VLP Provides Pro Bono Assistance

The Legal Aid Society and the Cincinnati Bar Association co-founded the Volunteer Lawyers for the Poor Foundation in 1982. The role of the VLPF was to provide oversight and raise funds for a new pro bono effort:  the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) whose goal was to encourage volunteer participation by private attorneys to help meet the growing need for legal services for low-income families and individuals.

The VLP is the official pro bono program of seven local bar associations in Southwest Ohio.  When private attorneys join the VLP, they agree to take two cases a year to assist low-income clients pro bono.  Over 600 attorneys have signed up with the VLP. Each year, they handle over 1300 cases pro bono for the VLP and Legal Aid.

Meet the VLP Team

The VLP is led by Legal Aid of Greater Cincinnati Senior Attorney Molly Russell.  She and Pro Bono Coordinator, Jenny Zellars, work closely to match the referred cases with Volunteer Attorneys.  Legal Aid staff conducts intake screening of applicants and refer eligible clients to volunteer attorneys. Legal Aid attorneys provide back-up to volunteer attorneys on substantive matters. Legal Aid paralegal staff also provides support for the VLP’s Divorce and Wills Clinics.

For more about the VLP: https://vlpcincinnati.org/