Grants in 2006 – $420,205
On May 5, the Virginia Law Foundation Board of Directors approved 51 grants totaling $420,205 for law-related projects across Virginia. Now in its twenty-second year of grantmaking, the Foundation has provided over twenty-one million dollars in 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 designed to improve the administration of justice. The Foundation allocates 5% of its assets annually for grants and operations. During the current grant cycle, the VLF received seventy-two requests for funding totaling $1,044,312.
The VLF awarded $149,635 to 16 pro-bono/legal services projects; 13 law related education projects received $68,600; 20 administration of justice programs received $137,970, and $64,000 was awarded to support public service internships. VLF funds are provided in support of these projects for a one-year period beginning July 1, 2006.
Training of Chesterfield CASA Volunteers – $2,500
This program will focus on the training of new CASA volunteers to work with the 12th District Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, which serves Chesterfield County and Colonial Heights.
Improvement of Diagnostic Capabilities – $4,500
This grant will allow Lawyers Helping Lawyers (Richmond) the funds needed to administer a battery of psychological tests to referred lawyers in order to assess and diagnose those who are impaired.
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; William & Mary School of Law; Washington & Lee University School of Law; and Appalachian 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 2006 and want to work with a public interest legal employer in Virginia.
Law Related Education Project of the Page County Bar – $1,000
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.
Community Training to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence – $5,000
In the fall of 2006, the Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society will hold two training conferences for volunteers who serve victims of domestic violence.
“On the Record” Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic – $3,000
This group will record three law texts for use by the blind or visually impaired.
Annual Statewide Legal Aid Conference 2006 – $20,000
The Virginia Poverty Law Center will hold a three-day conference in the Fall of 2006.
Immigration Service Program of the International Rescue Committee – $5,000
This program provides both refugee and non-refugee immigrants with low-cost professional assistance in navigating through immigration matters such as visa petitions, naturalization applications and permanent residence.
Senior Citizens Law Day – $9,000
The Senior Lawyers Conference of the Virginia State Bar will hold a Senior Citizens Law Day at each of the local bar associations that will be hosted by lawyers who will discuss a range of legal topics that impact the elderly.
Standards of Practice Manual for Assigned Counsel – $10,470
The Virginia Indigent Defense Commission will conduct a survey of existing state and national standards of practice in order to develop a standards of practice manual to be used by court-appointed counsel, that will be made available to all public defenders, court appointed attorneys and judges in Virginia.
Graduated Incentive Program of the Loudoun County Court Services Unit – $1,000
This program strives to reduce juvenile delinquency and recidivism through a graduated system of rewards that is intended to encourage positive behavior, enhance self esteem, encourage social and leadership skills, and establish communication between juveniles and authority figures.
Expansion of Mediation Services to the Tenth Judicial District – $7,000
Peaceful Alternatives Community Mediation Services will use funds to help support expansion of services to the 10th Judicial District counties of Halifax, Lunenburg and Mecklenburg.
Outreach to Spanish Speaking Community – $1,835
The Virginia Legal Aid Society will print their most frequently requested brochures in Spanish in order to increase their ability to assist non-English speaking clients.
Legal Assistance to the Elderly of the Central Shenandoah Valley – $17,000
Blue Ridge Legal Services will provide older adults with free legal assistance in their Harrisonburg office.
Immigration Services of the Hispanic Committee of Virginia – $5,000
This group assists clients with immigration legal issues through phone consultations, in person consultations, assistance in completing forms, applications and supporting documentation, representation in deportation and other legal matters, and community presentations.
Capital Defense Workshop – $17,000
This program of the Virginia Bar Association Foundation covers both training requirements: forensics and litigation, for attorneys appointed to represent defendants charged with capital murder cases.
The Public Outreach Legal Lecture Series – $1,000
The Alexandria Law Library will conduct two lectures that will focus on educating Alexandria residents about the legal system, and introducing more members of the community to the Law Library facility and its resources.
Law Library Improvement Project of the Russell County Bar Association – $1,000
This project will focus on increasing public access to legal documents over the internet.
Legal Assistance to Women and Girls Fleeing Violence – $5,000
The Tahirih Justice center provides legal services, holistic social and medical referrals, and public policy advocacy to immigrant women and girls fleeing abuse.
Immigration Counseling Services – $20,000
Refugee and Immigration Services, a project of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, provides immigration counseling to low income individuals.
Essay Competition Scholarship Awards – $1,000
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. This year’s topic will be “Balancing Personal Freedoms with the Requirements of the Patriot Act”.
Outreach Program of Friends of Guest House – $5,000
This group will work with selected women preparing for release from the Alexandria Jail, and will work to develop an educational, training and support program for each client.
Horticulture Training and Job Placement Program – $15,000
This program of OAR of Arlington County works with ex-offenders to help them develop skills in floral arrangement.
Expanding Mediation Services – $10,000
Apple Valley Mediation will expand mediation services to Shenandoah, Warren and Page Counties, and train new mediators.
