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ESPANOL   

We employ attorneys, paralegals, advocates, administrative and legal support staff who are committed to our mission of providing free legal help to the metro Atlanta community.

EXECUTIVE TEAM

Rita Sheffey Executive Director

Rita A. Sheffey joined the Atlanta Legal Aid Society on August 1,
2023. Prior to joining Legal Aid, Rita served for eight years as Emory University School of Law’s Assistant Dean for Public Service. In that role, she oversaw the law school’s Pro Bono Program, advised students interested in post-graduate federal and state court judicial clerkships, and employment with government and public interest organizations, and managed the Volunteer Clinic for Veterans and Emory Immigrant Legal Assistance. Prior to joining Emory in January 2015, Rita was a partner with Hunton & Williams LLP, where she focused on complex litigation and served as Hunton & Williams’ Southside Legal Center pro bono clinic director and Atlanta Pro Bono Committee Chair.

Rita has served in numerous leadership positions, including as President of the
Atlanta Bar Association, the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, and Emory’s Lamar Inn of Court, among others. She was a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2005 and has served on the Executive Council of the National Conference of Bar Presidents (NCBP), the Executive Committee of the Metropolitan Bar Caucus (affiliated with NCBP), and on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the American Judicial System. Rita was a self-described “quasi-insider” with Legal Aid. Not only did she serve as Board President, but she also co-chaired the 90th Anniversary Planning Committee, served on the Strategic Planning Committee, mentored a number of staff attorneys, and supported the work of Legal Aid through her service to the Atlanta Bar and the State Bar of Georgia.

Rita has received numerous awards for her leadership and pro bono efforts, including the Atlanta Legal Aid Society’s Extraordinary Pro Bono Service Award in 2018, the Georgia State University College of Law’s Ben F. Johnson, Jr. Public Service Award in 2015, and the inaugural Rita A. Sheffey Public Interest Award from the Atlanta Bar’s Public Interest Law Section in 2012. Rita grew up in southwest Virginia and has degrees from the University of Virginia (B.A. in chemistry), Duke University (Ph.D. in chemistry), Boston College Law School (J.D.) and Emory’s Candler School of Theology (Master’s in Religion and Public Life).  She also did a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Biological Chemistry at Harvard Medical School.

Kimberly Charles Deputy Director

Kimberly went to law school to represent tenants facing eviction and she has dedicated her entire career to civil legal services.  In her role as Deputy Director, Kimberly acts as a liaison between clients, staff, the Board of Directors and our justice partners.  Kimberly has worked with Atlanta Legal Aid for over sixteen years, and she previously served as the managing attorney of the Clayton & South Fulton Office for over seven years. Kimberly also serves as a Fulton County Magistrate Judge in a part-time capacity.  

Charles Bliss Director of Advocacy

Charles Bliss has been the Director of Advocacy since October 2005.  Prior to that, he worked in private practice representing employees in a variety of legal matters including employment discrimination and employment contracts.  Prior to private practice, he worked at Atlanta Legal Aid, Three Rivers Legal Services in Gainesville, Florida and the ACLU of Mississippi.

Roshonda Davis-Baugh Director of Recruitment and Retention

Roshonda Davis-Baugh is the Director of Recruitment and Retention at the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, a part-time Judge with the DeKalb County Magistrate Court, and a Registered Neutral in the State of Georgia. Ms. Davis-Baugh has over 31 years of management, supervisory and litigation experience in public interest law with an emphasis on Family Law and Domestic Violence. She began her legal career as a Staff Attorney with Atlanta Legal Aid in June of 1990, and over the course of her career has held the positions of Managing Attorney, Senior Attorney and Interim Deputy Director. Ms. Davis-Baugh is a 1990 Graduate of Saint Louis University School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1991. She is the 2018 recipient of the Dan Bradley Award from the State Bar of Georgia, the 2004 recipient of the Liberty Bell Award from the Gwinnett County Bar Association, and the 1990 recipient of the David C. Grant Award from Saint Louis University School of Law.

