DC Volunteer Lawyers Project creates, supports, and utilizes a network of volunteer lawyers to provide high-quality, pro bono legal services to domestic violence victims and at-risk children. Our 225 active volunteers are part of a team which includes a Supervising Attorney, and DCVLP’s Client Advocate and support staff. We assign volunteers in pairs for additional support.
Our Supervising Attorneys are in court every day sitting by the volunteers’ side at counsel’s table. They help volunteers prepare witnesses, respond to judges’ unanticipated questions, handle combative respondents, and negotiate settlements. They are also available outside of court to review all court filings, edit direct and cross examination questions, provide insight into particular judges’ preferences, and advise on case strategy. Our Paralegal and interns help with obtaining court documents, conducting criminal records checks and preparing exhibits for trial. So that our volunteers can focus on the legal work, our Client Advocate helps clients with their non-legal needs, providing crisis intervention, safety planning, and referrals to much-needed social services. Our volunteer team is rounded out by our Volunteer Coordinator, who manages onboarding and administrative needs, and our Domestic Violence Program Manager, who matches volunteers with cases and partner volunteers.