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Badge & Bar: Legal program wins national award for area public services
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The Georgia Legal Services Program, which has an office in Gainesville, has won major recognition from the American Bar Association in the Hodson Award for Public Service for 2014.

Named for the distinguished public service career of the late Maj. Gen. Kenneth J. Hodson, a former judge advocate general of the U.S. Army and founder of the ABA’s Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division, the Hodson Award recognizes “sustained, outstanding performance for a specific and extraordinary service by a government or public sector law office.”

GLSP has an office in Gainesville where seven lawyers and two paralegals serve the civil legal needs of low-income Georgians in 27 counties including Hall and Dawson.

“The work ethic, accomplishments and dedication of the staff of the Georgia Legal Services Program are truly an inspiration to other public lawyers across the country,” said Alexander W. Purdue, chairman of the American Bar Association, as he announced the award.

In the nomination letter, a committee of prominent Georgia lawyers wrote:

“For over 40 years, GLSP attorneys and paralegals have reached out to clients in rural areas, small towns and even counties in Georgia where there are no other lawyers at all. The firm is innovative, strategic, and effective in addressing critical civil legal problems. In this nomination, you will read about the efforts of GLSP to address the recession-driven legal needs of their clients, even in the face of declining resources with which to do so. We believe the sustained, extraordinary services by GLSP make it highly deserving of the Hodson Award for 2014.”

That committee includes R. William Ide III, a partner in the Atlanta-based

McKenna Long & Aldridge law firm, a past president of the ABA and one of the founders of GLSP. It also includes Hugh Thompson, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

The award will be presented at the American Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in Boston at the Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division’s awards reception on Aug. 8.

Next Citizens Academy sessions begin this fall

The next session of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy begins Oct. 7.

The academy aims to give participants an insider’s look into the sheriff’s operations.

Attendees will be educated on the court services, patrol, jail and criminal investigations divisions.

The academy consists of 10 individual sessions over six weeks.

To sign up, call Sandy Garrett in the court services division at 770-531-7093 or Capt. Chris Matthews at 770-531-7095. Applications are also online at

New face on the job

Nick Watson is now covering public safety and court happenings for The Times, replacing Emma Witman.

Watson was recently hired as a general assignment reporter, which included some coverage of these issues. He is a recent graduate of the University of Georgia.

Please contact him with story tips or questions on these issues.

Nick Watson covers public safety issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him::



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