Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Pro Bono / Access to Legal Services

A Mission of the Virginia State Bar.

Webinar Recordings

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These webinar recordings are for information only. You will not receive MCLE credit for viewing a prerecorded webinar.

VSB National Pro Bono Celebration Kickoff Event: Ethical Considerations in Pro Bono

The mission of the Virginia State Bar Special Committee on Access to Legal Services Committee includes “fostering support for free and reduced fee legal services with the goal of improving access to the legal system for all Virginians and for nonprofit charitable and civic groups that serve the public good. It promotes pro bono publico services by Virginia lawyers…The committee continually examines ways in which access to legal services can be enhanced and opportunities for pro bono service can be expanded in a fashion that supports and complements the rich regional network of existing service providers.“

The Access Committee offers free, nuts and bolts training on substantive law and ethics for attorneys interested in providing pro bono publico legal services to economically disadvantaged Virginians. As the VSB's kickoff event for the National Pro Bono Celebration in October, this program will focus on the ethical rules and opinions for pro bono attorneys as well as provide information about the need and opportunities for pro bono service throughout Virginia.

Topics and presenters include: 



  • The Justice Gap in Virginia and Rule 6.1 – John Whitfield, Executive Director, Blue Ridge Legal Services
  • Other Ethical Rules and Opinions of Particular Relevance to Pro Bono Lawyers – Seth Guggenheim, Assistant Ethics Counsel, Virginia State Bar
  • Pro Bono Service by Solo and Small Firm Practitioners – Jennifer Grace Dean, Virginia Immigration Law Center
  • How and Where to Get Pro Bono Cases – Tara Casey, Director, Harry L. Carrico Center for Pro Bono Service, University of Richmond School of Law

 

Advance Medical Directives and Pro Bono 

Presenter - Nathan Kottkamp, McGuireWoods, LLP and chair of the National Healthcare Decisions Day Initiative.    

All adults in Virginia have a right to prepare an Advance Medical Directive, which expresses their wishes in writing about future medical care if they become incapacitated, including the type of healthcare they do or do not want and/or the authorization of another person to make medical decisions on their behalf. An advance directive is a very important document because it provides critical information to medical personnel about a patient’s treatment wishes, alleviating some of the stress for family members.

Pro bono attorneys are especially needed to assist low income clients execute these documents. 

 

Links to Previous Webinar Recordings:

  • Uncontested Divorces: A Webinar for Pro Bono Lawyers in Northern Virginia — Legal aid is overwhelmed with applications for assistance with uncontested divorces. Volunteer attorneys are needed to take these cases pro bono to help meet the demand. This CLE will train attorneys to represent clients in uncontested divorce proceedings. The CLE will cover both procedural and substantive aspects of these type of cases. A training manual and sample documents will be provided at training. This webinar is a collaboration of Legal Services of Northern Virginia, the VSB Special Committee on Access to Legal Services and the VSB Young Lawyers Conference.
  • Federal Income Tax and the Affordable Care Act: Considerations for Survivors of Domestic Violence — Domestic violence survivors face unique challenges in dealing with the effects of sharing tax responsibilities with abusive spouses, as well as navigating premium tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. Learn about those challenges and how they apply to survivors of domestic violence. This webinar is co-sponsored by the VSB Special Committee on Access to Legal Services, the Community Tax Law Project, and the Virginia Poverty Law Center.  
  • Before You Say "Yes" to Serving on a Board, Know What Is Expected: Part 1- Duties and Responsibilities of Board Members — We may be asked to serve on the board of our swim club, food bank, church, YMCA, hospital, day care center, or countless other nonprofits within our community. Our commitment to community service is a core value. With commitment and pride, we accept. However, in accepting, we assume duties as a board member many of which have little to do with raising money. The law imposes on each board member three fiduciary duties – the duty of obedience, the duty of care, and the duty of loyalty. This webinar will provide an overview of the law of nonprofit organizations and discuss how each of these duties come into play as we exercise our role of director or trustee. Nonprofit organizations are highly complex organizations bound by many laws. This free webinar - the first of three in this series - will give you a framework for being a good board member. 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 2 – Ethical Duties of Attorneys — 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, which is open to non-lawyers, will focus on the ethical expectations of attorneys providing pro bono services in either capacity. 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 – Key Components of Board Leadership — 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. 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.
  • Representing Victims of Domestic Violence: Part 1 – Introduction and Pro Bono Opportunities recording and presentation — 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 and General District Court. 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.
  • Representing Victims of Domestic Violence: Part 2 – The Nuts and Bolts of Protective Orders — This free webinar is the second session in the five part series for lawyers providing pro bono assistance to survivors of domestic violence. Part 2 will focus on the process for obtaining a protective order in Virginia and will cover the following topics: 1. Seeking a Protective Order (Process and Types of Protective orders);  2. The Role of the Pro Bono Lawyer; 3. The Dynamics of Representing a Domestic Violence Survivor;  4. What the Protective Order Does and Does Not Do; 5. Special Issues; 6. Modifying Protective Orders;  and 
7. Enforcing Protective Orders.  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.
  • Representing Victims of Domestic Violence: Part 3 – Custody, Support and Visitation — Protective orders often do more than limit contact between the abuser and the victim. Because domestic violence does not occur in a vacuum, there are often issues involving the parties' children and finances that must also be addressed on a temporary basis. In addition to ordering that the abuser not abuse and limit contact with the victim, the protective order can address matters of temporary child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, residence, and access to personal property. This webinar will focus on best practices and innovative strategies concerning these issues for pro bono attorneys assisting their indigent and low-income clients to obtain protective orders as well as relief after the protective order has been issued. 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.
  • Representing Victims of Domestic Violence: Part 4 – VAWA 360 — As a battered spouse, child or parent, you may file an immigrant visa petition under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The VAWA provisions in the INA allow certain spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens and certain spouses and children of permanent residents (Green Card holders) to file a petition for themselves, without the abuser's knowledge. This allows victims to seek both safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified about the filing. The VAWA provisions, which apply equally to women and men, are permanent and do not require congressional reauthorization. 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.
  • Representing Victims of Domestic Violence: Part 5 – U-Visas — link to be provided. Congress created the U visa as a tool to strengthen the ability of law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies to detect, investigate and prosecute crimes against immigrants, a population that traditionally under-reports crimes of which they are victims. The U visa offers temporary immigration benefits to aliens who are victims of qualifying criminal activity, and to their qualifying family members, as appropriate. Please join Susheela Varky, Staff Attorney for Domestic and Sexual Violence for Virginia Poverty Law Center, in this webinar describing the elements of the U visa, guidelines regarding completing a U visa application and the U visa’s benefits to the law enforcement community and to victims of certain qualifying violent crimes and their families.  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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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).

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • Pro Bono and Special Immigrant Juveniles: Best Practices for Family Court Practitioners recording and presentation. — 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. 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. 

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.