Welcome to the award winning Northern Virginia Pro Bono Law Center. This program was developed in response to the growing need to provide free legal services to the underserved in Northern Virginia who have civil legal problems but cannot afford to pay for the services of an attorney.
The Fairfax Law Foundation and the Fairfax Bar Association support a vibrant and expanding pro bono program. If you are a lawyer or paralegal, we can use your assistance to help those most in need.
We offer a variety of opportunities depending on your interests. Here are some highlights.
Volunteer attorneys meet with financially eligible clients in the office of the local legal aid to provide analysis and further representation, if appropriate. Training with comprehensive written materials is available as well as on-site mentorship during the intake sessions. Attorneys help the clients deal with matters that may have a serious impact on the lives of themselves and their families.
Attorneys meet with clients having landlord and tenant matters including eviction, breach of lease, housing code violations, and security deposits.
Attorneys help clients deal with a variety of consumer matters which many include debtor's rights, fraud, lemon law, breach of warranties, and repossession.
Employment (Advice only):
Employment lawyers interview low-income clients and provide legal advice and analysis on matters including employment discrimination, unpaid wages and unemployment compensation, without the requirement of any follow-up legal work. Although there is no specific training available, an on-site legal aid lawyer is available for consultation at the time of the client interview and substantive written materials are provided. No further representation past the client meeting is required for this panel.
Neighborhood Outreach Program
Often, people with low-incomes or those in poverty have nowhere to turn for legal advice or referral information. Through this program, volunteer lawyers meet with scheduled clients in settings that are convenient, comfortable and familiar to them. We partner with sites throughout Fairfax County including community centers, family resource centers and homeless shelters. Lawyers are trained to supply analysis, answer questions and provide referral information in civil law matters. Comprehensive written materials are also supplied. The lawyer may choose to provide further representation. These sessions are held on weekday evenings.
Wills on Wheels
Volunteer attorneys provide great peace of mind to low-income seniors and disabled persons by drafting simple Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney and Advance Medical Directives (“Living Wills”). Attorneys go as group to meet clients at sites throughout the Northern Virginia community to perform this service. These sessions are all held on weekdays. Lawyers are provided with training, written materials and sample forms.
Unsuccessful marriages can impact the individual and the entire family, including the children. Volunteer attorneys are trained to process these uncontested matters through the court system ending with obtaining a Decree. These cases are screened through our local legal aid to help insure that there are no unresolved issues of custody, support or property. No prior family law experience is necessary. Training, written materials and sample pleadings are provided.
Family Legal Assistance Project (FLAP)
Family lawyers volunteer their time to help low-income and poverty clients with contested family law matters such as custody, visitation, adoption and divorce. These families are without other legal resources and face serious challenges which can impact the lives of all involved. Without the help of a trained attorney, clients are often left to face the challenges of the legal system unprepared. The Program screens the cases for merit and limits the representation to agreed-upon issues.
In an attempt to have the parties work out their own custody agreement and avoid litigation, the J&DR Court sends clients to Mediation. The volunteer attorneys in this project represent low-income parents in the mediation process only, without having to enter their appearance in the underlying litigation. If the issues are resolved with the help of a certified pro bono Mediator, the attorneys will assist in drafting an Agreed Order, which is presented to the Court.
Nonprofit Legal Support Program
Volunteer corporate and transactional attorneys volunteer to represent local nonprofits in distinct legal matters such as contracts, governance, employment and tax issues.
The Northern Virginia Pro Bono Law Center Provides:
- Training with MCLE credits
- Written materials
- Sample forms
- Free Professional Liability (malpractice) insurance
- Networking opportunities
- Great satisfaction!
These projects can only exist with your help. Choose to get involved today. There is a range of opportunities to suit your interests and availability. You can participate in the projects described above, mentor a new attorney, or teach a CLE.
To volunteer or get further information, complete this form. It can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed to 703-246-2752, or mailed to Arlene Beckerman, Esq. Northern Virginia Pro Bono Law Center 4110 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 216 Fairfax, VA 22030