JALA’s History And Mission
Navigating the courts and legal processes can be intimidating and confusing. Often those that need legal help the most can’t afford it.
The mission of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid is to provide high quality legal assistance to low income and special needs groups – to empower them to accomplish energetic and affirmative advocacy, all to alleviate the circumstances, incidents and causes of poverty and discrimination.
Developed during the Great Depression and subsequent recession of 1937, the organization that has become Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc. (JALA) was born when a group of Jacksonville Bar attorneys banded together to provide legal services to those in need. Called different names over the years including Duval County Legal Aid Association, it was officially named Jacksonville Area Legal Aid in 1973. The organization achieved 501(c)3 status in 1976. JALA now serves 17 counties of North Florida including Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Nassau, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor and Union.
JALA is a primary engine for economic and social justice in Northeast Florida.
Megan Wall, Managing Attorney
St. Johns County Legal Aid
Ms. Wall graduated from the University of Florida (BA English 1984, MA English 1987, JD 1991). While in law school Ms. Wall interned at various non-profit public interest organizations and started an organization at her law school called the Association for Public Interest Law (APIL) which funds students to do internships at public interest firms. Since graduation, she has worked as a Legal Aid attorney with various programs in Florida. Ms. Wall joined JALA’s staff in February 2002. In addition to her legal work, Ms. Wall has served on the 7th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission (1994-1998), the Executive Council of the Public Interest Law Section of the Florida Bar (1994-1998, 1998-2002), as President of the Putnam Co. Bar Association (1999), President of the Flagler Co. Bar Association (2000) and as Vice-Chair and Chair of the Ethics Committee for the 7th Judicial Circuit (2001-2004). Ms. Wall became the Managing Attorney of St. Johns County Legal Aid, a branch of JALA, in 2005.
Phone: (904) 827-9921, ext. 206