Getting Involved

Donate

Central Virginia Legal Aid Society depends upon many generous donors to do our important work. We could not advance the cause of justice for all without this critical financial backing. We are humbled and grateful for the support we receive annually from law firms, corporations, government entities, foundations, civic groups and other organizations that believe as we do that the lack of financial resources should not limit access to qualified legal advice and representation.

Volunteer

Volunteering is important because it enables individuals to help others in a selfless way. We depend on volunteers to help expand our services and help us achieve our goals of providing free legal help to as many individuals and families as we can. Whether it’s a lawyer working pro bono on a case or dedicated volunteers to come to our office to answer phones, type correspondence, file documents, make copies and handle mail, these altruistic offerings are integral to our success. We could not do our work without our many dedicated supporters!

 

Our Firms and Service Partners

FIRMS IN SERVICE—RICHMOND® is a collaborative effort of sixteen law firms and businesses that have committed to increasing the availability of pro bono legal services for the underserved in the Greater Richmond community. Each member firm commits to providing volunteer hours (2% of billable hours) and financial support for pro bono. Since 2007, the pro bono leadership of these firms have met regularly for the purposes of sharing information about their respective pro bono and community service programs and seeking ways in which, working together, they can enhance the availability of quality legal services to needy citizens in the Greater Richmond area. For more information about joining Firms In Service – Richmond, please contact Shane Harper at admin@grbf.org. More information can be found on the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation site, https://grbf.org/fis/


Capital One, Moran Reeves, Conn Christian & Barton, Dominion, Eckert Seamans, Truist,
Goodman Allen Donnelly, Hirschler, Hunton Andrews Kurth, McGuire Woods, Sands Anderson,
Spotts Fain, ThompsonMcMullan, Troutman Pepper, Whiteford Taylor Preston, Williams Mullen,
 

 

School Partnerships

University of Richmond – No Fault Uncontested Divorces and Wills
William & Mary Elder Law Clinic
Virginia Commonwealth University
University of Richmond Paralegal Studies Program
Maggie Walker Governor’s School

VA licensed Attorney

Volunteering as a VA Licensed Attorney

Why join our team?
  • Expand access to justice in your community – outcomes for clients who have lawyers are significantly better than those who must proceed pro se
  • Fulfill your obligations under the Voluntary Rule of Professional Responsibility 6:1 to provide 2% of your annual billable hours in pro bono service
  • Gain a new skill
  • Make a difference
  • Track your pro bono volunteer hours for Internships or Firm Expectations
  • Receive training, malpractice insurance and mentorship
Who should join our team?
  • Virginia licensed Attorneys in good standing and those who would transition to retiring and wishing to continue to serve – Consider becoming a CVLAS Emeritus Attorney
How can I register to volunteer?
  • Virginia Attorneys should Click the button below to register as a volunteer at www.justiceserver.org
  • Create a JusticeServer profile by registering, entering your bar number
    • Select Central Virginia Legal Aid Society as a legal service provider
    • Accept the Terms & Conditions. Once approved you can view and accept cases
  • Contact Lisa Bennett, Director of Pro Bono & Triage Programs at Lisa@cvlas.org or 804-200-6038


Register with Justice Server
 

Advice Only Hotline
  • From your home or office, provide advice and counsel in family law, consumer, employment, elder law and housing in a virtual two-hour shift on a Monday or Thursday afternoon or Wednesday evening.
    • Register to participate at www.justiceserver.org
    • Contact Freddie Goode, CVLAS Senior Attorney at Freddie@cvlas.org or Lisa Bennett, Director of Pro Bono at Lisa@cvlas.org with questions
Calendar and Administrative Support for JusticeServer

Pro Bono Triage

Private bar Champions form virtual law firms to recruit, train and mentor pro bono attorneys in 9 areas of civil law where CVLAS is not able to provide full representation. Listed are our 2022 Triage Champions handling cases in the following areas:

Case Area
Champion
Consumer Bankruptcy
Jed Donaldson, jdonaldson@limnexus.com
Nisha Patel, npatel@dunlaplawplc.com
Brittany Falabella, BFalabella@hirschlerlaw.com
Wage Claims/FLSA Issues
Michael Litman, mike@mlitman.com
Consumer Auto Contracts
Tim Schulte, schulte@scs-work.com
No Fault Divorces
Mary Hunt, mhunt@flaor.com
Anne Roddy, aroddy@barnesfamilylaw.com
Domestic Violence Protective Orders
Taylor Brewer, tbrewer@moranreevesconn.com
Ken Abrams, kabrams@mcguirewoods.com
Housing Repair/ Deposit Issues
Lynnie Brugh, lbrugh@williamsmullen.com
Anna Birkenheier, abirkenheier@williamsmullen.com
Eviction Diversion Program
Sarah Warner, swarner@t-mlaw.com
Jendy Daglio, JDaglio@huntonak.com
Joshua Hanbury, JHanbury@huntonak.com
Wills/Powers of Attorney
Andy Nea, anea@williamsmullen.com
Janet Cho, jcho@Williamsmullen.com
General Counsel to NPO’s
Mike Goldman, mgoldman@huntonak.com

 

The Need is Great and You as a Lawyer Have a Unique Skill Set Which is Necessary to Meet this Need
  • 80% of the poor have no lawyer in civil cases and lawyers are needed to ensure that justice is available for those who cannot afford to pay
  • Legal Aid budgets are too low to provide full service to all eligible clients in critical substantive areas
  • Volunteer legal efforts are diffuse and the Pro Bono Triage Project provides coordination of effort between CVLAS and the private bar

