The Nebraska Lawyers Foundation: Volunteer Lawyers Project
The Nebraska State Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) is a statewide volunteer legal assistance project and referral network. It was created to provide legal assistance to low-income person who cannot hire lawyers and who cannot receive assistance through the federally-funded legal services program operating in the state. VLP is a program of last resort.
Routine Case Placement is the core of VLP work. VLP attempts to match a volunteer attorney with an individual who needs legal assistance. VLP serves clients who have been turned down by the other legal services providers or who cannot be served by other providers due to federal restrictions or priorities.
"When I left the abusive household, I was very frightened...Thank you again - deeply - for what you did. Words alone can not describe the gratitude I feel." - a recipient of VLP services
Satellite Office Clinics
The first NSBA's Volunteer Lawyers Project Satellite office Clinic was established in Omaha in August 2002 to provide legal services to individuals who had difficulty accessing the legal system due to language barriers. The current sites are the Latino Center of the Midlands and the Urban League.
Self Help Desks
VLP coordinates the Self Help Desks in Lincoln, Omaha, Grand Island, Kearney and Madison County. At the Self Help Desks, volunteer attorneys assist self-represented litigants access the legal system. Attorneys meet with self-represented litigants, give information about the legal process, provide certain forms and answer questions the self-represented litigants may have. The typical self-represented litigant, who access the Self Help Desk, has been rejected by the other legal service providers.
Domestic Violence Project
One of VLP's priorities has been to assist individuals who are victims of domestic violence. In 2003, the Nebraska Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition, partnered with VLP and submitted a grant to the Department of Justice to represent Victims of Domestic Violence. Through the funds from the Department of Justice and the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, VLP pays a reduced fee of $50.00 an hour to attorneys across the state to represent victims of domestic violence.