CAPITAL AREA IMMIGRANTS’ RIGHTS (CAIR) COALITION – $40,000
The Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition strives to ensure equal justice for all immigrant men, women, and children at risk of detention and deportation. CAIR Coalition’s Virginia Justice Program, with the support of the VLF, has over the past three years developed and executed a unique model in collaboration with the Virginia Indigent Defense Counsel for Virginia criminal defense attorneys to receive training, access resources, and consult with knowledgeable attorneys on criminal-immigration matters. 2018 grant money will help support the training of 300-500 more attorneys and directly influence over 100 newly certified Virginia court appointed attorneys through an annual Virginia Justice Program training, as well as to continue to provide regularly updated legal resource materials regarding the immigration consequences of Virginia offenses.
JOHN MARSHALL FOUNDATION, JUSTICE IN THE CLASSROOM PROGRAM – $40,000
Bringing the history and importance of the rule of law in America to the students of today is a difficult task. The John Marshall Foundation’s Justice in the Classroom Program brings federal and state judges into public school classrooms for presentations and discussions with students about the constitutional foundation of our nation, our three co-equal branches of government, the rule of law, and the role of the judiciary in preserving the rights and liberties of all citizens. The program includes the development of grade-level appropriate curriculums. 2018 VLF funds will aid in the expansion to Virginia Department of Education regions 3, 5, and 8 (the Northern Neck, Charlottesville and surrounding areas, and Southside Virginia), as well as to create problem-based assessments, make the program Chromebook-compatible, and offer lawyer/judge training.
PUBLIC SERVICE INTERNSHIPS – $50,000
Supported by the Virginia Law Foundation since 1990, public service internships for first- and second-year law students help bring to light the importance of public interest and pro bono work. Each of Virginia’s eight American Bar Association-accredited law schools receives funding for public service internships during the summer. The students work under the supervision of an attorney. The work they complete varies widely, depending on the missions and caseloads of their host organizations. Some students gain experience working on individual client matters and others work on larger projects in an organization’s service area.
RULE OF LAW PROJECT, CENTER FOR TEACHING THE RULE OF LAW – $40,000
The Center for Teaching the Rule of Law seeks to fundamentally change the way the rule of law is taught in America’s schools. In addition to being a web-based resource on a global scale, it is a community-level educational program that pairs members of local bar associations with teachers to collaborate in educating students about the preeminent role of the Rule of Law as the foundation for freedom, justice, equality, fairness, and stability in civil societies based on democratic principles. VLF grant monies for 2018 will further the goals of the Statewide Lawyers Advisory Council, Statewide Judges Advisory Committee, and Statewide Teachers Advisory Panel in expanding their networks of local lawyers and educators who collaborate to teach the Rule of Law.
SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA LEGAL AID SOCIETY, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CONFERENCES – $12,000
It is the mission of the Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society (SVLAS) to champion equal justice for low-income Virginians. To this end, it has been providing free civil legal services to low-income families in seventeen counties and four small cities in Southwest Virginia for more than four decades. VLF funds will help SVLAS host their annual two day-long Domestic Violence Conferences that provides no-cost training and education for 250 to 300 professionals who serve victims of domestic violence. The conference programming includes a variety of workshops that address the legal and social needs of victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault.
SUPREME COURT OF VIRGINIA – $75,000
The new Supreme Court of Virginia Judicial Learning Center will tell the story of Virginia’s judiciary history, providing a valuable educational resource for visitors to the Supreme Court building, which include elementary and high school students, leadership groups, civil organizations, and individuals from every corner of the state. A professional museum design firm will be retained to design, fabricate, and install graphic panels, exhibits and casework that will provide an interactive and memorable learning experience that highlights the rule of law and why an independent judiciary is important to a democratic society.
TAHIRIH JUSTICE CENTER – $20,000
The Tahirih Justice Center’s Falls Church office meets the urgent and emerging legal needs of low‐income immigrant women and children throughout Northern Virginia facing gender-based violence, including domestic violence and sexual assault, female genital mutilation, trafficking, and forced marriage. Their Holistic Legal Services for Immigrant Women and Girls in the Wake of Extreme Violence Program enables low-income, disadvantaged immigrant women and girls throughout Northern Virginia that continue to face both abuse and threats of deportation to rebuild their lives in safety through free immigration and family law services, as well as social services case management.
