Pro Bono Opportunities
Our neighbors need our help. But not everyone can afford to pay legal fees. We know we should volunteer at least 50 hours each year to represent low income clients, but it’s not always easy. Here are some ways you can build pro bono into a busy practice. The rewards personally and to our system of justice are worth it!
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VBA’s Low Bono Projects
The VBA runs grant-funded programs which pay lawyers a reduced fee (low bono) to represent disadvantaged clients. Clients are eligible because they are either low income or victims of crime. Here’s how you can help
Small Business Legal Assistance Project is a joint project with Vermont Law School to link low bono lawyers with small business owners who need advice and legal services related to their businesses. With a SBA grant, we pay you $75/hour for 5-10 hours of legal work in such areas as business formation, leases and contracts, business succession, intellectual property, employment law, business tax issues, regulatory compliance and other business-related matters.
Victims of Crime Act Project is funded with a federal VOCA grant to pay lawyers $75/hour for up to 10-20 hours assisting clients in legal matters relating to their victimization. Cases include custody and divorce, no-stalking orders, partition actions, assisting with evictions, collections defense, estate planning, assistance in criminal proceedings, and much more.
County Low Bono Projects provide legal representation to low-income Vermonters throughout Vermont. With a grant from the Vermont Bar Foundation, we pay you $75/hour for 3-20 hours helping low-income clients in landlord/tenant, foreclosure and collections defense, child support contempt defense, post adoption contact agreements and adult involuntary guardianship cases.
Sign up HERE to gain experience, build your practice, make some money, and help disadvantaged Vermonters.
Need more information? Contact the VBA’s Legal Access Coordinator Mary Ashcroft at email@example.com.
Vermont Volunteer Lawyer Project is a statewide program matching volunteer attorneys with low-income clients. You choose when, where and the types of cases you will accept, and VVLP provides the screening, referral and support. For more information or to sign up, contact the Legal Access Coordinator, at 802-863-7153.
Vermont Free Legal Answers allows lawyers to answer legal questions on-line for low income Vermonters. Practice pro bono law anywhere, anytime. Learn more or sign up at www.vt.freelegalanswers.org.
Legal Advice Clinics are a great way to offer brief but valuable legal advice. Clinics are hosted by some courts and by various non-profit organization in many areas of the state. Check out the listings HERE.
Pro Bono Opportunities exist in every state court in Vermont. Consider volunteering in your local probate or family division, where the need is especially great. For more ideas, or to start your own pro bono project, contact Mary Ashcroft, Esq, VBA Legal Access Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org