Grants in 2005 – $412,750
On May 6, 2005 the Virginia Law Foundation Board of Directors approved 42 grant awards totaling $412,750 for law-related projects across Virginia. Now in its twenty-second year of grantmaking, the Foundation has provided over twenty-one million dollars in grant support to programs that provide civil legal assistance to low-income Virginians, law-related education to the public, public service internships for Virginia Law students, and projects designated to improve the administration of justice.
The VLF awarded $181,300 to 16 pro-bono/legal services projects; 10 law related education projects received $60,300, 15 administration of justice programs received $108,150, and $63,000 was awarded to support public service internships. VLF funds are provided in support of these projects for a one-year period beginning July 1, 2005.
The Foundation board allocates 5% of its assets annually for grants and operations. During the current grant cycle, the VLF received seventy-six requests for funding totaling over 1.3 million dollars. The Virginia Law Foundation was established in 1974 by the Virginia State Bar.
Law Related Education Project of the Page County Bar Association – $1,500
Attorney-presenters will deliver classroom lectures and presentations to public school students of Page County in grades K-12 and at the Vocational Technical Center.
Law Related Education Programs of the Fairfax Law Foundation – $1,500
This program focuses on teaching students, parents, teachers, and community members about the justice system while also providing information on the consequences of substance abuse.
Pro Bono Program – $10,000
The Fairfax Law Foundation will provide free civil legal services throughout Fairfax County by supplying attorneys to Legal Services of Northern Virginia to aid in providing end-of-life planning documents for the indigent elderly and disabled, and by sending attorneys to work with human service delivery programs such as homeless shelters.
Essay Competition Scholarship Awards – $500
The Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association Foundation will award college scholarships to graduating high school students from Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, and Chesapeake; based on essays submitted by the students. The topic for this year will be the nomination and appointment of Supreme Court Justices.
The John Marshall Education Program – $10,000
The John Marshall Foundation will pilot an educational program in Richmond will focus on enhancing the teaching of civics and education by concentrating on the concept of the rule of law and the role of the judiciary.
The Center for the Constitution – $10,800
This program of the Montpelier Foundation aims to enhance student’s knowledge of and commitment to the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, by reaching out to Virginia teachers and offering them a chance to participate in an intensive study of Constitutional theory and history.
Public Service Internship Program – $63,000
Grant Funds will provide a minimum of three public-interest internships at the following law schools: George Mason University School of Law; Regent University School of Law; University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School of Law; University of Virginia School of Law; Washington & Lee University School of Law. Internships will be awarded to selected students who will have completed one or two years of law school by the summer of 200- and want to work with a public interest legal employer in Virginia. This year Christian and Barton provided financial support to this program and Williams Mullen agreed to fund one internship at the University of Virginia for the next five years.
CASA-Big Brother/Big Sister Collaborative – $10,000
CASA of Central Virginia will work with the Big Brother/Big Sister program to train CASA volunteers in order to allow these volunteers to continue to work with children in abuse and neglect cases, after the court proceedings involving child and CASA have ceased. The goal of the project is to eventually put an end to repeat abuse and neglect cases.
Training of Chesterfield CASA Volunteers – $2,800
This program will focus on the training of new volunteers in order to maintain a strong base of volunteers to work with the 12th District Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, which serves Chesterfield County and Colonial Heights.
Northern Neck CASA Program – $8,000
This group will work to expand CASA services to Westmorland County, by recruiting, training, and supervising competent volunteers to represent the needs of abused and neglected children.
Expansion of Henrico County CASA – $7,500
Henrico County CASA will expand the scope of its services, in order to serve more children. With an increase in need of 4 percent per year, this group aims to train new volunteers, continue to offer training for current volunteers, increase supervision with growing caseloads and add additional supervision as caseloads continue to grow.
