ACCESS TO JUSTICE COMMISSION – $35,000
On September 13, 2013, the Supreme Court of Virginia established the Virginia Access to Justice Commission. The mission of the Commission, which is comprised of judges, lawyers, and others, is to promote equal access to justice in Virginia, with particular emphasis on the civil legal needs of Virginia residents.
CAPITAL AREA IMMIGRANTS’ RIGHTS COALITION – $50,000
The CAIR VA Justice Program provides training, written resources, and individualized consultations to indigent defense providers throughout Virginia on the immigration consequences of criminal charges and convictions. The purpose of the program is to ensure equal access to justice for Virginia’s non-citizens by providing indigent defense attorneys with the tools they need to competently defend their clients against the disproportionate immigration penalties that often accompany criminal convictions, including immigration detention, deportation and family separation.
JOHN MARSHALL FOUNDATION – $21,500
The John Marshall Foundation is an organization that sponsors educational and public interest programs or other activities in the fields of law, government, history and public affairs to promote a greater public understanding of Chief Justice John Marshall and his many contributions and accomplishments related to the foundation of our nation.
HILL TUCKER PRE-LAW INSTITUTE – $15,000
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.
LAWYERS HELPING LAWYERS – $25,000
Lawyers Helping Lawyers Strategic Initiative will help the organization formulate a strategic plan that will generate resources necessary to support broader educational outreach to the legal community and provisions of additional mental health and substance abuse services to those in need.
LEGAL INFORMATION NETWORK FOR CANCER – $10,000
LINC eases the burden of cancer patients and their families by providing assistance, education, and referral to legal, financial, and community service. By connecting clients with attorneys, accountants, and other professionals on a pro bono basis can help cancer patients solve the problems they face – eviction, bankruptcy, custody battles, employment security, and similar worries.
PUBLIC SERVICE INTERNSHIPS – $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. 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
VBA CAPITAL DEFENSE WORKSHOP – $22,400
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 20th 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.
VIRGINIA POVERTY LAW CENTER – $20,000
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.
VLF / VBA RULE OF LAW PROJECT- $75,000
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.
WILLIAM & MARY PULLER CLINIC – $50,000
William & 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 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.