Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper, Esq.,

President/Chief A2J Officer

Leadership

 

A current federal prosecutor, former legal aid attorney and legal interpreter, Jana J. Edmondson-Cooper has over a decade of A2J experience which includes contributing to the development of local, state, and federal A2J policies. Additionally, Ms. Edmondson-Cooper develops state and national curricula for training access to justice stakeholders on language access as an access to justice and due process issue. Ms. Edmondson-Cooper is a co-founder of the Eliminating Barriers to Justice (EBJ) continuing legal education series, Georgia’s first and only comprehensive access to justice/language access-centered training for attorneys, judges, court personnel, interpreters, and other A2J stakeholders. Approaching its seventh year, EBJ examines access, equity, and justice from multiple perspectives including cultural competency, poverty, and an annual emphasis on ethics and professionalism. EBJ has garnered support through the years from statewide and national entities including the Georgia Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts, Supreme Court of Georgia, State Bar of Georgia, the National Center for State Courts, and the U.S. Department of Justice. Additional information about EBJ may be found here.

Appointed by the Supreme Court of Georgia, Ms. Edmondson-Cooper is a member of the Court’s Commission on Interpreters. Currently she is leading the development of a model administrative protocol – the first of its kind in Georgia – which will assist the state’s judiciary (a non-unified court system) with the provision of quality language services for LEP persons and persons with disabilities.  In February 2019, the Judicial Council of Georgia unanimously approved the protocol as a model guide for all Georgia Courts. In addition to judicial entities, Ms. Edmondson-Cooper has worked successfully with school districts, law enforcement agencies, and other entities to develop and implement efficient, comprehensive, written A2J/language access policies.

Ms. Edmondson-Cooper has authored several publications on language access, including “Chapter 11: Appointing Qualified Interpreters” in the 2016 Georgia State Court Benchbook which has been adopted by the majority of Georgia’s other classes of court. The chapter was revised in 2018. As a member of the Judicial Council of Georgia’s Access to Justice Committee (formerly Access, Fairness, Public Trust, and Confidence Committee “AFPTCC”), Ms. Edmondson-Cooper contributed to the development of the Access to Justice Committee’s 2017 ADA Judicial Handbook, a comprehensive judicial guide to court access for persons with disabilities. Currently, she serves on the Committee’s sub-committee working to improve access to Georgia’s courts for persons who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing.

A seasoned language access consultant, Ms. Edmondson-Cooper has been invited by several national and state organizations to discuss access to justice and language access challenges and solutions.  Those entities include the American Bar Association, National Association of Judicial Interpreters and Translators, National Consortium of Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts, National Legal Aid and Defender Association, National Center for State Courts Council of Language Access Coordinators, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Trustee’s Office, U.S. Department of Education, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc., Georgia Legal Services Program,  Georgia Institute of Continuing Judicial Education, Georgia Commission on Family Violence, the Supreme Court of Georgia Commission on Interpreters, and the Supreme Court of Georgia Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism. Additional details about Ms. Edmondson-Cooper’s experience are available here.

Ms. Edmondson-Cooper’s advocacy and commitment to access, equity, and justice have been acknowledged widely including recognition by the Daily Report (Georgia’s leading legal publication) as one of “40 Under 40” rising legal stars to watch, recognition by  former Governor Nathan Deal and the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity, selection as an American Bar Foundation Fellow, and recognition by the National Bar Association and the American Bar Association as one of the  nation’s top 40  lawyers under 40 who exemplify a broad range of high achievement in innovation, vision, leadership and legal and community involvement. Ms. Edmondson-Cooper is a graduate of Spelman College and Mississippi College School of Law.