2020-2021 WE THE PEOPLE, VIRGINIA CIVICS EDUCATION – $15,300
Through a rigorous and proven professional development program, Virginia Civics will train middle and high school teachers on using the We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution curriculum in order to increase teacher and student knowledge of the U.S. Constitution, the rule of law, institutions of government, rights and responsibilities, and citizenship.
“BEST PRACTICES” PRO BONO LAWYER PROGRAM, CHARLOTTESVILLE-ALBEMARLE BAR ASSOCIATION – $25,000
The Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association (CABA) will surpass its’ years goal of placing 100 vetted pro bono cases with volunteer attorneys, reducing the local justice gap. The 2020 Virginia Law Foundation funding will expand the program as well as produce a best practices manual so that other bar associations can implement similar programs.
CAPITAL DEFENSE WORKSHOP, VIRGINIA BAR ASSOCIATION – $35,000
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. Virginia Law Foundation’s financial support allows the workshop to be presented with only a nominal charge to registrants.
CHILDREN’S PROGRAM, AYUDA – $10,000
Ayuda will provide trauma-informed legal services for immigrant children and youth survivors of human trafficking in Virginia. The 2020 Virginia Law Foundation funding will increase access to justice by providing long-term legal representation to child victims of human trafficking who are eligible for lawful immigration status. Ayuda will also strengthen Virginia’s judicial institutional capacity to respond to these victims’ needs by facilitating trainings for Virginia judges, agency attorneys, and guardians ad litem on immigrant remedies for child victims of trafficking.
CIVIL LEGAL ASSISTANCE TO LOW-INCOME SENIORS, BLUE RIDGE LEGAL SERVICES – $25,000
Blue Ridge Legal Services provides free civil legal assistance to low-income seniors with critical legal needs. The 2020 funding will support this mission via outreach presentations at various senior centers and community agencies that serve the elderly in the Central Shenandoah Valley with a focus on elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation cases.
EVICTION DIVERSION PROGRAM, GREATER RICHMOND BAR FOUNDATION – $35,000
Richmond has the second highest eviction rate in the nation. The EDP involves a public-private partnership between the City of Richmond, GRBF, and Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME). For tenants who have experienced a temporary financial crisis but can pay ongoing rent, the EDP provides a pro bono “conciliator” to negotiate a payment plan between the landlord and tenant; the City has set aside funds to assist with up to 50% of the arrearage, and HOME provides financial counseling. Funding from the Virginia Law Foundation helps to support this worthy program.
HILL TUCKER PRE-LAW INSTITUTE, VIRGINIA STATE BAR DIVERSITY CONFERENCE – $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 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 Virginia Law Foundation sponsors this annual program, which is offered at no cost to attendees.
IMMIGRATION LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAM, NORTHERN VIRGINIA FAMILY SERVICES – $20,000
Thanks to the funding of the Virginia Law Foundation, the Northern Virginia Family Services will provide over 1,700 vulnerable immigrants in Northern Virginia with access to no or low-cost legal services to assist with immigration and family reunification and establish the foundation on which to build a life in the United States.
JAZZ4JUSTICE — $5,000
Jazz4Justice™ partners local bar associations with university or community college music programs to raise funds for legal aid services, pro bono law programs, and music scholarships. Jazz4Justice™ raises the community’s awareness of the need to support the Justice Gap, which in turn brings in additional new financial support for pro bono and educational programs sponsored by local bar associations and legal aid programs. Jazz4Justice™ creates partnerships between the law community and universities to convert a regularly scheduled concert into a fundraiser. In addition to maintaining and growing Jazz4Justice™ concerts across universities in the Commonwealth, this year’s grant funding will focus on expanding the educational component about the Rule of Law and access to justice.
JUSTICE FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIMS, VIRGINIA BEACH JUSTICE INITIATIVE – $40,000
The Virginia Beach Justice Initiative (VBJI) 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 human trafficking, and barring that, to build a comprehensive system to identify, rescue, restore, and reintegrate those impacted by it. To aid in this mission, the Victim Services team and programming are designed to increase access to justice for local victims of human trafficking. Once trafficking victims are identified, VBJI provides counseling, court support, and pre-release planning for clients. In addition, the Victim Services team works to build relationships and provide education, training, and resources to public defenders, prosecuting attorneys, probation officers, judges, and law enforcement professionals who have the opportunity to influence client outcomes.
JUSTICE IN THE CLASSROOM PROGRAM, JOHN MARSHALL FOUNDATION – $24,050
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 (JIC) 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. Virginia Law Foundation funding has enabled JMF to deliver in-person teacher workshops in all eight Superintendent’s regions and to build, update, and share a free, downloadable digital platform for the Justice in the Classroom rule-of-law, history, and government lesson plans. 2020 Virginia Law Foundation funding will create next-generation lesson plans that capitalize on new partnership opportunities with the production team of a forthcoming John Marshall documentary and the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.
NORTHERN VIRGINIA PRO BONO LAW CENTER, FAIRFAX LAW FOUNDATION – $25,000
The Northern Virginia Pro Bono Law Center of the Fairfax Law Foundation provides legal assistance to poverty and low-income residents throughout their Neighborhood Outreach Program. The effects are far-reaching with long-standing partners who help to increase the impact on those who would otherwise be denied access to legal services
PROJECT FOR THE EMPOWERMENT OF SURVIVORS, VIRGINIA SEXUAL & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACTION ALLIANCE – $25,000
The Project for the Empowerment of Survivors (PES) is a legal helpline that serves as an extension of the Action Alliance’s 24/7/365 Statewide Hotline for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence. The PES offers survivors of violence, particularly those from underserved populations, an opportunity to receive free and confidential legal advice from trauma-informed advocates and attorneys, gain holistic insight into legal issues, and be linked with advocacy and legal services in their communities.
