The Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, Inc. (VLP) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation which provides free civil legal services to low income individuals and small not-for-profit groups in Erie County. VLP provides these important services by utilizing both its staff and volunteers to represent clients.
VLP involves volunteer attorneys by recruiting, training, coordinating and assisting attorneys who volunteer to represent VLP’s clients on a pro bono basis. VLP has been doing this work since 1983 when it was created as a joint project of the Erie County Bar Association and Neighborhood Legal Services. The Bar Association incorporated VLP as a separate not-for-profit corporation in 1988.
VLP’s dual mission is to:
(1) provide quality, free civil legal services for low income people and smaller not-for-profit groups; and,
(2) to effectively involve volunteers in the delivery of those services.
VLP’s efforts and results are noteworthy. In recent years, VLP has handles approximately 4,000 cases per year (in-house and referred to pro bono attorneys), while assisting more than 8,000 clients in total.
VLP’s efforts are cost effective for taxpayers! In each of the past several years, VLP’s assistance to our clients has resulted in local taxpayers around $3 million per year! Taxpayer savings are realized through homelessness prevention, helping people stay off welfare, and helping our clients secure the child support or unemployment insurance benefits they are rightfully entitled to.
VLP is proud to collaborate with local legal services providers:
Eighth Judicial District Pro Bono Committee
NY Project Directors
After more than 30 years:
Over 2,500 local attorneys have represented 100,000+ clients on a pro bono basis!
VLP staff and volunteers have represented over 55,000 clients.
We have provided information and referral to nearly 73,000 more people!