San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc.

Pursuing Justice | Transforming Lives

San Diego, CA   |  http://www.sdvlp.org

Mission

To provide equal access to the justice system by serving as a bridge between indigent and other disadvantaged people in San Diego County and the volunteer lawyers and others who are willing to donate their time and resources.

Ruling year info

1984

Chief Executive Officer

Amy Fitzpatrick Esq.

Main address

707 Broadway. Suite 1400

San Diego, CA 92101 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

33-0016681

NTEE code info

Public Interest Law/Litigation (I83)

Public Interest Law/Litigation (I83)

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

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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?

Domestic Violence Prevention Project

Victims of domestic violence receive assistance in completing and filing restraining orders, related legal relief, and referrals to social support agencies and shelters. Services are provided at project clinics located throughout the County.

Population(s) Served

In cooperation with the Probate Court and Probate Examiner's Office, and funded in part by the County of San Diego, SDVLP operates weekly clinics to assist in obtaining guardianship for children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned.

Population(s) Served

IMMIGRATION LAW SERVICES FOR CHILDREN
SDVLP provides direct representation to dependent children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned, and who are eligible for legal permanent residency under the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) provision of federal law.

EDUCATION LAW ADVOCACY PROJECT
Operated in coordination with the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency and other donors. This project offers direct representation to students who are dependents or whose parents are receiving voluntary CWS services, who have unmet special education needs, difficulty with enrollment, or who are facing school discipline proceedings.

Population(s) Served

The North County Unlawful Detainer Clinic provides legal information to litigants in unlawful detainer cases. Clinics operate weekly and are provided on a walk-in basis.

Population(s) Served

Provides comprehensive legal services to HIV positive individuals who meet certain income requirements. Staff and volunteer attorneys provide assistance in a variety of areas including, but not limited to, estate planning, landlord/tenant disputes, bankruptcy and other debtor/creditor problems, insurance difficulties, family law questions, employment discrimination, confidentiality concerns and Social Security and benefit problems. SDVLP does not handle criminal matters or fee-generating cases, such as personal injury actions.

Population(s) Served

SDVLP provides legal services and technical assistance to non-profit community organizations and groups, whose primary purpose is to serve disadvantaged, low-income San Diegans, and who do not have the financial resources to retain private counsel.

Population(s) Served

The Federal Pro Bono Project is a joint effort between the United States District Court, SDVLP, and participating law firms and lawyers to provide free legal assistance to indigent plaintiffs in meritorious civil rights actions in federal court. The client must have filed a claim in propria persona. Referral is made to SDVLP by the Federal Court.

Population(s) Served

Families in need receive free legal assistance, and free health and social services resources in one day, under one roof.

Population(s) Served

SDVLP assists in the organization and operation of the civil legal component for Operation Stand Down, sponsored by the Veterans Village of San Diego. Shelter, food and clothing are provided at the annual event where homeless veterans are also afforded access to a wide range of services including physical and mental healthcare, assistance with benefit issues, information on training and employment opportunities, and help in resolving civil and criminal legal matters.

Population(s) Served

The Vision for Justice Collaborative* (VJC) helps immigrants and refugees, who are victims of crime, with civil legal issues that arise as a result of the crime.

Assistance is provided with issues such as: Restraining orders, divorce, custody, child support, immigration, employment, and housing benefits.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Service Award, Distinguished Organization 2013

The San Diego County Bar Association

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.

SDVLP aspires to promote equal access to justice by involving private attorneys in the provision of free civil legal services to indigent and disadvantaged San Diego County residents. SDVLP's services are directed to children in foster care, domestic violence victims, persons with HIV/AIDS, broken families, and other vulnerable groups. By engaging volunteer support, SDVLP is able to provide representation and other services to its target populations in legal practice areas which directly impact their health, safety and well-being. SDVLP's work with these populations is ongoing, and long-term success will be measured by its ability to effectively respond to the growing demand for service.

SDVLP's approach to service delivery is two-fold: 1) offer services at locations that are convenient and are easily accessible to the client population; and 2) encourage and support volunteer involvement by providing State Bar accredited training programs. To this end, SDVLP has several long-standing court-sited or court-affiliated legal clinics. It also collaborates with community partners in San Diego's North, South, East and Central San Diego Counties to conduct outreach targeting potential clients in those respective areas. This strategy was successfully employed in the implementation of the Law Library Family Law Clinic. Resources from the participant agencies are combined to offer a unique and effective response to the need for direct representation family law services. This new component is further enhanced by an hour-long substantive family law training from which volunteers can glean helpful information that can be immediately applied during the clinic session that follows. Similar initiatives will follow as financial resources and other partnership opportunities become available.

SDVLP has a dedicated team of staff attorneys and support staff, a large and active network of volunteer attorneys, a presence in the courts in the form of court-sited clinics, a robust relationship with the private bar, strong ties to all of the local law schools, an established network of funders, and a strong reputation for credibility, stability, and efficiency.

The ultimate goal of San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program is to close the justice gap in San Diego and fully meet the need for civil legal assistance for all low income and disadvantaged San Diego County residents. In order to achieve that goal we will strive to increase the number of cases being referred to volunteer attorneys, obtain additional funding from more sources, and continue to expand program services.

Financials

San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, 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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San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 06/16/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Jeffrey Byer

Sandler Lasry Laube Byer & Valdez LLP

Term: 2018 - 2020


Board co-chair

Elizabeth Brann

Paul Hastings LLP

Term: 2018 - 2020

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes