Pro Bono News

Legal Aid Society to Add Focus on Domestic Violence with New Project (VA)

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Legal Aid Society to Add Focus on Domestic Violence with New Project

"The Virginia Legal Aid Society is offering more services to victims of domestic violence thanks to a two-year grant.

Lawyers with VLAS have helped about 400 victims of domestic violence per year with issues like housing or divorce across the 26 localities they serve, which includes an office in Lynchburg. But rarely have they helped those clients with protective orders, according to Pamela DeCamp, the managing attorney for VLAS’s domestic violence project.

The nonprofit provides low-income individuals and families with legal services by way of 13 in-house lawyers and about 130 other lawyers who perform pro bono work.

Executive Director David Neumeyer said the nonprofit has focused on evictions, other housing issues and access to public benefits for the past few decades, with a little family law sprinkled in. With this new project, a new focus area becomes part of the repertoire.

Every five years, Neumeyer said VLAS puts together a comprehensive needs assessment as part of strategic planning. The 2017 assessment showed domestic violence and aid in protective orders as a priority for the first time, he said, and the nonprofit applied for a grant through the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services in mid-February of this year..."

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