California Estate Planning Blog by Kevin Staker

August 13, 2014

Volunteer With VLSP

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin Staker @ 3:27 pm

 

What is VLSP?

 

The Ventura County Bar Association – Volunteer Legal Service Corporation (VLSP) is the pro bono affiliate of the Ventura County Bar Association. VLSP provides free legal services to low-income people in Ventura County, California.

 

VLSP Mission Statement

 

VLSP assists our low income neighbors with free legal help

 

 

How can I help?

 

VLSC seeks volunteers to handle pro bono cases on a full or limited case basis, or to volunteer at pro per clinics in the following areas of law:

– Family Law

-Domestic Violence

– Guardianship

– Landlord- Tenant Disputes

What’s in it for me?

 

If you are a newer attorney, you can gain valuable experience, along with assistance from a more experienced VLSP mentor.  If you are a more experienced attorney, you help other people, the key to a happy life.

 

How do I sign up?

 

Contact:  Verna Kagan,   ·  Verna@vcba-vlsp.org  · telepone 805-650-7599

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How can I be sure I am getting a client who really needs me?

 

We screen each client to establish that his or her income and resources are within our eligibility guidelines. Our staff also completes a thorough intake regarding the client’s legal matter.

 
What resources are available to me?

 

VLSP provides monthly trainings throughout the year in areas of law most in demand amongst VLSP clients. Additionally experienced volunteers serve as mentors to newer attorneys. Volunteers are also covered by VLSP’s errors and omissions insurance for all pro bono work performed through VLSP.

 
Do I have to do a lot of reporting?

 

Volunteers will need to report the number of pro bono hours performed each month. Attorneys with pro bono cases are required to complete case status checks and a short case report at the close of each pro bono case. This information is required by VLSP funding sources, and enables us to monitor the program’s operations, obtain statistics, evaluate and refine the program, and nominate attorneys for pro bono awards.

 
What about attorneys’ fees?

 

Since all VLSC cases are referred on a pro bono basis, the client may not be charged a fee for services. However, attorneys’ fees may, on occasion, be recoverable. In family law cases, for example, the court has the discretion to award attorneys’ fees from the opposing party. If fees are recoverable, you may retain them as partial compensation for your services, but we encourage you to donate them to VLSP to help support our programs.

 
Do I have to be an attorney to help?

 

There are limited opportunities for paralegals, legal document assistants, and interpreters. Please contact us for more information.

 
I can’t volunteer, but I still want to help. What can I do?

Give the VLSP a cash donation! Your contribution is tax deductible because VLSP is a 501(c)(3)  charity.

 

You can give by contacting us at 805-650-7599.

 

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