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Calendar

11/26/2014
Maxims, Monarchy, and Sir Thomas More (Webcast)

11/26/2014
Attorney Ethics and the Use of "Metadata" in Litigation & Transactional Practice (Telephone)

11/26/2014
Picking the Right Trust: Alphabet Soup of Alternatives (Telephone)

12/1/2014
Attorney Ethics & Investigations (Telephone)

12/1/2014
2014 Ethics in Litigation Update, Part 1 (Telephone)

Volunteer Lawyers Project

The Volunteer Lawyers Project needs your help!

The Nebraska State Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Project was created to provide legal assistance to person who cannot afford to hire an attorney, nor can they receive assistance through the federally legal service program in the state. VLP was created in the early 1980, while our method intake and delivery of services has changed over the years, our mission has not. VLP works to ensure that all citizens have access to the legal system. VLP can only succeed with the willingness of volunteers to donate their time and their money.

Attorneys are covered under VLP malpractice insurance on any case they accept pro bono. In addition VLP will provide CLE training for attorneys who volunteer through the program. 

VLP’s Provides Services through the following:

Self Help Centers

Self Help Centers: VLP coordinates and staffs the Self Help Desks located in Buffalo, Douglas, Hall, Lancaster and Madison Counties. In 2014, VLP is working to establish a self-help center in Scotts Bluff County and to formalize a partnership with the Phelps County Bar Association, which started a self-help desk in 2013. These Self Help Centers have served over 3,500 pro se litigants annually. With the expansion of self-help centers in 2014, the NSBA hopes to expand its ability to serve low income Nebraskans.

Self Help Centers are located in the Courthouses of the following counties:

  • Buffalo County- The first Friday of the month, open 10-2
  • Douglas County- Opened Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 10-2
  • Hall County-Fridays 10-2
  • Lancaster County- Open Monday 10-2, and Thursday 9-1
  • Madison County- The third Friday of the month, open 10-2.

To volunteer at a Self Help Desk complete and submit the enrollment form.


Direct Case Placement: The core of the Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) has been matching volunteer attorneys with individuals who need legal assistance on a pro bono or reduced fee basis. VLP will continue to offer direct case placement through its network of pro bono attorneys, but the intake process and referral source has changed. VLP no longer has the staff to operate a separate intake hotline/process. Referrals and intakes will now be received in the following ways:

  1. Referrals from Self Help Centers: Some clients who visit the Self-Help Center have legal issues/situations where staff would advise them to seek legal counsel rather than proceeding as a pro se litigant. In these situations, VLP staff will conduct a client intake, check conflicts, and work to place the case through VLP’s volunteer network.
  2. Referrals from Domestic Violence Shelters: VLP has had a long standing commitment to serving victims of domestic violence. When the need for legal services arises, domestic violence shelters will contact VLP directly to complete the intake process. In thes situations, VLP staff will check for conflicts, and work to place the case through VLP’s volunteer network.
  3. Referrals from Legal Aid of Nebraska(LAN): VLP will accept 40 referrals a month from LAN. To be accepted by VLP, the referrals must be sent with a completed LAN intake and fall within the VLP priorities..
  4. Referrals from private attorneys where there is not a self-help desk located in their community.

To enroll to assist clients through direct representation complete and submit the enrollment form.

VLP will pay litigation costs for the pro bono cases.


Partnership with Nebraska Families Collaborative for Reduced Fee Legal Assistance: The Nebraska Families Collaborative (NFC), which provides child welfare support to families in Douglas and Sarpy Counties, serves many clients who need legal assistance in establishing a District Court Order regarding children subject to Juvenile Court Jurisdiction. VLP will recruit a volunteer panel of attorneys located in Douglas and Sarpy Counties who are willing to assist NFC’s clients in establishing a District Court Order regarding children subject to the Juvenile Court Jurisdiction. Once the conflict check is complete, attorneys will be contacted on a rotating basis for case placement. NFC will pay panel attorneys directly (from their funds) at a rate of $500 per case.

To volunteer for the Nebraska Families Collaborative Project please complete and submit the enrollment form.

In 2013 VLP served:

  • VLP placed 327 low income client’s cases with volunteer attorneys
  • The Self Help Desk served 3595 low income Nebraskans
  • VLP received 7,818 calls in 2013
  • 1,422 eligible clients did not receive assistance due to lack of resources or available lawyers.

Robert M. Spire Pro Bono Award Winners
 


Nebraska State Bar Association, 635 S. 14th St., Suite 200, Lincoln, NE 68508
(402) 475-7091; Toll Free (800) 927-0117; FAX (402) 475-7098