The Vermont Bar Foundation, the state’s only foundation solely dedicated to the legal services community, is laser-focused on increasing access to justice for Vermonters who are low-income, underserved, or marginalized.
We got our start in 1982, when the Vermont Bar Association created a nonprofit fundraising organization to help fulfill the promise of equal access to justice.
Since then, we have raised and distributed more than $27 million to more than 60 deserving organizations ranging from legal aid providers to law school clinics and domestic violence prevention programs.
The VBF also raises money to support the work of the Poverty Law Fellow. The Poverty Law Fellowship is a two-year, highly competitive program that provides a gifted early-career attorney an opportunity to concentrate on challenges related to access to justice. The work of the Fellows has improved the lives of hundreds of Vermont families and individuals.
October 2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the Vermont Bar Foundation, and we couldn’t be prouder of the impact we’ve had in Vermont.
Our impact not only helps those in need, but it also helps boost the Vermont economy. There is an $11 return on investment for every dollar donated to the VBF to fund low-income legal services in Vermont. Our grants make a significant difference in the lives of low-income Vermonters by assisting them with critical legal issues affecting their families, homes, incomes, jobs, and access to essential services.
The demand for access to justice has grown exponentially over the years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have remained excellent stewards of our resources while meeting the increased demand.
The VBF Board of Directors, committee members, and Executive Director exercise meticulous oversight of the resources entrusted to the VBF. Hundreds of volunteer hours a year are devoted toward raising, accounting for and martialing these resources in aid of those who need the rights and protections of our laws but cannot afford the legal services by which to make those rights and protections a reality.
One of our most recent initiatives is to provide educational programs to all Vermont residents. These educational programs are intended to help citizens understand their rights, how those rights are protected, and how knowing their rights can help them make their voices heard.
These educational programs and grants are all part of our efforts to ensure that all Vermonters understand the justice system and have meaningful access to it.
Board and staff are extremely proud of our past accomplishments and are looking forward to this year’s success and the impact we will have throughout Vermont.
Please consider supporting the Vermont Bar Foundation with a donation today.