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Out of State Attorney
or Non Attorney

Volunteering as a Non-VA Licensed Attorney and Non-Attorney

Who should join our team?
  • Non-Virginia licensed attorneys
  • Law students, Graduate Students or Paralegal studies students
  • Persons fluent in Spanish, or other languages
  • Persons willing to provide 5-10 hours or more per week of administrative assistance
  • Client eligible community members interested in our Client Council
How can I register to volunteer?
  • Complete the Non-attorney application to volunteer at CVLAS
  • Indicate your availability Monday – Friday, your skill set and the office preference and email the completed form to Lisa Bennett, Director of Pro Bono & Triage Programs at Lisa@cvlas.org
  • Summer Interns – Law students should submit a resume, cover letter and writing sample to the attention of Sara Blose at Sara@cvlas.org

Non-Attorney Application To Volunteer

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Justice Server

JusticeServer is Pro Bono Made Easier

JusticeServer is an Online case management and referral system that enables private attorneys to accept and work on legal aid cases right from their own computers – providing legal services to low-income clients in areas such as consumer law, elder law, employment law, housing law, protective orders and uncontested no-fault divorces. We are recruiting attorneys in Richmond, Petersburg, Charlottesville, and surrounding cities and counties.

Virginia attorneys may register for JusticeServer at justiceserver.org.

JusticeServer is Easy to Use

JusticeServer has a publicly viewable portal. Anyone can go to https://www.justiceserver.org, click on “All Cases,” and see the total need of legal aid for volunteer help. Available cases are identified by the type of case, the jurisdiction, and the legal aid program which placed it.

To see more about a case, the user must click on “Express Interest.” JusticeServer will show more only if the user has registered for JusticeServer and has been approved by the legal aid program which placed the case. Once the user expresses interest, the user has 72 hours within which to check conflicts and accept it. The case disappears from the public portal so no other volunteer attorney can view it during the 72 hour period.

When registering for JusticeServer, the user does not create a profile stating the type of cases, jurisdictions, and legal aid programs the user wishes to view. After logging in and clicking on “All Cases,” the volunteer attorney can use filters to narrow the search.

JusticeServer does not automatically generate email notifications of available cases. JusticeServer allows the user to create a subscription to get emails. After logging in and clicking on “All Cases,” the volunteer attorney can use the “Manage” button under Subscription create a subscription – using type of cases, jurisdictions, and legal aid programs about which the user wishes to receive emails.

After a user logs in and clicks on “My Cases,” JusticeServer displays cases pending conflict check, cases pending acceptance, accepted cases, and case history (closed cases). When a case is accepted, the user can create and upload case notes, can download case notes, and can upload and download files. JusticeServer also displays Important Dates, both those created by legal aid and the volunteer attorney.

JusticeServer has both a “pull” system and a “push” system. The push system allows legal aid to directly assign a case to a registered user. JusticeServer also has a timekeeping feature for the user that allows legal aid to accurately record donated hours, which is tremendously valuable in reporting to funding sources and applying for grants.

JusticeServer has a resources feature for the user. The resources will appear, as part of the case, whenever the legal problem code on the case matches the legal problem code of the resource which legal aid has created. JusticeServer also has an “End My Representation” button which takes the user to the closing screen, and collects all of the information legal aid needs to close the case and report results to our funders.

  • Bankruptcy: Provide representation to debtors in Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings for low-income clients for whom the filing would serve to protect income and/or property.
  • Wage Claims: Represent workers who have worked and not been paid, or who have not been paid minimum wage or overtime pay in violation of law.
  • Estate Planning: Draft simple wills, Powers of Attorney, and advance directives (Living Wills and Medical Powers of Attorney) for low-income clients 60 years of age or older, or who have other circumstances which make simple estate planning necessary.
  • Guardianship: Represent the petitioner who is seeking guardianship over another person where the petitioner is 60 years of age or older, in good health, and there are no less restrictive alternatives.
  • Hotline: Provide brief legal telephone advice in call backs to pre-screened clients in routine, non-emergency cases primarily involving consumer law, debt collections, employment law and family law.
  • Housing Law: Represent tenants in unlawful detainer cases, terminations of federally subsidized housing assistance (vouchers), security deposits and disputes involving the condition of the leased premises.
  • Protective Order Only: Represent domestic violence victims in Preliminary Protective Order and Permanent Protective Order hearings – “quick hit” type cases where the pro bono attorney is in and out of the case in a short time.
  • Uncontested Adoptions: Provide representation to low-income prospective adoptive parents in uncontested adoption cases if the child will receive financial benefits after the adoption.
  • Uncontested No-Fault Divorce: Provide divorce representation for low-income clients who have been separated from their spouse for at least two years, and in which there are no contested custody, support, or property issues
  • Unemployment Compensation: Provide administrative representation to unemployment compensation claimants in Appeals Examiner hearings and Special Examiner appellate reviews before the Virginia Employment Commission.

These substantive areas have been chosen because they tend to be limited in scope and meet areas of high demand for clients in our community. Some these cases can take as little as 30 minutes. Almost all can be done for less than 15 hours to complete. On-line training and resources are available in each of these substantive areas. CVLAS is available to provide technical assistance in all topics.

For more information about JusticeServer, please contact:
Lisa Bennett, Pro Bono Triage Director, (804) 200-6038. Email: Lisa@cvlas.org.