PROVIDING ACCESS TO LEGAL SERVICES FOR CANCER PATIENTS, CANCERLINC – $10,000
Central Virginia-based CancerLINC (formerly the Legal Information Network for Cancer) has been linking people with resources that ease the day-to-day challenges of cancer for 20 years. CancerLINC connects cancer patients and their families with legal assistance, financial guidance, and community resources and, by doing so, to the efforts of some of Virginia’s most dedicated volunteer attorneys. These pro bono attorneys can help cancer patients solve many of the problems they face, including eviction, bankruptcy, custody battles, and employment security. Virginia Law Foundation funds will be used to increase the number of hours the staff attorneys are on site at local cancer care centers who will assist CancerLINC clients, to increase the number of people CancerLINC serves, and to raise awareness of CancerLINC’s mission and services.
PUBLIC SERVICE SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM, VIRGINIA LAW SCHOOLS – $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 DAY, VIRGINIA HOLOCAUST MUSEUM – $4,800
The Virginia Holocaust Museum and the Nuremberg Courtroom Committee jointly hold an annual “Rule of Law Day” award program which recognizes and honors individuals whose work, lives, and careers reflect the principles that were established during the Nuremberg Military Tribunal and later at the International Court of Justice. Virginia Law Foundation grant monies supported the Rule of Law Day program, dinner, and CLE program.
RULE OF LAW PROJECT, CENTER FOR TEACHING THE RULE OF LAW – $10,000
The Center for Teaching the Rule of Law Project is an educational web-based program that educates citizens about the rule of law as the foundation for civil societies. The Rule of Law Project addresses directly the vision and mission of the Virginia Law Foundation by cultivating an understanding of the rule of law as the cornerstone for democratic ideals and institutions, establishing it as a model for rule of law education nationally and internationally, and reaching over 3500 students and teachers.
RURAL IMMIGRATION LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAM, JUST NEIGHBORS – $30,000
After 23 years of offering legal services in Northern Virginia, Just Neighbors will expand into four targeted rural areas in Virginia that are geographically isolated and sorely underserved by legal services providers. Many immigrants in these areas are not aware that they have a pathway to permanent legal status or citizenship, which can only be achieved with competent legal representation. Within these communities are also victims of domestic violence, human or labor trafficking, or violent crimes, as well as children who have been witnesses to these crimes or victims themselves. The Virginia Law Foundation 2020 grant will help expand this Rural Immigration Legal Services Program, which will provide direct legal representation to this underserved population, as well as facilitate collaboration, education, and volunteer opportunities.
SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA TRAINING INITIATIVE, SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA LEGAL AID SOCIETY – $15,000
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. Virginia Law Foundation funds will help SVLAS present three day-long training conferences, including an expanded elder abuse conference and the annual domestic violence conference.
STATEWIDE LEGAL AID CONFERENCE, VIRGINIA POVERTY LAW CENTER – $26,175
For over three decades, the 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. Virginia Law Foundation 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.
UNCONTESTED DIVORCE TOOLBOX FOR PRO BONO LAWYERS, VIRGINIA LEGAL AID SOCIETY – $30,000
The Virginia Law Foundation 2020 funding will make valuable templates, checklists and instructions for divorce cases available to private attorneys viewing Kemps CaseWorks-based cases on JusticeServicer.org, a portal that allows pro bono attorneys to help clients across Virginia. These tools make it easy for attorneys to complete uncontested divorces, the most common service requested of Virginia pro-bono attorneys, but are available at this time only for Richmond-area cases. The change will make it easier for attorneys to accept cases outside of Richmond.
VIRGINIA HIGH SCHOOL MOCK TRIAL, VIRGINIA LAW RELATED EDUCATION INSTITUTE — $20,000
The Virginia Law-Related Education Institute (VLRE) will use the 2020 funding to cover the costs of regional mock trial competitions for 2021, the state mock trial competition for 2021, and programming to support the expansion of mock trial programs across the Commonwealth.
VIRGINIA JUSTICE PROGRAM, CAPITAL AREA IMMIGRANTS’ RIGHTS COALITION – $30,000
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 ensures that public defenders and court-appointed counsel in Virginia are educated regarding the immigration consequences of crimes, thereby greatly increasing the likelihood that an indigent noncitizen in Virginia will have access to a defense counsel competent to advise them about the potential adverse immigration consequences of their case. The 2020 funding from the Virginia Law Foundation will support individualized consultations, trainings, resource creation, and essential outreach efforts to connect with court-appointed attorneys across Virginia.
VJLAP WELLNESS CONFERENCE, VIRGINIA JUDGES AND LAWYERS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM – $10,000
Since 1985, the Virginia Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (formerly Virginia Lawyers Helping Lawyers) has provided confidential, non-disciplinary support 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. The 2020 Virginia Law Foundation funding will support VJLAP to partner with the Virginia Law Foundation and the Supreme Court of Virginia’s Wellness Initiative Coordinator to plan and deliver 8-10 continuing legal education credits related to impairment and well-being issues during a multi-day conference for judges, lawyers, law students and other legal professionals.
If you’d like to support our grants to these not-for-profit organizations that share our vision and three-pronged mission of increasing access to justice and promoting legal education and the Rule of Law, please consider donating at www.virginialawfoundation.org/donate. Checks may be sent to our address at 105 Whitewood Rd., Charlottesville, VA, 22901.