Resources for Attorneys
Rules of Professional Conduct
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.
- Blue Ridge Legal Services – (540) 433-1830 (main office in Harrisonburg, offices in Winchester, Lexington, and Roanoke)
- Central Virginia Legal Aid Society – (804) 200-6049 (main office in Richmond, offices in Petersburg, and Charlottesville)
- Legal Aid Justice Center – (434) 977-0553 (main office in Charlottesville, offices in Richmond, Petersburg, and Falls Church)
- Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia – (757) 627-5423 (main office in Norfolk, offices in Hampton, Virginia Beach, Belle Haven, and Williamsburg)
- Legal Aid Society of Roanoke Valley – (540) 344-2088 (Roanoke)
- Legal Services of Northern Virginia – (703) 778-6800 (main office in Falls Church, offices in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Leesburg, and Manassas)
- Rappahannock Legal Services – (540) 371-1105 (main offices in Fredericksburg, offices in Culpeper, and Tappahannock)
- Southwest Virginia Legal Aid – (276) 783-6576 (main office in Marion, offices in Castlewood and Christiansburg)
- Virginia Legal Aid Society – (434) 528-4722 (main office in Lynchburg, offices in Danville, Farmville, and Suffolk)
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.
Pro Bono Training and Events Calendar
Links to Webinar Recordings
After registering to view the recordings, you may need to install the GotoMeeting codec if you will be viewing the webinar on a PC or download the Windows Media Components to view the webinar from a Mac. Click the“GotoMeeting codec” link and follow the instructions, if the video does not play when you click the “View Recording” button.
- “An Introduction to Pro Bono: We Can All Do Something” Webinar recording and presentation -- As the legal community recognizes Celebrate Pro Bono Week, the need for pro bono services nationally is greater than ever during these challenging economic times. According to the October 2012 Report of the Pro Bono Task Force of the Legal Services Corporation, nearly one in five Americans qualifies for civil legal aid assistance. Further, there has been an “explosion” in the demand for legal services, especially after the foreclosure crisis, as well as a significant increase in legal matters involving Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, health care, predatory lending, and immigration issues. At the same time, funding of legal aid and non-profit law offices which provide legal assistance to the poor has been severely cut. Against this backdrop, studies have found that 80% of the legal needs of low income people go unserved. Hence, there is a critical need for assistance from the private bar in order to help to offset the justice gap facing those lacking the economic resources to retain counsel. This webinar will serve as an introduction to pro bono and overview of what constitutes pro bono, why more pro bono lawyers are needed in Virginia, and the rules of professional conduct that govern pro bono work. Participants will also be provided with information about resources that can assist them as they engage in pro bono work. Approved for 1 hour of MCLE Credit.
- “Pro Bono: What’s In It for Me? How Private Attorneys Can Do Well By Doing Good” Webinar recording and presentation-- This webinar is a follow up to the VSB’s first webinar “An Introduction to Pro Bono: We Can All Do Something”, which set forth why more pro bono lawyers are needed in Virginia. Pro bono is an excellent way for lawyers to provide legal assistance to the poor and enhance their careers. The focus of the second webinar will be how pro bono can be professionally, commercially, personally, and even financially beneficial to the individual attorneys who provide volunteer legal services as well as to their law firms and offices (and the legal profession). The webinar will cover the tangible and intangible benefits to the volunteer lawyer of providing pro bono legal representation. Approved for 1 hour of MCLE Credit.
- VSB-LINC Meeting the Legal Needs of Clients Facing Serious Illness Through Pro Bono - Part 1: Introduction and Opportunities recording and presentation — This webinar, the first in a series of five monthly webinars co-sponsored by the Legal Information Network for Cancer (LINC), will provide an overview of the various legal issues that individuals with serious illness and their families typically face and how pro bono can help meet their legal needs. Presenters include Crista Whitman Gantz, Client Services Attorney from LINC, and Allison Held from the Medical-Legal Partnership – Richmond. Future webinars in the series will cover areas of substantive law including social security, relief from creditors, housing, and Medicare/Medicaid. Approved for 1.5 hour of MCLE Credit, including 1 hour of ethics credit.
