LYNCHBURG, VA – The Virginia Law Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Virginia’s legal community, has awarded a $5,000 grant to Virginia Legal Aid Society (VLAS) to help the agency provide critical access to justice to more people in its six-city, 20-county service area.

VLAS provides civil legal services to low-income people free of charge. This spring, it is reaching out to clients, social service agencies, community leaders, and the public to collect their observations on the most urgent legal needs of their respective communities.

“The Virginia Law Foundation has been one of the great supporters of equal justice in this state for more than 40 years,” said David Neumeyer, Executive Director of VLAS. “We are grateful for the foundation’s contribution toward this effort. Every few years, we need to reach deeply into the communities we serve to make sure we’re providing the services that will have the greatest impact.”

The findings will guide VLAS’s casework, community education, and fundraising in the coming years. The process, scheduled to start in March, will include:

  • Collecting and analyzing about 1,000 surveys.
  • Conducting community forums to receive more detailed feedback from the public on local needs.
  • Conducting focus groups to explore critical topics in depth with small groups who regularly touch the lives of the people whose needs are most desperate.

VLAS expects to complete the analysis and turn the results into the heart of its next five-year strategic plan, which it will put in place by year’s end.  Anyone who would like to help VLAS in this critical needs-assessment program is asked to contact Rhonda Knight, VLAS Director of Development, at rhondak@vlas.org or (434) 455-3085.

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Virginia Legal Aid Society is a nonprofit law firm that provides legal information, advice and representation in civil cases to underprivileged individuals and families. Since 1977, VLAS has been the only institutional provider of such services in Central, Southside, and Western Tidewater Virginia. VLAS attorneys and paralegals use legal skills to solve problems in housing, access to health care, income and public benefits, family issues, consumer lending and assets. Our mission is to resolve serious legal problems of vulnerable people, promote economic and family stability, reduce poverty through effective legal assistance, and to champion equal justice. For more information on our services, to get involved, or to make a donation, please visit us at www.vlas.org and follow us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/VaLegalAidSociety, and Twitter @VA_LegalAid

The Virginia Law Foundation has proudly provided over $24 million in grants to support projects throughout the Commonwealth that facilitate access to justice, improve the administration of justice, and promote law-related education. To learn more about the VLF, please visit its new, video-driven website at www.virginialawfoundation.org.

For More Information Contact:  

David B. Neumeyer, Esq., Executive Director, (434) 238-2222

Rhonda Knight, Director of Development, (434) 455-3085

 

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