Office Systems Upgrade and Marketing Campaign – $6,000
Roanoke Valley CASA Foundation seeks to gain awareness of their program in the Roanoke Valley by creating a marketing and public relations plan to gain exposure. This will be accomplished through the development of a website and the creation of distributable materials regarding the program and its activities.
Goochland CASA – $12,000
The Goochland County Office on Youth will continue the development of a CASA program in Goochland. This year they will focus on the implementation of the program by matching volunteers with children by the end of the fiscal year.
Volunteer Services Project – $12,000
Newport News CASA will work to retain a full time volunteer services Coordinator in order to maintain enough staff to supervise the number of volunteers required to meet the needs of the court while remaining in compliance with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.
Senior Case Manager for Colonial CASA – $7,500
This program will work to retain a part time Case Manager to supervise volunteers in their efforts to advocate for children in abuse and neglect cases.
Community Training to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence – $5,000
In the fall of 2005, the Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society will hold two conferences for volunteers who serve victims of domestic violence. These conferences will provide training for volunteers as well as allow the volunteers to see the range of professionals involved in domestic violence cases.
Legal Aid Services for the Disabled – $9,000
The Legal Aid Foundation of Roanoke Valley will employ one half time attorney to work solely with clients with disabilities. The program hopes to see a visible impact on the implementation of disability legal rights.
Advocacy Clinic for the Elderly – $2,000
The University of Virginia Law School Foundation will provide free legal assistance to low-income persons ages 60 and older. In 2005-2006 the program will expand it capacity by adding two supervising attorneys. The group will also expand services by adding two summer interns and purchasing educational materials to be distributed to the public.
Community Immigration Program – $2,500
The New Bridges Immigrant Resource Center will offer a program to help immigrants with the immigration system. The program will be offered for 8 to 10 hours a week, and will focus of family immigration and citizenship services.
Annual Statewide Legal Aid Conference 2005 – $20,000
The Virginia Poverty Law Center will hold a three-day conference in the Fall of 2005.
Legal Assistance to Women and Girls Fleeing Violence – $5,000
The Tahirih Justice center, having experienced a 400% increase in demand, will work to continue to provide direct legal representation to immigrant women and girls fleeing abuse and to recruit and train pro-bono attorneys to represent these women.
Immigration Counseling Services – $20,000
Refugee and Immigration Services will provide immigration counseling to low income individuals. The counselors will evaluate cases, give advice, draft letters, follow-up, attend training programs, conduct research, and prepare cases.
Mentorship for Indigent Defense Counsel – $5,350
The Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers will provide attorneys that have been practicing criminal defense for less than three years with a mentor attorney. Mentor attorneys, must have practiced in criminal defense for more than five years.
CASA Program Expansion to Arlington – $10,000
SCAN of Northern Virginia will expand its CASA program to Arlington County. The group, with an infrastructure already in place, will begin to advocate for the abused and neglected children of Arlington, by May 2005.
Mediation Info Disc: Bi-Lingual Edition and DVD Release – $10,000
The Virginia Mediation Network will use grant funds to create 5,000 bi-lingual copies of the organization’s info-disc. The discs will offer the content in both English and Spanish. The goal of this project is to help the growing Hispanic population gain a better understanding of mediation.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Program Support – $7,000
Peaceful Alternatives Community Mediation Services will use funds to help support a full-time Coordinator. The goal of this project will be to increase the group’s ability to deal with increasing caseloads.
Statewide Legal Needs Assessment of Virginia’s Low-income Population – $28,000
The Virginia Bar Association Foundation and the Virginia State Bar will use grant funds to conduct a survey of low-income Virginian’s in order to determine what are the most common legal needs of this population, as well as what the most unmet needs of this population are. After the results are analyzed, they will be presented to the legislature as well as other groups concerned with meeting the legal needs of low-income Virginians.
Legal Assistance to the Elderly of the Central Shenandoah Valley – $16,800
Blue Ridge Legal Services will employ a half-time Dearly Services Attorney who will work in the Blue Ridge Legal Service’s Harrisonburg office with low-income older adults to make free legal assistance more accessible.