Re-Entry and Transitional Services for Offenders – $3,500
OAR/Jefferson Area Community Corrections will work with offenders both prior to and after their release from prison in order to assist with successful re-entry into the community.
Reforming the Involuntary Commitment Process – $16,500
Grant funds will support the work of a multidisciplinary task force, appointed by the Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court, that will meet to develop sustantative recommendations for improving the service of the courts to those with mental health related issues.
Teacher Institute on Virginia Courts – $7,000
The Virginia Law Related Education Center of Sweet Briar College will host a 2-day teacher institute to provide Virginia teachers with tools to implement effective civic education in their classrooms.
Northern Neck CASA Program Expansion – $5,000
Funds will support expansion of services to Westmoreland County, by recruiting, training, and supervising competent volunteers to represent the needs of abused and neglected children.
Norfolk Mental Health Court Evaluation – $15,000
The ODU Social Science Research Center will conduct an evaluation of the Norfolk Mental Health Court in order to assess the effectiveness of the program’s ability to help clients with mental illness successfully re-enter society.
Pro Bono Program – $15,000
The Fairfax Law Foundation will use grant funds to support its Family Legal Assistance Program and provide pro bono assistance to Legal Services of Northern Virginia.
Volunteer Services Project – $7,500
Newport News CASA will use grant funds to support its volunteer services.
Community Legal Practice Center at Washington & Lee University – $7,800
Grant funds will support law student interns for the Center, a law clinic that provides legal services to underserved and underprivileged populations in the Rockbridge County area.
Oliver White Hill Foundation Internship Program – $1,000
Funds will support an intern who will work with the Employment Discrimination Project of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law during the summer of 2006.
Rappahannock Regional Juvenile Drug Treatment Court of the Rappahannock Regional Jail – $3,500
Grant funds will provide additional mentor support to program participants.
The Center for the Constitution – $9,600
This program of the Montpelier Foundation offers Virginia teachers the opportunity to participate in an intensive study of Constitutional theory and history.
Law Related Education Programs of the Fairfax Law Foundation – $3,000
Grant funds will be used to support the Court Tour program and the Drug Awareness Project.
VBA Credit Issues Project – $8,000
A project of the Young Lawyers Division of the Virginia Bar Association to prepare a publication that focuses on educating teenagers about the importance of credit and debt management.
CASA Program Expansion to Arlington – $10,000
SCAN of Northern Virginia will further expand its Court Appointed Special Advocates program in Arlington County.
Consumer Law Team – $11,000
The Legal Aid Justice Center Consumer Law Team will work with clients on issues of predatory lending, consumer finance, foreclosure prevention, automobile cases, and other consumer law issues.
Virginia Institutionalized Persons’ Project of the Legal Aid Justice Center – $15,000
This project will examine issues pervasive in the institutions in which persons are incarcerated, by focusing on issues such as timely access to medical, dental, and mental healthcare for inmates; use of isolation and other restrictive confinement; and protection for attacks by inmates.
Access to Justice – $5,000
Legal Services of Northern Virginia will provide legal advocacy, outreach and legal education in housing and family law matters.
Tax Resource Center for Nonprofit Organizations – $7,500
The Community Tax Law Project will expand its existing program, by sponsoring two CLE workshops for new volunteers.
Giles House Project of Boaz and Ruth – $7,500
This project gives ex-offenders both transitional housing and life skills and job training.
Clients Helping Clients – $5,000
The Central Virginia Legal Aid Society will use grant funds to start a half-hour weekly radio program, “Radio Legal Aid”, in Charlottesville, Petersburg and Richmond.
“So You’re 18” – Distribution to New Target Population – $5,000
The Virginia State Bar Conference of Local Bar Associations will use grant funds to produce and distribute its “So You’re 18” handbook to Virginia teenagers as they receive their driver’s licenses.
Child Advocacy Center (CAC) of Greater Richmond SCAN – $2,500
Funds will help SCAN improve its services to children who are the victims of severe physical and sexual abuse and are referred to the CAC to receive a medical examination and a comprehensive interview.
Domestic Violence Audio-Visual Project – $5,000
The Women’s Center will develop, produce and distribute audio tapes and/or CDs along with illustrated booklets to illiterate and functionally illiterate victims of domestic violence in Northern Virginia for whom language presents a comprehension problem.
Asian American Equal Access Project – $6,000
This project of the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center will help Asian Americans better communicate with their attorneys through the use of a trained legal interpreter.
Senior Program Supervisor – $2,500
The Roanoke Valley CASA Foundation will employ a full time program supervisor to help address an increasing number of cases.
CASA-Big Brother/Big Sister Collaborative – $4,000
CASA of Central Virginia will collaborate with the Big Brother/Big Sister program to train volunteers to work with children in abuse and neglect cases, after the court proceedings involving the child and CASA have ceased.
Piedmont Supervised Visitation Center – $3,000
Grant funds aid with the start-up of a supervised visitation center for visits between a non-custodial parent and children supervised. The group seeks to create a safe, neutral, child-friendly environment that facilitates positive parent-child interaction.