Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association Inc.

aka VLP   |   Boston, MA   |  www.vlpnet.org

Mission

The mission of the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association is to increase access to justice by delivering high quality pro bono civil legal services to eligible clients in the Greater Boston area.

Ruling year info

1984

Principal Officer

Ms. Joanna Allison

Main address

7 Winthrop Square Second Floor

Boston, MA 02110 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

22-2486215

NTEE code info

Legal Services (I80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

VLP aims to address the unmet civil legal needs of low-income clients. Every person has a right to equal access to our justice system. This right is too often denied to individuals who are unable to afford legal counsel. There is no right to an attorney in civil legal proceedings and a vast number of low-income unrepresented litigants are left to navigate a complex legal system on their own. A recent study by the Boston Bar Association found that in Massachusetts civil legal aid programs turn away 64% of eligible cases. Nearly 33,000 low-income residents in Massachusetts were denied the aid of a lawyer in life-essential matters involving eviction, foreclosure, and family law such as cases involving child abuse and domestic violence. People seeking assistance with family law cases were turned away 80% of the time.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Guardianship Clinics

Senior Partners for Justice and VLP offer two important types of guardianship assistance in court-based clinics. Our volunteer attorneys and law students help low-income petitioners for guardianship complete and file the guardianship petitions, and help low-income guardians complete their care plans and annual reports.

Population(s) Served
Adults

VLP uses volunteer attorneys to advise and represent low-income tenants and landlords at the Boston Housing Court two days a week. This project is a joint effort of VLP and the Real Estate Section of the Boston Bar Association. The volunteers assist pro se landlords and tenants at Boston Housing Court, primarily in matters involving eviction. The volunteers:- provide brief advice- assist in preparing pleadings or motions- represent clients in medication or negotiation- represent clients on a Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) basis in court hearings.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Eastern Region Legal Intake (ERLI) is a new project by the Volunteer Lawyers Project that began in October 2016. ERLI provides intake, advice and referral services to low-income callers in the eastern region of Massachusetts. To maximize efficiency, clients are screened in a two tier system to ensure that eligible callers speak with an advocate as soon as possible. Clients in need of legal advice are scheduled for telephone advice sessions with pro bono attorneys.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

American Bar Association

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients provided legal assistance at clinics

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Boston Housing Court Lawyer for the Day Clinics

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, VLP's in-person clinics were suspended. Over the course of 2020, VLP set up virtual clinics to assist clients and provide legal assistance virtually.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

VLP’s mission is to increase access to justice by delivering high quality pro bono civil legal services to low income clients in the Greater Boston area. We work toward 100% client access to justice by providing a level of meaningful and effective legal help to every low-income client seeking our services.

VLP’s strategies include providing:

• A diverse, multi-lingual experienced legal staff
• a robust pro bono attorney panel developed through outreach, recruitment, mentoring, and continuing
legal education
• a legal intake, information, and referral call center
• a state-wide legal helpline for seniors
• court-based clinics that provide legal information and advice, assistance with forms, and limited assistance
representation (LAR) court appearances, full representation in court and administrative proceedings
• community based clinics and legal education
• co-ordination of service delivery with its regional partners, courts, social service agencies, and the private
bar
• innovative technology solutions and models for effective delivery of legal services
• development of cooperative statewide and national models that share materials and project designs with
other legal providers

VLP’s pro bono-centered service delivery model is a force multiplier: VLP’s staff of 40 leverages a panel of more than 2,000 volunteer attorneys and law students to provide legal assistance to several thousand low-income clients in essential legal matters. VLP is also supported by a highly involved volunteer board of directors and well-developed partnerships with regional, state, and national legal services programs.

VLP has progressed from a small pilot project of the Boston Bar Association in 1977 to a leading provider of pro bono legal services in the state with a pro bono panel of over 2,000 volunteer attorneys. On an annual basis, VLP recruits over 200 pro bono attorneys and handles over 1,300 cases. We provide legal assistance (everything from legal information or advice to contested litigation) to over 13,000 people. We have increased client access to justice and have improved the administration of justice by significantly reducing the number of unrepresented clients in the court system.

Financials

Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association Inc.

Board of directors
as of 5/28/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Andrew Cohn


Board co-chair

Mr. William Roberts

Ropes & Gray LLP

Joseph Kaigler

Massachusetts Port Authority

Raymond Kwasnick

Goulston & Storrs

Andrew Cohn

WilmerHale

Lee Duncan

VA Boston Healthcare System

Timothy Lee

Advocates, Incorporated

Richard McCarthy

Locke Lord LLP

Stuart Rossman

National Consumer Law Center

Josephine McNeil

CAN-DO Citizens for Affordable Housing in Newton

Mary Moore

Survivors, Incorporated

Albert Wallis

Brown Rudnick

Michael Pappone

Goodwin Procter LLP

David Pearson

Shawmut Education

Hantzley Audate

Ganderflock

Deborah Bornheimer

Christopher Clark

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Brian Dunphy

Mintz Levin

Richard Ferguson

RSM US LLP

Deeqo Jibril

City of Boston

Sarah Kelly

Nutter, McClennen & Fish LLP

Daphne Lopes

Sarah Petty

WilmerHale

Carla Reeves

Goulston & Storrs

William Roberts

Ropes & Gray LLP

Jose Sierra

Holland & Knight LLP

Suzanne Small

Bay Cove Human Services

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/28/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data