Nicole Harris Director of Grants

Nicole Harris serves as the Director of Grants for Atlanta Legal Aid Society. Since receiving her bachelor’s degree at Temple University, Nicole has spent over 20 years in non-profit management, higher education and state government. As the Director of Grants, Nicole will work closely with the Board of Directors and Executive Leadership to direct Legal Aid’s development efforts by seeking and securing funding from foundation, corporate and government grants. She is responsible for researching, writing, developing, and planning grant applications; this includes pre and post grant award coordination and supporting staff in grant-funded projects. She also monitors and responds to notification of opportunities for external sources of funding from foundations and corporations. Nicole also has a passion for diversity, equity and inclusion and is a member of the Legal Aid’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

Cari King Director of Pro Bono Legal Services

Cari King is the Pro Bono Director at Atlanta Legal Aid Society. Cari has practiced at Legal Aid since 2015, initially as a staff attorney at a general law office, and moved into her current role in January 2020. Cari’s work includes managing pro bono projects across the program’s five county area; recruiting, training, and supporting volunteers; creating new projects in line with client needs, volunteer wishes, and staff and organization priorities; and managing grants related to this work.

Elaine Landry Director of Finance
James E. Meeks Operations & Facilities Manager

James started his role of Operations & Facilities Manager in September 2018. In his role, he supports all affiliated Atlanta Legal Aid Society offices in Metro Atlanta.  Prior to joining Atlanta Legal Aid Society, James worked as the Facilities Coordinator for Web.com and as the Facilities Manager for the School of Mathematics on the campus of Georgia Institute of Technology. James is also an EPA certified HVAC(R) Universal Technician as of 2009 when he graduated with honors from Laurus Technical Institute.  He is the father of three daughters and a grandfather of two. Fun fact: James is internationally known and locally accepted for his lyrical contributions to Hip Hop culture ever since he started independently releasing his music starting in 1995.  James is originally from Memphis, Tennessee.

Angie Tacker Director of Annual Giving and Communications

MANAGEMENT TEAM

Susan Walker Goico Managing Attorney, Disability Integration Project
Michelle Jordan Managing Attorney, Family Law Unit, Fulton County
Hillary Leland Managing Attorney, Georgia Senior Legal Aid
Jacqueline L. Payne Managing Attorney, Kinship Care Project
Angela Riccetti Managing Attorney, DeKalb County
Stefanie Sparks Managing Attorney, Health Law Unit
Kristin Verrill Managing Attorney, Veterans Law Project
Erin Willoughby Managing Attorney, Clayton/South Fulton
Jennifer Yankulova Managing Attorney, Cobb County

Karen E. Brown
Director & Managing Attorney, Home Defense Program

Anne E. Carder
Managing Attorney, General Law Unit, Fulton County

Pamela Kraidler
Director, Health Law Partnership

Stephen Krumm
Managing Attorney, Senior Citizens Law Project

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Advocate Spotlight: Mara Block

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A Lawyer May Be the Best Way to Stop Domestic Violence

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School Success for a Disabled Child

Legal Aid attorney Currey Hitchens has been tirelessly representing students and their families throughout the pandemic. Her work? Education law.…

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Interview with Brooke Silverthorn

We interviewed Brooke Silverthorn, Assistant Clinical Professor and Co-Director of the Health Law Partnership Legal Services Clinic. Brooke and her…

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A “Full Circle” Story

New attorney Erick Vargas joined our Gwinnett office on one of the most difficult years on record -- and we’re…

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When Dana A.H called Legal Aid, she was in the midst of a two-decade long fight for her grandson’s wellbeing.…

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Can you start by introducing yourself and explaining what the Disability Integration Project of Legal Aid does?  My name is…

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Interview with Currey: Education Work During COVID-19

What does the Kinship Care Unit of Legal Aid do?  We represent grandparents or aunts or uncles or “fictive kin”…

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