...promotes through philanthropy the rule of law, access to justice, and law-related education.
Current Grants Awarded
2012 Grant Awards - $297,500
Grants awarded are:
RULE OF LAW PROJECT, A project of the Virginia Law Foundation and the Virginia Bar Association ($100,000)
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.
PUBLIC SERVICE INTERNSHIPS—SUMMER 2013 ($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 2013. 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
CAPITAL DEFENSE WORKSHOP, A project of the Virginia Bar Association Foundation ($20,000)
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 17th 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.
2012 STATEWIDE LEGAL AID CONFERENCE, A project of the Virginia Poverty Law Center ($20,000)
The Virginia Poverty Law Center (www.vplc.org) 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.
LAW DAY 2012 PROGRAMMING, A project of the Virginia Law Foundation in cooperation with the Rule of Law Project ($10,000)
Funds will support Law Day events occurring in April and May 2012 in Richmond, Norfolk/Portsmouth and other selected locations in Virginia. Project goals are to advance understanding of the rule of law; educate the general public about the importance of the rule of law as the foundation of the Constitution and the glue that binds our diverse nation together; and provide an opportunity for the VLF to more effectively satisfy its mission through education on the rule of law by broadening its reach to a wider audience.
EXPANSION OF THE RULE OF LAW PROJECT THROUGH LOCAL BAR ASSOCIATIONS IN VIRGINIA, A project of the Virginia Law Foundation ($10,000)
Financial assistance of up to $1,000 per local bar association ($10,000 in the aggregate) will be provided to facilitate the introduction of the VLF/VBA Rule of project in more Virginia schools during 2012.
HILL-TUCKER PRE-LAW INSTITUTE, A project of the Diversity Conference of the Virginia State Bar and the Millennium Diversity Initiative ($10,000)
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.
THE IMMIGRANT ASSISTANCE PROJECT—EXPANSION TO NORTHERN VIRGINIA, A project of the Diversity Conference of the Virginia State Bar and the Millennium Diversity Initiative ($50,000)
To ensure that the legal needs of Virginians, especially those of diverse origins, are met, the VSB Diversity Conference is partnering with the Immigrant Assistance Project to provide pro-bono legal services to the underserved Hispanic and diverse communities in immigration matters. Immigrant Assistance Project will expand its work to the Northern Virginia region. This project will directly impact 360+ individuals and indirectly impact 1,800+ individuals in the Northern Virginia area.
RULE OF LAW DAY LUNCHEON, WORKSHOP & AWARD, A project of the Virginia Holocaust Museum ($15,000)
The Virginia Holocaust Museum has worked in tandem with the Virginia Law Foundation for five years to sponsor Law Day programming and “The Rule of Law Award”. Programming is connected to a series of events ranging from lectures to workshops. This year’s theme is the “Restoration of Jewish Assets from the Holocaust Era”. Ray Dowd, Esq. from New York will be the featured luncheon speaker who will touch upon the legal complexities surrounding this topic. Mr. Dowd will also conduct a CLE Workshop at the US Court House following the award luncheon. The “Rule of Law Award” will be presented to an individual who has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to promoting the rule of law as the foundation of peaceful, stable, and prosperous nation states.
LEAKS, LEAKERS, NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE 1ST AMENDMENT, A project of the Montpelier Foundation ($7,500)
“Leaks, Leakers, National Security and the 1st Amendment” is a seminar highlighting the tension that necessarily exists between the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and press, and national security. The program, to be held at James Madison’s Montpelier, will include participant deliberation on a hypothetical case study involving government whistleblowers who provide sensitive information to the press based on the view that the government is exceeding the scope of its authority and the need for public awareness.
20th ANNIVERSARY CONCLAVE ON THE EDUCATION OF LAWYERS IN VIRGINIA, a project of the Virginia State Bar/Section on the Education of Lawyers in Virginia (additional $5,000 awarded in 2012 for videotaping and editing the event; $30,000 was previously awarded in 2011)
The conclave, to be held in the spring of 2012, will provide a forum for stakeholders in legal education to review the current state of legal education generally; to discuss current trends and developments in Virginia, and nationally, since 1992 when the Virginia State Bar hosted the first conclave on legal education in the country; and to identify areas for improvement in the continuum of legal education in Virginia for the next twenty years.
The impact of the project will be statewide, as potential changes and improvements in legal education would involve all law schools in Virginia, the General Assembly of Virginia, the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners and the Virginia State Bar, as the regulatory authorities for the legal profession in the Commonwealth; all lawyers and judges who are member of the bar in Virginia, as well as the providers of continuing legal education in the state. The recommendations may serve as a national model for similar developments across the country.
OLIVER WHITE HILL FOUNDATION INTERNSHIPS ($10,000)
Eddie L. Holiday, III, (L’13) and Giovanna Jean-Baptiste (L’13), both 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. Holiday and Ms. Jean-Baptiste are both interns at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in Washington, DC.