Celebrating 30 years of VLSC!

Few bar associations in California have the honor and responsibility of managing and administering a separately incorporated pro bono program. The Alameda County Bar Association is proud of its long-term commitment to organized pro bono legal services and access to justice.

In 1983, the Alameda County Bar Association Volunteer Legal Services Corporation (VLSC) was founded in response to cutbacks in federal funding to the Legal Aid Society and the increasing demand for legal services for the poor. In 1983, the VLSC budget was just $37,800.

During our 30 years, VLSC has served more than 35,000 clients, providing legal education, advice and counsel and representation to low-income and poor people in our community. On average, VLSC has supported 300 volunteers annually through training, technical assistance and mentorship. Over the last three decades, VLSC volunteers have logged approximately 60,000 pro bono hours—this translates to $18 million worth of free legal services for Alameda County!

VLSC has grown tremendously from a committee of the ACBA to a separately incorporated program that holds 32 legal clinics each month and places an average of 50 pro bono cases each year with volunteer attorneys. VLSC has also created partnerships with the Court and nearly every single local legal services provider to ensure that coordinated quality legal services are provided without duplication of resources. Further, VLSC strives to support its volunteers with regular and formalized MCLE training by experts in substantive areas of law from the bench and bar.

As we reflect on our accomplishments, VLSC is grateful for the many supporters and donors throughout the years. Without you, we could not continue to provide quality legal services every day in Alameda County. We look forward to 30 more years of providing legal assistance to low-income families and individuals in Alameda County.

 

1983

2013

Population in Alameda County

1.1 million people

1.5 million people

Percentage of people living in poverty in our county

15.2%

13%

Poverty Guideline

$9,900

$23,550

Income to Qualify for VLSC Services (Family of Four)

$12,375 

$49,013

VLSC’s annual budget

$37,800

$450,945

Number of VLSC volunteers

170

429

Number of VLSC clients served

375

More than 1,000

Number of VLSC staff

Zero—volunteer run

3.5 full time equivalent staff

Cost of a first-class stamp

20 cents

45 cents

Cost of a gallon of regular gas

$1.24

$3.29

Cost of a gallon of milk

$2.24

$3.50