Current Grant Recipients
In 2016, Vermont Bar Foundation approved 20 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.
Competitive Grants 2016
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.
AWARE — $2,000Legal Assistance Project
AWARE's mission is "to strive to prevent and heal the trauma of domestic and sexual violence in the greater Hardwick area in such a way that all people are empowered to act towards themselves and others with awareness, empathy, respect and personal responsibility." Funding will support legal representation on a reduced- fee basis.
Have Justice–Will Travel, Inc. — $21,700Legal 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.
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.
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 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.
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 — $3,000
- Bennington County Legal Assistance Project — $2,000
- Franklin/Grand Isle Legal Assistance Project — Carry Over
- Rutland Pilot Project — $20,000
- Washington County Legal Assistance Project — Carry Over
- Windham County Legal Assistance Project — $3,000
- Windsor/Orange Counties Legal Assistance Project — $5,000
VPRC’s mission is to ensure, through advocacy and support, that children who can live safely with their parents are afforded a real opportunity to do so. No other organization provides legal information and navigation for disadvantaged parents who are at risk of losing their children through State action before a legal petition is filed. Funding will support the staff attorney’s salary at a reduced-fee.
Women’s Freedom Center — $3,500Legal 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 — $3,000Legal 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.
Youth Services of Windham County — $2,000Monthly Legal Clinic
Youth Services serves homeless, runaway and court-involved youth and young adults in Windham County The legal clinic will be offered once a month to link litigants with pro bono and low bono attorneys for SSI, housing, custody/parentage, driver's license suspension and vicitm's rights. Funding will support the legal clinic's coordinator salary.
Non-Competitive Grants 2016
Vermont Bar Association — $23,400Legal 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 cover one-half of the Coordinator’s salary and benefits.
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 Legal Aid, Inc. — $800,000Staff Support
VLA has been providing civil legal services to low-income Vermonters since 1967. VLA helps people who encounter legal issues – such as probate, domestic violence, securing public housing, fraudulent consumer practices targeted at senior citizens, and child custody and support, but who lack the financial means to afford the necessary legal services to address those issues. VLA restores faith in our justice system for people who would otherwise have no access to justice as a way of resolving conflicts. Funding assists in staffing and general operations.