Vermont attorneys, sign up to be a volunteer with the Vermont Volunteer Lawyers Project! Make a difference in someone's life. If you are an attorney, we need your help now! Below you will find more information about the project.
About Vermont Volunteer Lawyers Project
The VVLP is a cooperative effort of the Vermont Bar Association and Legal Services Vermont. The VVLP is the only organized pro bono project in the state of Vermont. As volunteers with the VVLP, each attorney is asked to give some time to help low-income Vermonters, but they give much more. They give dignity by reaching out and lending a helping hand; they give power to those in fear that fight poverty every day; they give hope where despair is the only reality.
Whether you give one or 100 hours of your time, your participation in the VVLP makes a significant difference in people's lives. By responding to the pleas for help and providing equal access to justice, each of you gives back to and strengthens your community.
In addition to self-help services, Legal Services Vermont hopes to increase use of pro bono attorneys through the Vermont Volunteer Lawyers Project.
VVLP and Bradley Showman, Pro Bono Coordinator, are part of Legal Services Vermont. Providing assistance to the growing number of pro se litigants is a challenging task. This type of service is an integral part of the idea of equal access to justice. An important piece to this type of delivery of legal services is the ability to find pro bono attorneys through VVLP whenever possible. This is where your help is so desperately needed. The partnership of Legal Services Vermont staff and Vermont attorneys is the key to an effective and successful program.
COVID-19 Pandemic Information
We are working to identify urgent legal needs Vermonters have or will develop as a result of the pandemic. There is already a disproportionate impact for our clients and we need volunteers more than ever. If you have ideas or want to help, please fill out the volunteer form to get involved. Check back at this page as we further develop the specific topic areas where legal assistance is most needed.
What Volunteer Lawyers Get
VVLP staff determines financial eligibility for each client before being referred for pro bono service. Clients are interviewed to determine what legal issues need to be addressed. Your name and phone number is given to the client only after you have talked to VVLP staff and agree to accept the referral.
Reimbursement of Expenses
VVLP will reimburse you for any out of pocket expenses from the case such as: long distance phone calls, copying costs, filing fees and mileage. In some cases, other types of expenses can be reimbursed, however you must get pre-approval from the project.
Access To National Law Centers
As a VVLP pro bono attorney you receive discounts on valuable materials and events from the National Law Centers. There is currently information available on special discounts for pro bono attorneys from the National Consumer Law Center. If you are interested in receiving this information please contact the VVLP.
As a VVLP volunteer you are eligible to receive low-cost or free CLE training. Topics for events include: foreclosure, eviction defense, senior citizen issues and mentoring for new attorneys.
Other Pro Bono Opportunities with VVLP
Pro Bono Eviction Clinic
Legal Services Vermont hosts clinics in several counties to assist unrepresented tenants at rent escrow hearings. You can volunteer at a clinic in the following counties: Addison, Chittenden, Washington and Rutland. This is a great volunteer opportunity to have an immediate impact on an important issue and help prevent homelessness. Contact Bradley Showman, Pro Bono Coordinator, for training information and scheduling.
An opportunity for you to help a new attorney or an attorney willing to take on a new area of the law. This allows you to get pro bono credit for teaching what you already know. It helps the project because you are sharing your expertise and helping the VVLP increase its volunteer panel.
Be a Trainer on a VVLP CLE Event
This is another way for you to get pro bono credit and help the project recruit new attorneys. Specialized Projects Do you have a special interest in a unique pro bono idea or project? Bradley Showman, Pro Bono Coordinator, will meet with you to discuss what you would like to do to help either on an individual or group basis.
Bankruptcy Referral List
Legal Services Vermont receives dozens of calls each week from low-income Vermonters with debt hanging over their heads. They call seeking help with a bankruptcy. Often they have heard from friends that a bankruptcy can solve all their money problems. Since nothing is quite that simple, Legal Services Vermont staff attorneys and paralegals counsel individuals on the law regarding debt collection practices and their rights and responsibilities as debtors. People often want the relief that a bankruptcy can provide. They may not have a full time job, they may have no attachable property and can barely keep a roof over their heads and their families fed. These individuals need an attorney to represent them in a simple chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. We want to be able to refer debtors to attorneys who can help them with bankruptcy for a price that people can afford.
If you would like your name on our referral list please contact Bradley Showman, Pro Bono Coordinator, at 802-383-2215 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or fax your name, address, phone number and fee structure to 802-651-4130. We send this list out to clients so they may hire an attorney to help them with their bankruptcy at a reduced fee.
Attorneys: To volunteer, please use our online form.