Served
Adults

We represent clients and help them resolve their legal issues, particularly in the areas of family law, probate, and real estate. We also assist patrons with criminal record relief, and in overcoming legal obstacles to obtaining/maintaining a drivers' license.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of legal briefs written

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of individuals attending briefings and presentations

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of testimonies offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Attorney Referral Service

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of overall donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of website pageviews

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of people on the organization's email list

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of grants received

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of civil litigation matters handled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of new advocates recruited

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Ex-offenders, Victims of crime and abuse, Veterans, Unemployed people

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We depend greatly upon our volunteer lawyers to meet the legal needs in our community. Last year we were able to add 5 new lawyers to our "Justice Brigade."

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To try to narrow the justice gap, we help members of our community get the legal services they need, but cannot afford. Specifically, to help people obtain access to government benefits, we clear legal obstacles that prevent them from obtaining a drivers license, and resolve legal birth certificate issues. To help with access to good employment, we assist people with clearing up criminal records. Finally, to overcome family/domestic issues, we help people: obtain protective orders against abusive partners; obtain divorces from absent our abusive spouses; stabilize child custody problems that impact the health and well-being of children; and secure and enforce child support.

Our most recent goal is to be proactive in attacking blight in our community through our Heirs Property Project. We are working in conjunction with Macon Area Habitat for Humanity to identify properties in low income neighborhoods with deed/title problems, and helping the owner/occupant cure these problems.

Our organization has four components: a lawyer incubator program; a lawyer referral service; in-house legal representation and other legal services; and a self-help center. Our purpose is to help people, through a variety of means, get the legal services they need but cannot afford in a wide range of civil areas of law. We serve to complement the good work being done by the Georgia Legal Services Program, and work hand-in-hand with the various ministries and service providers in town that assist the homeless, the needy, and the working poor. When someone calls our office for assistance, we generally schedule them for an appointment to meet with our Executive Director, who is a licensed attorney, and two board members who are also licensed attorneys. At that interview, we assess their case, and determine whether and how we can assist them, either through direct assistance, or through referral to one of the volunteer lawyers that have agreed to assist our patrons on either a pro Bono, or reduced-fee basis. Our incubator program participants also assist, where appropriate. When someone calls for assistance with a family law issue, we screen them to determine if they are a good fit for our self-help center. Due to limited resources in our community, and the fact that some people only need assistance, rather than a referral to an attorney, on their family law case, we recently opened our self-help center. We have taken the forms approved by the various courts in our service area, simplified them, and made them .pdf-fillable. We schedule a time for a user to come in and, with assistance, get the forms filled out correctly so that they can file them and proceed with their case.

Our most recent strategy is our Heirs Property Project. We are working in conjunction with Macon Area Habitat for Humanity to identify properties in low income neighborhoods with deed/title problems, and helping the owner/occupant cure th

To meet our goals, we started with a well-equipped office, an office manager, and soon had three incubator program participants. In 2019 we hired our first Executive Director, and this has greatly increased the number of people we are able to help. We have a very strong and growing stable of volunteer attorneys who have agreed to assist our clients. With the addition of our self-help center, we have greatly expanded our ability to assist people with family law issues. Finally, our strong partnerships, particularly with Mercer Law School, give us access to a wealth of volunteers, expertise, and institutional knowledge.

In December of 2020 we hired our Staff Attorney, Karin Vinson. Ms. Vinson comes to us with a wealth of experience in the areas of family law, probate, and real estate law, which are the dominant areas of need in this community.

We have accomplished a great deal in the short time in which we have existed. First, we have grown our number of volunteer attorneys to almost 50. Second, after hiring our Executive Director, we were able to double the amount of interviews we schedule each week for people needing assistance. Our Executive Director has also helped improve our efficiency by being able to directly represent people that we see. Our recently-added self-help center has greatly increased the number of people with family law issues we are able to assist. By meeting with and collaborating with court personnel in the counties we serve, we have greatly increased visibility of our organization. We are at the forefront of a project in Georgia to simplify and standardize forms for self-represented litigants. We have increased our revenue by expanding our donor base, successfully implementing a fundraising event which will be done annually, and securing grants from several foundations. Finally, we have added a Staff Attorney to increase our ability to meet our community's needs.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve people whose income is less than 3 times the federal poverty limit, and who live in one of the following counties in Georgia: Bibb; Houston; Peach; Crawford; Twiggs; Jones; or Monroe.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Middle Georgia Access To Justice Council Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Middle Georgia Access To Justice Council Inc

Board of directors
as of 5/18/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. William Adams

Adams Law Firm


Board co-chair

Timothy W. Floyd

Vice President

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/17/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/11/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.