The Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association was established in 1977 to provide legal representation in civil matters to the indigent of Boston through the pro bono services of private attorneys and paralegals. It is among the oldest organized pro bono efforts in the country.
In 1996, VLP broadened its scope when it became the grantee of the federal Legal Services Corporation for the Greater Boston area. VLP also supports the Legal Advocacy and Resource Center (LARC) to operate a hotline to screen and refer clients to appropriate legal and social services and/or advise clients when services are not available or necessary. All efforts are augmented by a modest in-house case handling capacity.
Pro bono services are provided through VLP's panel of approximately 1,000 attorneys and paralegals representing all segments of the legal community- members of small, medium and large firms, solo practitioners, government attorneys, retired attorneys, corporate counsel, and law students certified under SJC Rule 3:03.
The panel handles cases in a broad range of substantive areas and pro bono assistance takes many different forms. In addition to handling cases, VLP volunteers serve as Attorneys of the Day at the Boston Housing Court and Suffolk County Probate and Family Court; teach community legal education programs for low-income homeowners; provide telephone advice on probate and estate related issues; and serve as counsel to a variety of community groups. Find out more about VLP's volunteer opportunities.
In addition to offering a variety of volunteer opportunities, VLP provides the training and support busy attorneys need to make pro bono work. Over the last thirty years, VLP has honed its intake and referral systems to meet the needs of pro bono attorneys. Find out more about the benefits of being a VLP panel attorney and about VLP's case referral system.
Volunteer's Lawyers Project receives support from the federal Legal Services Corporation (LSC).