This #GivingTuesday we’re raising money for Volunteer Legal Services Corporation (VLSC) to bridge the justice gap. Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps.
Maximize your donation! On #GivingTuesday Nov 27, Facebook and PayPal will match a total of $7 Million in donations. Thank you for your support!
ACBA Volunteer Legal Services Corporation
VLSC mobilizes volunteer attorneys to provide free legal assistance to low-income Alameda County litigants at over 30 monthly legal clinics.
To many people, legal services may sound like a luxury, and not a critical need for low-income people. In fact, however, legal needs and solutions are at the heart of many if not most of the social services issues we read about in the paper.
Homelessness in women, for example, is most commonly caused by domestic violence – just a few hours of help obtaining a Restraining Order can keep homeless at bay, and allow a woman and her children to remain safe and housed, and keep the children healthy and in school.
Crippling debt often leads to the inability to obtain a job (many employers check applicants’ credit), which in turn leads to the loss of income, and a decline in physical and psychological health – two afternoons with volunteer attorneys can get those clients into Bankruptcy Court and help them get some or all of that debt discharged.
Grandparents who have become parents to young children may have trouble getting those children medical care, or enrolling them in school. But attending our guardianship clinic can get them the legal status to be able to offer those children true stability.
And it’s not just social service problems that have legal solutions: VLSC also offers free legal help to low- and middle-income entrepreneurs, for whom a lease negotiation or a tax problem can be the biggest hurdle to building economic self-sufficiency.
You don’t have to be a lawyer to help these folks. You just need to see, and be inspired, by the ways that the law can keep clients from descending into poverty, or can pull them out of it. You just need to see the ways in which we can leverage the energy of attorneys willing to do pro bono in order to help many more people than we could with staff alone. You just need to want to be a part of this exciting and vibrant community: Good people doing good!