How does VLP support lawyer volunteers?
To make the Volunteer Lawyers Program successful for the client and for the pro bono lawyer, Legal Aid Society offers the following support:
Every client referred for representation is screened to determine financial eligibility for free legal help and to assess merit of the case.
Continuing Legal Education
Lawyers receive up to 3 hours of E&P credit each year (1 hour for every 5 hours of billable time expended and carryover for additional hours) for pro bono work through Legal Aid Society. We will send by e-mail a request for Case Update 30 days after a case is opened and then every quarter. Reply to it. Tell us the time you have spent and status of the case – especially if the client did not contact you, you have closed the case or completed the work. We will send a letter to the client confirming the closing and that protects you!
Professional Liability Insurance
Legal Aid Society provides professional liability insurance for cases handled through our program. With this, most lawyers who work for state government can volunteer through us.
We will connect you with seasoned staff and experienced pro bono lawyers for consultation and support.
Legal Aid Society pays necessary litigation expenses for clients referred through our program.
Through Language Line, our bi-lingual staff and volunteer interpreters, we provide support for lawyers representing clients for whom English is not a primary language.
Rule 31 mediators are available to help resolve pro bono referrals without litigation.
Legal Aid Society encourages lawyers to seek attorney’s fees that may be collected from a party other than the client. Fees may be available by contract (e.g., a lease) or by statute (e.g., the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act, the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, and many domestic-relations statutes).
Reporting all pro bono service to the public strengthens public confidence in the legal system and we want you to report that work. If you have a client that you are helping pro bono and the client is financially eligible, we can open a file for the client through our program.