Honeychurch and Kessler win Georgia Bar Access to Justice Awards

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Congratulations to 2018 School of Law alumnae Mary S. Honeychurch and Samantha Kessler for winning the State Bar of Georgia Law School Excellence in Access to Justice Awards. These awards recognize law students who have "excelled in participation in support of a civil pro bono or legal aid program satisfying previously unmet civil legal needs or extended services to underserved segments of the population." These honors will be officially presented by the Georgia Bar's Access to Justice Committee and Pro Bono Resource Center in October.

According to nominators, Honeychurch possesses a "clear passion to increase access to justice." While working in the law school's Community Health Law Partnership Clinic and Public Interest Practicum, she "provided substantial civil legal services to clients who otherwise would not have access to legal help." She was involved in the creation of an immigration and legal services guide that will help members of a vulnerable community in Athens. "All told," nominators wrote, "Mary has demonstrated a deep and lasting commitment to serve low-income and marginalized members of the community."

Kessler's nominator stated that she "shepherded" the inaugural launch of the Western Judicial Circuit Self-Represented Litigant Center and Self-Help Desk, which operates from the law library in the courthouse and is part of the Athens Access to Justice Initiative. "With no real budget from the county and no established procedures, she has nevertheless willed this initiative into existence 'on the ground' and worked tirelessly providing information and help to those in need," the nominator wrote. "She has taken on all tasks with a singular mission in mind: to best serve the under-served of Athens."