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Guy Lescault to receive State Bar of Georgia Sol Clark Pro Bono Award

June 6, 2013
Contact: Sarah I. Coole or sarahc@gabar.org

The State Bar of Georgia Access to Justice Committee and the State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project selected Atlanta attorney Guy E. Lescault as the recipient of the 2013 H. Sol Clark Pro Bono Award.

The H. Sol Clark Award, first awarded in 1983, is named for former Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Clark of Savannah, who is known as the “father of legal aid in Georgia.” The Clark Award honors an individual lawyer who has excelled in one or more of a variety of activities that extend legal services to the poor.

The State Bar’s H. Sol Clark Award recognizes Lescault for his lifelong dedication to legal aid and access to justice. Lescault has served in numerous civil legal services positions in Georgia and nationally as lawyer, manager, consultant, troubleshooter, advisor and leader. He has served on the state and national level in developing and refining standards and practices within the legal aid and pro bono service provider community. Lescault is also well-known nationally as the “go-to-legal aid director” who can assist legal aid programs in transition due to merger, changes in leadership, or restructuring.

Lescault began his legal career here in Georgia in the late 1970s as a staff attorney for the then-young federal Legal Services Corporation assisting in the development of over 40 independent legal services corporations in 10 southeastern states. He later became the director of the Management Information Exchange which is dedicated to providing management technical assistance and library resources to directors of civil legal services programs in the United States. Lescault‘s access to justice career includes legal services management and leadership positions with Camden Regional Legal Services in Camden, New Jersey, the National Employment Law Project, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, the "A Business Commitment" (ABC) Pro Bono Project of the American Bar Association Business Law Section, the Neighborhood Legal Services Program in Washington, DC, the Legal Services Corporation, the Massachusetts Justice Project, Western Massachusetts Legal Services, and the Senior Citizens Law Office in Albuquerque, NM.

In its selection of Lescault, the State Bar of Georgia Access to Justice Committee noted that he has been a mentor to countless public interest lawyers across the country and serves as a model of what it means to be a lawyer in service to others and a true professional. In addition to his service on the State Bar of Georgia Access to Justice Committee, Lescault has been a long time member of the Individual Rights Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia. He formerly served on the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Georgia. He has served on the Board of Directors of Friends of Piedmont Park and has been an active volunteer of the Atlanta Belt Line. He has served as both participant and volunteer for many Atlanta marathon races and runs as well as Co-Chair of the High Museum Contemporary Art Group.

"To me, the heroes of the legal profession are those who devote themselves full-time, for the duration of their careers, to those who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer. That is exactly what Guy has done. A significant portion of his work has been for the Legal Services Corporation and its grantees,” notes James Sandman, president of the federal Legal Services Corporation. “We are grateful for all he has done and congratulate him on receiving the H. Sol Clark Pro Bono Award."

“Guy’s lifelong commitment to justice for all has always been an inspiration to me. His work to support high-quality and high-impact legal services for low-income clients has made a difference all over the country.  We’re lucky that he’s a Georgia lawyer and especially cares about needy Georgians’ access to justice,” says Phyllis J. Holmen, executive director of the Georgia Legal Services Program.

“Guy has been tireless, seemingly forever and often on his own time, in his devotion to access to justice for poor people in Georgia. Winning the H. Sol Clark Award is recognition long deserved,” adds Steve Gottlieb, the executive director of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society.

Lescault will be honored at a special pro bono awards reception at the State Bar of Georgia to be held in October in conjunction with the annual American Bar Association National Pro Bono Celebration.

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