Current Grant Recipients

In 2017, Vermont Bar Foundation approved 19 grants to local and statewide projects that provide either civil legal services to disadvantaged Vermonters or education to the general public about the courts and legal matters.

The Hon. John A. Dooley Competitive Grants 2017

Association of Africans Living in Vermont — $10,000
Immigration Project

The AALV is one of the only Vermont organizations — and the only organization in greater Burlington — addressing the immigration legal needs of indigent asylum seekers, torture survivors, resettled refugees, and other immigrants. Funding will support pro bono immigration legal services.

Rutland County Women's Newwork & Shelter — $3,000
Legal Assistance Project

Rutland County Women’s Network and Shelter (RCWN&S) is a non-profit human service agency dedicated to assisting survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Their focus includes outreach, education, advocacy, and crisis services to the communities of Rutland County with the goal of protecting those who are victims of abuse, while working to prevent and decrease instances of further abuse. Funding will support representation by local attorneys, on a reduced-fee basis, as needed for issues such as divorce and child custody.

Steps to End Domestic Violence (fka WHBW) — $2,500
Weekly Legal Clinic

The mission of Steps to End Domestic Violence, formerly known as WHBW, is to assist in the transition to a safe, independent life for all those who have been affected physically, sexually, emotionally, or economically by domestic abuse and to promote a culture that fosters justice and safety. Grant funding will support the weekly legal clinic available to low-income survivors of domestic abuse residing in Chittenden County.

The Community Restorative Justice Center — $5,000
The Legal Clinic

The mission of the Legal Clinic is to provide one-time legal assistance and advice at no cost to residents of Caledonia and southern Essex Counties. Funding will help cover support staff for the free monthly legal clinic to low-income residents, and victims of domestic violence throughout the Northeast Kingdom.

Vermont Bar Association
Legal Assistance Projects

The Vermont Bar Foundation funds a number of the Vermont Bar Association’s County Legal Assistance Projects. These efforts provide low-income Vermonters with legal representation in specific cases in civil, family, and probate divisions of the Vermont Superior Court to low-income, pro se litigants. Areas of focus include landlord/tenant, foreclosure, collections, involuntary guardianship, final divorce hearings, divorce stipulation, and child-support contempt cases. Funding will cover representation on a reduced-fee basis.

  • Addison County Legal Assistance Project — $2,000
  • Bennington County Legal Assistance Project — $2,000
  • Franklin/Grand Isle Legal Assistance Project — Carry Over
  • Rutland Pilot Project — $18,000
  • Washington County Legal Assistance Project — $1,000
  • Windham County Legal Assistance Project — Carry Over
  • Windsor/Orange Counties Legal Assistance Project — $6,200
Vermont Bar Association — $2,100
"On Your Own: Your Legal Rights at 18" Publication

This booklet contains a general overview of the legal rights and responsibilities that a person should be aware of when reaching legal majority at age 18. This resource guide will provide essential education to youths on a variety of subjects, promoting legal education and fostering respect for the rule of law. Funding will support printing and copying expenses.

Vermont Ethics Network — $3,9000
"Making Medical Decisions for Someone Else" Handbook

This handbook offers important information to health care agents, guardians, case managers and others who are in the position of having to navigate and/or support those making difficult and complex heath decisions, particularly at the end of life. Funding will cover the design, layout, printing and copying.

Women’s Freedom Center — $3,500
Legal Representation

The Women’s Freedom Center works to address the immediate needs of women experiencing stalking, sexual assault, and domestic violence while providing systems advocacy to transform the policies that affect their lives. Funding will assist low-income victims of domestic and/or sexual violence with access to legal representation on a reduced-fee basis.

WomenSafe — $3,000
Legal Assistance Program

WomenSafe works toward the elimination of physical, sexual and emotional violence against women and their children through direct service, education and social change. Funding will cover representation, on a reduced-fee basis, to women who have experienced domestic and sexual violence through custody and divorce proceedings in Addison County and Rochester.

Non-Competitive Grants 2017

Have Justice–Will Travel, Inc. — $20,000
Legal Empowerment Assistance Program

LEAP is a natural progression of the HJWT model and the organization’s effort to end the generational cycle of abuse in rural families. The program allows Have Justice to offer long term, on-going direct legal services to pro se litigants looking for advice and/or legal education throughout their case. Funding will support the LEAP Coordinator.

Vermont Bar Association — $22,400
Legal Access Coordinator

The Legal Access Coordinator provides a centralized system to encourage, coordinate, and track the delivery of pro bono services in Vermont. The Coordinator continues to identify and unify pro bono efforts throughout the State, publicize and promote the work of pro bono attorneys, recruit and provide training for pro bono attorneys in areas of need, and coordinate with existing access to justice programs and projects. Funding will help support the Coordinator’s salary and benefits.

Vermont Law School, South Royalton Legal Clinic — $57,450

South Royalton Legal Clinic

The Legal Clinic provides a broad range of effective, free legal services to vulnerable, disadvantaged residents of Central and Southeastern Vermont. Its primary goals are to provide high-quality legal services to low-income people and to help law students develop essential lawyering skills. Funding will cover a portion of the operating expenses of the Children First! and the Vermont Immigrant Assistance Projects.

Vermont Law School, South Royalton Legal Clinic — $35,831
Vermont Veterans Legal Assistance Project

VVLAP helps veterans achieve positive legal outcomes on issues like disability benefits and discharge status or with civil legal issues, allowing them to resolve the income, family, and other concerns that cause enormous stress as they return to civilian life. This grant will allow the SRLC to continue the work started by the Vermont Bar Foundation’s Vermont Poverty Law Fellow.

Vermont Legal Aid, Inc. — $745,500

Staff Support

VLA has been providing civil legal services to low-income Vermonters since 1967. They provide information, advice and representation in a wide range of civil legal areas including health care, housing, education, family law, public benefits, and consumer law. VLA’s Projects supported by this grant – Poverty Law Project, Senior Citizens Law Project and Disability Law Project.

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