What projects and partnerships support volunteer lawyers?
In addition to our work with community partners in providing free legal help at clinics, Legal Aid Society and the Volunteer Lawyers Program further leverage the work of volunteer lawyers through projects and partnerships that intentionally identify client need and create resources to meet the need. Some of these are described below as projects with Pillar Firms, legal advice clinics and community partners.
This term was coined by the Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission to describe firms that agree to provide help in certain substantive areas. The VLP also includes in our Pillar Firm project those that agree to take a set number of cases month.
Substantive Law Projects with Pillar Firms
- Adoption Project: Lawyers from Bass Berry & Sims work in teams to represent low income families in adoption cases across all 48 counties.
- Bankruptcy Project: Rothschild & Ausbrooks and Clark & Washington take 10 – 12 Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases each month for low income individuals throughout all of our counties in the Middle District of Tennessee.
- Domestic Violence Prevention Project: Lawyers at Waller work in 7 teams to provide representation for petitioners in Order of Protection cases identified by the Jean Crowe Advocacy Center as the most vulnerable; the initial target is for the JCAC to refer 2 cases per week through LAS to Waller. This project is a partnership with Metro and the JCAC.
- Landlord/Tenant Project:
- Lawyers from Bass Berry & Sims work in teams to represent low income families in eviction cases and provide advocacy for repairs in conditions cases in Davidson County.
- Lawyers from Bone McAllester Norton represent low income families in eviction cases and provide advocacy for repairs in conditions cases in Sumner, Wilson, Macon, Smith and Trousdale Counties.
- Unemployment Project: Lawyers from Stites & Harbison provide representation to individuals from Middle Tennessee counties.
SSI/SSD Cessation Project: Practitioners in Gallatin, Nashville, Cookeville, Crossville provide help to preserve income for individuals facing loss of disability income.
Gatekeeper Projects with Pillar Firms
This Pillar Firm commitment is to take a set number of cases each month across a variety of civil case types rather than referrals of a specific substantive practice area. This commitment is in addition to the substantive commitment above. Baker, Donelson, Bradley and Waller participate.
In addition to the Pillar firms whose work in a specific substantive area serves families in rural counties across our service, VLP supports projects that link Nashville firms to provide help in specific rural areas.
- Bone McAllester Norton lawyers commit to provide representation in any substantive area except family law for eligible clients in in Sumner, Wilson, Macon, Smith and Trousdale Counties.
- Lawyers at Butler Snow in Nashville staff a weekly Legal Help Clinic serving rural Cheatham, Dickson, Hickman, Lewis, Perry and Williamson Counties via a Vidyo connection from Graceworks West to their office in Nashville.