Immigration Services of the Hispanic Committee of Virginia – $5,000
This group will use grant funds in order to continue having on staff, an attorney to work with clients on immigration legal issues, a service that this group had not been able to provide until last year. This attorney, assisted by the HCV staff, can offer professional expertise and assist clients with immigration services such as appeals, humanitarian relief efforts, and make inquiries to the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services regarding the status of client cases.
Pro Bono Clearinghouse Project – $5,000
The Clearinghouse, run by the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation functions as a go between for non-profit organizations and pro bono attorneys. This project matches non-profit organizations with attorneys that specialize in non-profit issues. The program director maintains a database with information on attorneys willing to participate, and makes both initial contact with the attorney and follow-up contact in order to assure that attorney-client contact has been made.
Capital Defense Workshop – $17,000
This program, offered by the Virginia Bar Association foundation covers both training requirements for attorneys representing defendants charged with capital murder, forensics and litigation. Attendance of this program will be limited to attorneys who can certify that they will accept appointment in capital cases.
Lawline for the Virginia Legal Aid Society – $20,000
This Group will start an intake and advice hotline. This system will allow VLAS to serve more clients, by answering any questions that can be dealt with over the phone as well as helping to speed up the process for in house appointments.
Juvenile Court Education Project of the Wise County Bar Association – $1,000
This group will work on the production of a video to be given to groups such as police departments, schools, and social services. This video will help those groups, involved with the juvenile courts a better understanding of the way that the court works.
Immigrant Domestic Violence Survivors Project – $5,000
Central Virginia Legal Aid Society will develop a program that will provide emergency legal services and ongoing legal representation to domestic violence survivors. The project, staffed by one to three attorneys will include a part-time bilingual attorney to assist in cases where one or more of the parties speak limited English.
Consumer Law Team – $11,000
The Legal Aid Justice Center will begin a Consumer Law Outreach and Education Program, which will be rum by a part-time staff attorney. This program will focus on outreach and handling of cases generated by an outreach.
Project to Ensure Successful Re-Entry and Rehabilitation for Incarcerated Youth – $11,000
Legal Aid Justice Center is creating a program to work with incarcerated youth, that would give these children with no access to legal assistance, a chance to get legal representation. The program will also focus on providing training to the parents of these youths, to become better advocates for these children, during and after their incarceration.
Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Pre-Law Institute – $5,000
The Millennium Diversity Imitative will run the program at the University of Richmond. The program focuses on getting academically at-risk and disadvantaged students interested in the law.
On the Record Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic – $3,000
This group will record six law texts, which will be recorded by volunteer attorneys or others familiar with the recording of law materials.
Isle of Wight County CASA Program Expansion – $5,000
The program seeks to expand its CASA services, currently available only in Isle of Wight, to Suffolk, Franklin City and Southampton.
Access to Justice – $3,500
Using Census data, Legal Services of Northern Virginia located a lower income area in Northern Virginia, in need of free legal assistance. The group opened an office near the area, to allow easier access to services for that community, but was only able to staff it part time. This year, this group will work to staff that office full time.
Men’s Educational Housing unit (MASTERS) – $5,000
Grant funds will be used by OAR of Arlington County to support a program to educate men in the Alexandria Detention Center. This center helps these men with pre-GED and GED education, as well as life skills classes to help these men better prepare themselves to re-enter society.
Women Empowered for Change – $5,000
This program of OAR Arlington County, run through the Alexandria Detention Center, works with Women to develop skills in order to effectively re-enter society. These classes focus on life skills, such as parenting, health, employment readiness and anger management.
Asian American Equal Access Project – $7,500
This project was designed by the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center to help Asian Americans better communicate with their attorneys through the assistance of trained legal interpreters. This year the program will host an interpreter training, with the goal of training 25 new interpreters and will attempt to make their services available to more of Northern Virginia’s legal service providers.