Public Resources

Resources for Attorneys

Pro Bono Conference 2014 ad

2014 Conference Agenda and Registration (PDF file)

Rules of Professional Conduct

Rules of Professional Conduct supporting Pro Bono: Rules 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, etc. and Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia

Articles

Is there a Pro Bono Gap in Virginia? article from the February 2014 issue of Virginia Lawyer (PDF file)

Resources — How/Where to Get Cases/Volunteer Opportunities

Top Pro Bono Needs in Virginia (PDF file)

Legal Aid Pro Bono Brochure (PDF file)

Legal Aid Pro Bono Opportunities. All of Virginia’s legal aid offices have well-established private attorney involvement programs with pro bono coordinators who will help support your volunteer lawyering work.  Please contact your local legal aid office for more information.

The Greater Richmond Bar Foundation (GRBF). GRBF’s mission is to expand public access to the justice system in central Virginia by facilitating the delivery of pro bono legal services and service projects. Through its programs, GRBF helps the Central Virginia region with its priority needs for pro bono services and helps connect lawyers with pro bono clients. (804) 780-2600

  • Pro Bono Clearinghouse – a referral service linking volunteer attorneys with nonprofit organizations in need of legal representation on a variety of transactional matters.
  • Pro Bono Promise – law firms and law departments are invited to join Pro Bono Promise with a pledge to commit a percentage of time to the provision of pro bono legal services to the disadvantaged and/or to include financial support to legal services organizations annually.
  • JusticeServer – an all-inclusive case management and referral system that enables private attorneys to accept and work on pro bono cases from their own computers. Attorneys are able to create a confidential profile, view pro bono opportunities available in designated practice areas/jurisdictions, and find the resources to assist with handling the legal matter.
  • Other Volunteer Opportunities – GRBF also provides a menu of volunteer opportunities available in the greater Richmond area.

Probono.net/va contains resources for pro bono and legal services lawyers to assist in their representation of low income or disadvantaged clients, including the Pro Bono Opportunities Guide, which allows volunteer lawyers to find legal opportunites tailored to their specific requirements.  

St. Anthony Legal Clinic, Falls Church, VA – The St. Anthony Legal Clinic is an informal group of volunteers operating under the auspices of St. Anthony Catholic Church, 3301 Glen Carlyn Rd. in Falls Church. The clinic operates on Saturday mornings from 9:00 to 11:00 AM, working out of the church office and using the church conference rooms. This is a walk-in clinic, no appointments, and completely free. While no screening is done for income, it is apparent that most clients are poor and cannot afford a lawyer at normal rates. Many of the clients are Hispanic/Latino, and the clinic is staffed with interpreters for non-Spanish speaking lawyers. The majority of clients have problems relating to immigration and family law/divorce. Other issues that arise include landlord-tenant issues, criminal actions, DMV problems and employment issues. Attorneys are expected to provide advice and guidance, and limited follow-up if needed, but not to represent clients in court. The clinic maintains a list of referral agencies that can provide more long-term representation.  For more information, contact Norman Hicks, (703) 203-4484.

Virginia Bar Association Veterans Issues Task Force. The VBA provides military veterans and service members with greater access to legal assistance. Volunteer assistance opportunities include: initial intake interviews, one-on-one counsel, speaking at Yellow Ribbon or similar events, mentoring other attorneys, providing pro bono or low-cost assistance, and supervising law students in legal clinics assisting veterans.

Hogar Immigrant Services (703) 534-9805 or (571) 208-1572. Hogar Immigrant Services’ mission is to welcome the stranger by offering immigration legal assistance at a reduced rate to those who could not afford it otherwise. Hogar also hosts Naturalization Workshops every month. At each workshop, members of the Hogar Legal team, as well as trained attorney and non-attorney volunteers, are on hand to assist eligible legal permanent residents (LPRs) in completing naturalization applications. Please contact volunteer.hogar@ccda.net or call 571-208-1572 x102 for further information. 

Just Neighbors (703) 979-1240.  Just Neighbors provides immigration legal services to low income immigrants in the northern Virginia area. Clients must make 200% or less of federal poverty guidelines and must live in northern Virginia to qualify for services. Just Neighbors has a special emphasis on humanitarian-based immigration cases and does not take: removal/deportation cases, asylum cases, family-based petitions. Clients interested in our services can be screened by calling 703-979-1240, Tuesday - Friday 9 am - 5 pm. If you are an attorney interested in volunteering with Just Neighbors, please call our main number and ask to speak with the Director of Legal Services.

Pro Bono Training and Events Calendar

Webinars

All programs will be submitted for MCLE credit. There is no registration fee for the webinars; however, registrants are asked to certify during registration that they will accept a pro bono referral from a pro bono legal services organization or, in the alternative, make a financial contribution to a pro bono legal services organization. Additional webinar registration links coming soon.

Pro Bono and Special Immigrant Juveniles: Best Practices for Family Court Practitioners on Friday, October 3, 2014 1:00 pm. Between January 1 and July 7, 2014, nearly 2300 unaccompanied, undocumented minor children were placed in Virginia with sponsors, usually family members. As a result, Virginia ranks as the state with the fifth highest number of undocumented child placements, behind only Texas, California, Florida, and New York. These numbers will only increase in the coming months as the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement works to satisfy critical shelter needs. Some of these children qualify for “special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS)”—an immigration status conferred by the federal government if the state court makes certain factual findings. Because the state court is the designated fact-finder in the federal law that created this immigration status, and in light of the large numbers of undocumented children presently residing in Virginia, it is critical that Virginia practitioners in J&DR courts receive education and instruction about the parameters, scope and procedures underlying this important federal immigration benefit. Moreover, volunteer lawyers are needed to file the state court proceedings and receive the appropriate predicate order required by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.

