Vermont Volunteer Lawyers Project
Who We Are
Legal Services Law Line
Legal Services Law Line of Vermont, Inc., a nonprofit corporation created by Vermont Legal Aid and the Vermont Bar Association, has received a grant from the Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C. to provide quick advice, brief services and community education to low income Vermonters. Law Line's Board of Directors includes five attorneys appointed by the VBA: John Shullenberger of Jericho, Paula Kane of St. Albans, Jim May of South Royalton, Jay Abramson of St. Johnsbury and Lisa Shelkrot of Burlington. There are also three client board members: Edna Fairbanks-Williams, of Fair Haven, appointed by President Clinton to the national Legal Services Board, Flora Mason of Bennington and Roz Payne of Richmond. Tom Garrett, formerly of Vermont Legal Aid, is the Executive Director.
Law Line takes referrals directly from Vermont Legal Aid. Its mission is to provide high quality, high volume legal services to all low income Vermonters with civil legal problems and to promote the empowerment, dignity and equality of all Vermonters. Its priorities are based on the notion that since full representation for everyone with a serious legal problem is not an attainable goal, Law Line will try to help every poor Vermonter to solve their legal problem on their own. Law Line's goal is the empowerment of individuals and families, helping people to help themselves. In addition to self-help services, Law Line hopes to increase use of pro bono attorneys through the Vermont Volunteer Lawyers Project.
VVLP and its director, Angele Court, are part of Law Line. Although case referrals will continue as usual through the VVLP, there are now additional pro bono opportunities for Vermont Attorneys. Angele has contacted county bar presidents and plans to attend meetings throughout the state, to provide an opportunity for you to have input into the development of new initiatives. Providing assistance to the growing number of pro se litigants is a challenging task. This type of service is an integral part of the idea of equal access to justice. An important piece to this type of delivery of legal services is the ability to find pro bono attorneys through VVLP whenever possible. This is where your help is so desperately needed. The partnership of Law Line staff and Vermont attorneys is the key to an effective and successful program.
What You Get
Reimbursement of Expenses
VVLP will reimburse you for any out of pocket expenses from the case such as: long distance phone calls, copying costs, filing fees and mileage. In some cases, other types of expenses can be reimbursed, however you must get pre-approval from the project.
Access To National Law Centers
As a VVLP pro bono attorney you receive discounts on valuable materials and events from the National Law Centers. There is currently information available on special discounts for pro bono attorneys from the National Consumer Law Center. If you are interested in receiving this information please contact the VVLP. Training Events As a VVLP volunteer you are eligible to receive low cost or free CLE training. Topics for upcoming events include: foreclosure, senior citizen issues and mentoring for new attorneys.
Other Pro Bono Opportunities with the Vermont VLP
Be a Trainer on a VVLP CLE Event
This is another way for you to get pro bono credit and help the project recruit new attorneys. Specialized Projects Do you have a special interest in a unique pro bono idea or project? The VVLP Director will meet with you to discuss what you would like to do to help either on an individual or group basis.
Bankruptcy Referral List
Law Line receives dozens of calls each week from low income Vermonters with debt hanging over their heads. They call seeking help with a bankruptcy. Often they have heard from friends that a bankruptcy can solve all their money problems. Since nothing is quite that simple, Law Line staff attorneys and paralegals counsel individuals on the law regarding debt collection practices and their rights and responsibilities as debtors. People often want the relief that a bankruptcy can provide. They may not have a full time job, they may have no attachable property and can barely keep a roof over their heads and their families fed. These individuals need an attorney to represent them in a simple chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy. We want to be able to refer debtors to attorneys who can help them with bankruptcy for a price that people can afford.
If you would like your name on our referral list please call Angele Court at 802-863-7153 Ext. 18 or 1-800-639-8857. Or fax your name, address, phone number and fee structure to 802-651-4130. We plan to send this list out to clients that indicate an interest in hiring an attorney to help them with their situation.