ATLANTA — Georgia’s top judge said Wednesday too many people in the state — especially among poor and rural populations — don’t get the legal services they need.
Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Hugh Thompson made the remarks during his first annual State of the Judiciary speech before a joint session of the Legislature.
“Most of us grew up saying the Pledge of Allegiance at school, in which we promised ‘liberty and justice for all.’ I don’t believe we ever meant, ‘liberty and justice only for those who can afford it,’” Thompson said.
Seventy percent of the state’s lawyers work in five counties in metro Atlanta, and six counties have no lawyers at all, he said. Because of inadequate legal services, courts statewide are seeing an increase in the number of people representing themselves, he said.