VIRGINIA BAR ASSOCIATION, CAPITAL DEFENSE WORKSHOP – $26,500
Administered by the Virginia Bar Association, the Capital Defense Workshop is the only educational program that covers training requirements for Virginia lawyers representing defendants charged with capital murder. Each year, up to 250 lawyers receive the training to help them meet standards set by the Virginia Supreme Court and the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission for the defense of capital cases in Virginia. The goals of this workshop are to maintain and increase the current level of qualified lawyers certified to accept capital cases, provide attendees additional insight regarding national developments in death penalty litigation, and enhance participants’ overall level of skills and productivity as representatives of capital defendants. VLF’s financial support allows the workshop to be presented with only a nominal charge to registrants.
VIRGINIA BEACH JUSTICE INITIATIVE – $20,000
The Virginia Beach Justice Initiative was founded to initiate and facilitate justice for those who have been victimized by human trafficking and to bring justice to those who are perpetrators. It aims to end human trafficking in the Hampton Roads area and throughout the Commonwealth by partnering with individuals and other organizations to prevent it, and barring that, to build a comprehensive system to identify, rescue, restore, and reintegrate those impacted by it. To aid in this mission, VLF monies will support the addition of a full-time case manager who will coordinate screening and support services.
VIRGINIA HOLOCAUST MUSEUM – $5,000
The Virginia Holocaust Museum (VHM) preserves and documents the Holocaust in exhibits and its archival collections. Through the permanent exhibit, educational programming, and outreach, the museum employs the history of the Holocaust and other genocides to educate and inspire future generations of Virginians to fight prejudice and indifference. VLF grant monies will support the VHM and the Nuremberg Courtroom Committee (NCC)’s annual Rule of Law Day award program, luncheon, and CLE program. This year’s CLE will focus on the international and domestic legal frameworks erected to respond to war crimes, genocide, and human rights violations.
VIRGINIA LAWYERS HELPING LAWYERS – $35,000
Virginia Lawyers Helping Lawyers (LHL) provides confidential, non-disciplinary assistance to lawyers, judges, law students and legal professionals who are experiencing impairment as a result of substance abuse or mental health conditions. Assistance is designed to promote recovery, protect the client, prevent disciplinary problems for the lawyer, support their families and professional associates, and strengthen the profession. A 2017 VLF Grant allowed LHL to develop a case management system that, along with a new Lighthouse business plan, enables increased geographical reach to the entire Commonwealth. 2018 grant monies will build on that capability by enabling LHL to develop a marketing and educational outreach plan to increase the visibility of the program.
VIRGINIA LEGAL AID SOCIETY – $21,500
Virginia Legal Aid Society (VLAS) is a nonprofit law firm established in 1977 to provide free civil legal services to eligible low-income residents in 20 counties and six cities in Central, Southside, and Western Tidewater Virginia. VLAS serves these communities by providing free information, advice, and representation in such areas as housing, healthcare, income and benefits, family issues, consumer, and education. VLAS has an extensive library of legal education on their website. VLF grant money will support the addition of Spanish translations of the highest priority of these documents, including those that address domestic violence, evictions, child support, car title loans and other topics that regularly touch people’s lives.
VIRGINIA POVERTY LAW CENTER – $25,000
For over three decades, Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) has been providing leadership, support, training, public education, and advocacy to address the civil legal needs of Virginia’s low-income population. VLF grant money will help to fund VPLC’s annual Statewide Legal Aid Conference, which educates legal aid attorneys and staff on those issues that most affect low-income Virginians. The three-day conference includes nearly fifty training sessions on health, family, housing, and other areas of civil poverty law. It also provides attorneys with the opportunity to earn their required CLE credits at little or no cost and provides a meeting ground for legal aid attorneys and staff to discuss the latest developments in the valuable work they do.
VIRGINIA SEXUAL & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACTION ALLIANCE – $15,000
The Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance is Virginia’s leading voice on sexual and intimate partner violence. It is an advocacy organization, a service provider and a membership organization, building diverse alliances across the state. VLF monies will contribute to the funding of the Project for the Empowerment of Survivors (PES), which offer survivors of violence, particularly those who are underserved, an opportunity to find answers to legal questions and to carefully weigh legal options via phone and chat and to be linked with both legal advocacy and legal services in their communities.
VIRGINIA STATE BAR, HILL TUCKER PRE-LAW INSTITUTE – $15,000
Named for legendary civil rights attorneys Oliver Hill and Samuel Tucker, the Hill Tucker Pre-Law Institute is presented by the Virginia State Bar Diversity Conference and Young Lawyers Conference. It seeks to increase diversity in the legal profession by reaching future lawyers at an early age. For one week each June, high school students from all over Virginia are introduced to the legal profession while living on a college campus. Participants attend mock classes and seminars on career opportunities in the law, learn test-taking strategies, and are exposed to the college admissions process. The Institute culminates in a mock trial and graduation banquet, where a prominent member of the bar is the featured speaker. The VLF sponsors this annual program, which is offered at no cost to attendees.