Doing Good Work: Georgia Legal Service Program's Wanda Andrews Says She's "Just Another Lawyer"

From Savannah Morning News:

Attorney Wanda Andrews is the type of person you wouldn’t even know was there unless you needed her or injured one of her clients.

“I’m just another lawyer,” said the low-key senior staff attorney at the Georgia Legal Service Programs office on Abercorn Street.

She handles domestic cases — including domestic violence issues — for the office’s low-to-moderate income clients in an 11-county region.

That seems rather mundane, except for many of those clients, she is their only shot at getting access to justice or a voice before a judge.

“I think the ability to be of service is important,” Andrews, 56, said. “A lot of people need legal assistance but would not be able to afford equal access to justice without our help.”

For Andrews, legal aid has dominated her life since law school at Northwestern’s law school in Chicago, where she earned her law degree in 1981. While doing so she worked for two years in the school’s clinic before returning to her Savannah home and the Georgia Legal Services office.

She credits her grandmother, Agnes Key, and mother, Mildred Stewart, for her work ethic and desire to help others.

“They believed in work, being independent,” Andrews said. “I grew up with the work ethic.”

The Statesboro native moved to Savannah when she was 14, later graduating from Beach High School in 1974. She graduated from Fisk University in 1979, then law school in 1981.

She never seriously pursued going into private practice, Andrew said, and never really considered leaving the legal aid work. That work, while personally rewarding, does not offer the big-bucks opportunities of the private-practice arena.

Money is not everything, she explained.

“I think what I do makes a difference in the lives of a lot of people in a variety of ways,” she said.

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