- VSB-LINC Meeting the Legal Needs of Clients Facing Serious Illness Through Pro Bono — Part 2: Relief from Creditors recording and presentation—This webinar session is a “nuts and bolts” presentation covering common issues and the substantive law on relief from creditors as it applies to the representation of individuals dealing with severe health needs. Approved for 1.5 hours of MCLE Credit.
- Pro Bono and Elder Law: End of Life Planning recording and presentation— Senior citizens often face an array of legal issues involving end-of-life decisions such as advance planning for medical care and the disposition of their estates. Unfortunately, they also often lack the financial resources to retain private counsel and must rely on the assistance of volunteer lawyers. The Virginia State Bar, Virginia Poverty Law Center and Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services are offering a free webinar (CLE) for volunteer lawyers to assist them in the representation of senior citizens in these matters. This 90-minute webinar covers basic substantive law in matters of estate planning, including simple wills, advanced medical directives, and powers of attorneys as well as how and where to obtain pro bono cases. Approved for 1.5 hours of MCLE Credit.
- VSB-LINC Meeting the Legal Needs of Clients Facing Serious Illness Through Pro Bono - Part 3: Health Insurance Issues recording and presentation -- Navigating medical insurance and long term health care issues for seriously ill individuals can be daunting. Oftentimes these individuals and their families require the assistance of an attorney to help them understand the rules and eligibility requirements of the federal healthcare programs as well as what to do when coverage and services are denied. This 90-minute webinar for volunteer lawyers provides an overview of basic eligibility, services, and common legal issues in Medicare and Medicaid. The webinar briefly reviews options for private health insurance and premium tax credits through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Approved for 1.5 hours of MCLE Credit.
- VSB-LINC Meeting the Legal Needs of Individuals Facing Serious Illness Through Pro Bono: Part 4 - Social Security Benefits recording and presentation -- Many seriously ill individuals are no longer able to work because of their illness and they (and their families) are eligible to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) income and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This free, 90-minute nuts and bolts webinar provides an overview of the laws governing Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income disability, including eligibility requirements; handling social security claims; and appeals process. Joanna L. Suyes, a social security disability attorney with Marks & Harrison, provides attendees with critical information about common legal issues that will help them to assist pro bono clients through the Social Security benefits process. Approved for 1.5 hours of MCLE Credit.
- VSB-LINC Meeting the Legal Needs of Individuals Facing Serious Illness Through Pro Bono: Part 5 – Housing Law (Landlord-Tenant) recording and presentation -- Many seriously ill individuals find themselves facing eviction or foreclosure as a consequence of financial instability resulting from their illness and often will require the assistance of a lawyer. This free, two part webinar, which concludes the VSB/LINC pro bono webinar series, will cover common legal issues encountered by volunteer lawyers handling housing law cases. This housing law webinar will focus on landlord-tenant issues, including an overview of the Virginia Landlord-Tenant Act, addressing landlord abuses, protecting against public utilities shut-offs, and spotting issues when defending against eviction. Attorneys Alexandra "Sandra” Bowen of the Richmond firm Bowen Ten Cardani, PC, and Christine “Christie” Marra of the Virginia Poverty Law Center will be the faculty for this webinar. Approved for 1.5 hours MCLE Credit.
Additional Webinar Recordings
- The Practising Law Institute (PLI) is offering a number of full, free, pre-recorded pro bono seminars – some of which have been approved for MCLE credit in Virginia (please visit PLI website to confirm Virginia CLE approval and refer to Virginia’s Rules, Regulations and Opinions re. CLE credit for pre-recorded programs http://www.vsb.org/site/members/mcle-courses). These programs can be launched through the following links on PLI’s On-Demand menu.
- "Holistic Legal Advocacy for the Homeless: Strategies for Addressing Benefits, Housing and Social Services Issues Facing Homeless Populations" This introduction to the Holistic Legal Advocacy Model and substantive law training provides the powerful tools needed to transform the lives of homeless clients. Practitioners from the Homeless Advocacy Project (‘HAP’) at the Justice & Diversity Center of The Bar Association of San Francisco will share their expertise in holistic legal advocacy and insights for effectively assisting homeless clients. View this free program and then volunteer with your local legal services agency to represent homeless clients or those at risk of homelessness.