Grants in 2007 – $25,000
On April 29 the Virginia Law Foundation Board of Directors approved 36 grant awards totaling $425,000 for law-related projects benefiting the people of Virginia. Now in its twenty-third year of grantmaking, the Foundation has provided over $22.4 million dollars to programs that provide civil legal assistance to low-income Virginians, law-related education to the public, public service internships for law students, and projects designed to improve the administration of justice.
The VLF awarded $140,900 to fourteen pro-bono/legal services projects; seven law related education projects received $31,160, thirteen administration of justice programs received $177,940, and $75,000 was awarded to support public service internships. VLF funds are provided in support of these projects for a one-year period beginning July 1, 2007.
Grants awarded are:
Court Advocacy – $10,000
The Help and Emergency Response Shelter will provide an advocate for women facing domestic violence issues to assist them in navigating their way through the legal system. The goal of this project is to increase the knowledge of available options and resources to victims of domestic violence.
Oliver White Hill Foundation Internship Program – $3,000
Funds will support an intern who will work with the Employment Discrimination Project of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law during the summer of 2007.
Basic Virginia Law for Non-Lawyers: Legal Survival in the Commonwealth of Virginia – $10,000
The Center for Legal and Court Technology at the College of William and Mary School of Law will print 3,000 copies of a public service guide to basic legal issues that affect everyday life in the Commonwealth as a resource to promote increased awareness of each citizen’s rights and responsibilities and to encourage increased civic participation. Update: The guide is now published and is available on the web at www.BasicVirginiaLaw.org.
Public Service Internship Program – $72,000
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 and Mary School of Law, Appalachian School of Law, and Liberty 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 2008 and want to work with a public interest legal employer in Virginia.
Senior Citizens Law Day – $10,000
The Senior Lawyers Conference of the Virginia State Bar will hold a Senior Citizens Law Day at each of the local bar associations, to be hosted by lawyers who will discuss a range of legal topics that impact the elderly. Grant funds will be used for printing costs for the Senior Citizens Handbook.
Clinic for Legal Assistance to Service Members – $5,000
This clinic, run by the George Mason University School of Law, helps active-duty military service members manage personal legal problems by providing free legal assistance to individuals who cannot afford private counsel.
Local Government Attorneys Pro Bono Guide – $1,200
The Local Government Attorneys Association’s Pro Bono Committee will publish a guide for local government attorneys that will address various pro bono opportunities and provide solutions for obstacles to local government participation in pro bono legal services.
Community Training to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence – $6,000
In the fall of 2007, the Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society will hold two training conferences for volunteers who serve victims of domestic violence.
ARISE: Life Skills – $5,000
Gemeinschaft Home residents will be trained as instructors for this program which works to empower at-risk youth. The program helps youth gain the necessary skills to become productive citizens. Gemeinschaft residents teach through their own experiences, encouraging youth away from the life of offenders.
Mentoring Lives: Successful Re-entry through Relationships – $12,000
This program of Boaz and Ruth matches ex-offenders with mentors as part of a program that trains released prisoners in the emotional and relational competencies, life attitude and work skills needed to re-enter society as healthy productive citizens.
Pro Bono Program – $12,500
The Fairfax Law Foundation will use grant funds to support the Family Legal Assistance program, including CLE programs provided to attorneys who agree to serve in a pro bono capacity.
Re-Entry and Transitional Services for Offenders – $3,500
Offender Aid and Restoration/Jefferson Area Community Corrections will work with offenders both prior to and after release from prison in order to assist with successful re-entry into the community by focusing specifically on “Workplace Essentials” classes in order to help prepare these invididuals for job placement.
Central Virginia Restorative Justice – $10,000
This program of Offender Aid and Restoration/Jefferson Area Community Corrections will work with adult and juvenile offenders to achieve offender accountability, victim and community restoration and healing, and the rebuilding of relationships in the community by confronting offenders with the ramifications of their behaviors upon victims and the community.
Mediation Program Enhancement – $7,500
The Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center will use funds to train and mentor new mediators; train restorative justice mediators; coordinate an educational program regarding mediation and restorative justice for attorneys and the community; and develop and conduct a continuing legal education program.
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 restsrictive confinement; and protection from attacks by inmates.
Immigration Counseling Services – $25,000
Refugee and Immigration Services of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond will provide immigration counseling to low-income individuals at several locations in Virginia.
Legal Assistance to Women and Girls Fleeing Violence – $7,500
The Tahirih Justice Center provides legal services, holistic social and medical referrals, and public policy advocacy to immigrant women and girls fleeing abuse.
Domestic Violence Pro Bono Program – $10,000
Legal Services of Northern Virginia will conduct one pro bono training in the fall of 2007 with the goal of recruiting 60 pro bono attorneys to represent victims of domestic violence.
Virginia Capital Case Database – $25,000
The Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center will use grant funds to create a comprehensive database related to all past and present capital cases in Virginia.
Community Legal Practice Center at Washington and Lee University – $5,000
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, with a particular focus on elderly victims of domestic violence.
Hiring of Professional Investigators – $11,200
The Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project will hire a professional investigator to look into the validity of wrongful imprisonment cases.
A New Direction: Prostitution Rehabilitation Program of Offender Aid and Restoration of Richmond – $5,000
This group will work as part of a coordinated, multi-agency effort to combat the problems associated with prostitution.
Immigration Services Program of the International Rescue Committee – $10,000
This program, located in Charlottesville, 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.
Re-Entry Program of New Visions, Inc. – $12,000
The program works to address the full range of challenges confronting women as they re-enter community and family life after periods of incarceration.
Capital Defense Workshop – $19,000
This program of the Virginia Bar Association Foundation covers training requirements (forensics and litigation) for attorneys appointed to represent defendants charged with capital murder.
Statewide Legal Aid Conference 2007 – $20,000
The Virginia Poverty Law Center will hold a three-day conference in the fall of 2007. Training sessions are offered in all areas of poverty law (many offering CLE credit).
Juvenile Rights Handbook – $3,500
The Young Lawyers Conference of the Virginia State Bar will print a handbook that addresses the rights and responsibilities of individuals under 18 years of age in Virginia.
Children and Divorce Spanish Pamphlet – $660
The Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar will use grant funds to translate into Spanish a pamphlet that provides detailed guidelines concering how parents should treat their children during a divorce process.
Law-Related Education Project of the Page County Bar – $2,000
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.
Child Advocacy Center of Greater Richmond Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) – $5,000
Funds will help SCAN improve its services to referred children who are the victims of severe physical and sexual abuse.
Horticulture Training and Job Placement Program – $10,000
This program of Offender Aid and Restoration of Arlington County works with ex-offenders to help them develop occupational skills in floral arrangement, to help them become productive members of society.
Kids Court – $4,000
Childhelp Children’s Center of Virginia will work with children who have suffered abuse, to help them understand the judicial process and minimize their apprehension about court proceedings.
Pro Bono Outreach and Recruitment Project of Blue Ridge Legal Services – $10,000
Funding will be used to hire a Pro Bono Development Director to conduct a year-long series of pro bono outreach drives, enhancing the work of their pro bono program.
Asian American Equal Access Project – $7,500
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.
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.
Statewide CASA Program Assistance – $48,940
For a project to be developed that will assist in statewide Court Appointed Special Advocate program volunteer recruitment and/or training.