Current Grants Awarded

2013 Grants – $328,000

JUSTICESERVER ($100,000)

A project of the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation

JusticeServer is a state-of-the-art information management and case referral system. Inside legal aid organizations, JusticeServer improves efficiency of case screening and legal service provisions, improves reporting capabilities and improves identification of unmet needs. With one step Legal Aids can send pro bono matters to a secure online Portal and access a virtual law firm of volunteers from throughout the Commonwealth. For the private bar, JusticeServer is centralized source for finding pro bono opportunities that match designated areas of interest and ability.

Learn more about this project in an article by Alexandra S. Fannon, published in the December 2013 issue of Virginia Lawyer: “VLF Grant Fuels JusticeServer Expansion”.

RULE OF LAW PROJECT ($75,000)

A project of the Virginia Law Foundation and the Virginia Bar Association

The Rule of Law Project is an educational program developed for middle and high school civics students to teach the rule of law through an extensive web-based curriculum designed by educators and taught collaboratively by teachers, lawyers and judges directly in the classroom. The purpose of the project is to change fundamentally the way the rule of law is taught in America’s schools, and to empower students at a formative age to become active and engage citizens as adults.

Learn more about this project in these articles published in the December 2013 issue of Virginia Lawyer: “Center Spreads the Rule of Law Project” by G. Michael Pace, Jr. and “Museum Exhibit Represents the Greatest Example of Rule of Law in History” by Irving M. Blank.

PUBLIC SERVICE INTERNSHIPS—SUMMER 2014 ($40,000)

Each of Virginia’s eight American Bar Association-accredited law schools will receive $5,000 to fund public service internships during the summer of 2014. Continuing a VLF tradition begun in 1990, the internships enable Virginia host employers to hire selected students who will have completed one or two years of law school. The students work under the supervision of an attorney; the work they complete varies widely and depends on the missions and caseloads of their respective organizations. Some students gain experience working on individual client matters and some work on projects affecting many clients in the organization’s service area. These internships advance law-related education by sensitizing students to the importance of public interest and pro bono work.

The following Virginia law schools are involved:

  • George Mason University School of Law
  • Regent University School of Law
  • University of Richmond School of Law
  • Appalachian School of Law
  • William and Mary School of Law
  • Liberty University School of Law
  • University of Virginia School of Law
  • Washington & Lee University School of Law

Learn more about this project in an article by Dana M. Fallon, published in the December 2013 issue of Virginia Lawyer: “Public Service Internship Program: An Investment in the Community and Future Lawyers”.

THE IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE PROJECT ($30,000)

A project of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Immigration Assistance Project (IAP) provides pro bono legal services to the underserved Hispanic community and other individual in the immigrant community. Since its inception, the IAP has served 4,000 individuals primarily from the Tidewater, Central and Northern Virginia areas. The IAP assists with the recovery of unpaid wages, identifying and obtaining forms of lawful status for illegal immigrants to obtain asylum, NACARA, Temporary Protected Status, status through U-VISA; administrative closure and prosecutorial discretion. The IAP also assists with immigration related documents to include citizenship applications, employment authorization and family member petitions.

WILLIAM & MARY LAW SCHOOL’S LEWIS B. PULLER, JR. VETERANS BENEFITS CLINIC ($30,000)

Willam & Mary Law School’s Puller Clinic is nationally recognized as an innovator in veterans’ services and legal education. The clinic provides pro bono access to justice to veterans with complex disability claims. The clinic provides these legal service while educating law students in the ethical practice of this complicated are of law. VLF funding will double the number of veterans the Clinic serves annually and double the number of future lawyers with expertise in veterans’ law.

OLIVER WHITE HILL FOUNDATION INTERNSHIPS ($20,000)

Michael Goode (L’14) , Simone Sebastian (L’14), and Fatimah Stokley (L’14), students at Howard University School of Law, the alma mater of Oliver Hill, were selected by the Oliver White Hill Foundation to receive summer internships in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties. Mr. Goode and Ms. Stokley both interned at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in Washington, DC, while Ms. Sebastian interned for The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights also in located in Washington, DC.

2013 STATEWIDE LEGAL AID CONFERENCE ($20,000)

A project of the Virginia Poverty Law Center

The Virginia Poverty Law Center holds an annual conference on legal issues relating to poverty. The three-day conference is comprised of approximately 30 training sessions on issues including consumer, health, family, housing and other areas of civil poverty law. The project will serve all of Virginia with the goal of educating legal aid attorneys and staff on those issues that most impact low income Virginians. It will also provide attorneys with the opportunity to earn required number of CLE credits at little or no cost, and provide a meeting ground for legal aid attorneys and staff to discuss the latest developments in the valuable work they do.

CAPITAL DEFENSE WORKSHOP ($17,000)

A project of the Virginia Bar Association Foundation

The Capital Defense Workshop is the only educational program that covers both training requirements (forensics and litigation) for Virginia lawyers representing defendants charged with capital murder. This is the 18th year of the Virginia Law Foundation’s financial support to this one and one-half day training program for Virginia attorneys. Each year, up to 250 lawyers receive training in forensics and litigation to help them meet standards set by the Virginia Supreme Court and the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission, in conjunction with the Virginia State Bar, for the defense of capital cases in Virginia.

Goals of this workshop are to (1) maintain/increase the current level of qualified lawyers certified to accept capital cases; (2) provide attendees additional insight regarding national developments in death penalty litigation; and (3) enhance participants overall level of skills and productivity as representatives of capital defendants.

HILL-TUCKER PRE-LAW INSTITUTE ($10,000)

A project of the Diversity Conference of the Virginia State Bar and the Millennium Diversity Initiative

During a week-long program, students are introduced to the legal profession by attending mock classes and seminars on test taking strategies, the college admissions process, and career opportunities in the law. The students meet with law professors, judges, guest lecturers, and lawyers, and participate in a mock trial. The Institute culminates with a graduation banquet where a prominent African American member or member of diversity of the Bar is the featured speaker. The goals of the institute are to: 1) provide area high school and other students throughout the state with access and exposure to African American lawyers and other lawyers of diversity in the Richmond area; 2) Educate students on the basic fundamentals for successful law careers and provide them with an opportunity to experience the field of law first hand; and 3) Provide a practical learning experience through the mock trial to further expose area high school students to the practice of law.

Learn more about this project in an article by Latoya C. Asia and Providence E. Napoleon, published in the December 2013 issue of Virginia Lawyer: “2013 Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Pre-Law Institute”.

SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA LEGAL AID SOCIETY($6,000)

Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society will present two regional day-long conferences for 250 professionals who serve and protect victims of domestic violence, including private attorneys, prosecutors, magistrates and legal aid attorneys. These conferences, located in Abingdon and Christiansburg, will provide high quality, inter-disciplinary training that improves professional skills while encouraging inter-agency collaboration. The training will prepare private attorneys willing to offer pro bono services to victims and give non-attorneys a better understanding of the legal issues involved in using the law to protect victims.

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