This CLE program will provide attendees with an understanding of the provisions of the federal law governing special immigrant juvenile status; appropriate pleadings and forms required for these state court proceedings; instruction about handling these state court proceedings; and connection with a pro bono network that can identify appropriate cases for family lawyers and partner them with experienced immigration attorneys. Attendees are asked to certify during registration that, if they feel competent following the training, they will accept one pro bono referral to represent an unaccompanied, undocumented youth in J&DR court proceedings. 2.0 hours MCLE credit approved and 2.0 hours of Guardiem ad Litem continuing education credit approved.

This training is sponsored by the Virginia State Bar Access to Legal Services Committee, the Legal Aid Justice Center, Ayuda, and the Poarch Law Firm. 

Representing Victims of Domestic Violence: Part 1 - Introduction and Opportunities. Tuesday, October 7, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. The issue of domestic violence has recently been in the news but there is little attention given to the process for getting protective orders or the need for attorneys to provide pro bono assistance to victims and survivors of domestic violence. This webinar is the first session of a five-part series for volunteer lawyers interested in representing victims of domestic violence in Virginia courts. Part 1 will provide an overview of the series and will cover the following topics:  

  1. What Is Pro Bono? Rule 6.1 of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct;
  2. Overview of the Programs: How and Where Attorneys Can Find Pro Bono Opportunities to Represent Victims of Domestic Violence;
  3. Overview of the Court Process: What Happens with DV Cases in Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court, General District Court and Circuit Courts.

Future webinars in this series will focus on the nuts and bolts of protective orders; custody, visitation and support issues; and immigration implications of VAWA-360 and U-Visas. This webinar series is co-sponsored by the VSB Special Committee on Access to Legal Services, Good Samaritan Advocates, and the Virginia Poverty Law Center. 1.0 hour of MCLE credit pending for this program.

Co-sponsored by Good Samaritan Advocates and the Virginia Poverty Law Center.

Before You Say "Yes" to Serving on a Board, Know What is Expected: Part 2 - Ethical issues for Attorney-Directors and Pro Bono Lawyers. Wednesday, October 15, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. For attorneys, working with a nonprofit organization can be a rewarding way to serve the community and meet pro bono obligations. Rule 6.1 of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct sets forth a commitment of 2% of the lawyer’s professional time. Many nonprofits are eager to work with lawyers, either as Board members, counsel to the nonprofit, cooperating referral attorneys, or all of the above. While many ethical issues that arise in the context of nonprofits mirror those that arise in a lawyer’s practice outside the nonprofit context, there are some issues that are unique to nonprofits. Also, many in the bar provide pro bono services through volunteering at Legal Aid or directly through their firm. This webinar will focus on the ethical expectations of attorneys providing pro bono services in either capacity. 

Attorneys seeking CLE credit for their attendance are asked to certify during registration that they will render pro bono publico legal services (such as poverty law, civil rights law, public interest law, and volunteer activities designed to increase the availability of pro bono legal services) per Rule 6.1 of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct in an amount at least commensurate with the MCLE credit earned. 1.5 hours of MCLE Credit pending for this program.

The Pro Bono and Board Governance webinar series is co-sponsored by the Virginia State Bar, the Pro Bono Clearinghouse of the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation, and Sands Anderson PC. 

Before You Say "Yes" to Serving on a Board, Know What is Expected: Part 3 - Nine Key Components. Wednesday, October 15, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Nonprofits operate in a highly regulated and very transparent environment. In deciding to serve, it is more than just doing good and/or giving financial support– a board member has an unique stewardship role in the organization. This webinar will introduce the participants to the top 10 good governance practices that are hallmarks of successful nonprofits boards: (1) Board recruitment and orientation; (2) the significance of the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws; (3) committee structure and board oversight; (4) delegation and accountability of the Officers and CEO; (5) liability and indemnification; (6) the importance of the Form 990; (7) oversight of revenue activities and fundraising; (8) protection of assets; (9) annual registrations and reports.

This program is open to attorneys and non-attorneys. Attorneys seeking CLE credit for their attendance are asked to certify during registration that they will render pro bono publico legal services (such as poverty law, civil rights law, public interest law, and volunteer activities designed to increase the availability of pro bono legal services) per Rule 6.1 of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct in an amount at least commensurate with the MCLE credit earned. 1.5 hours of MCLE Credit pending for this program.

The Pro Bono and Board Governance webinar series is co-sponsored by the Virginia State Bar, the Pro Bono Clearinghouse of the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation, and Sands Anderson PC.  

Additional Upcoming Webinars

Representing Victims of Domestic Violence: Part 2 - Protective Orders. Co-sponsored by Good Samaritan Advocates and the Virginia Poverty Law Center. Thursday, October 16, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.

Representing Victims of Domestic Violence: Part 3 - Custody, Visitation, and Support Issues. Co-sponsored by Good Samaritan Advocates and the Virginia Poverty Law Center. Tuesday, October 28, 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

Links to Previous Webinar Recordings

Court Appointed Attorney Application and VIDC Standards of Practice

Go to Virginia Indigent Defense Commission website

Updated: Sep 30, 2014