What We Do
The mission of the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation is to expand public access to the justice system in central Virginia by facilitating the delivery of pro bono legal services and service projects. With seven constituent local bar associations, GRBF serves as the hub of pro bono service and outreach to the community. Through strategic planning, centralized communications and support, we help the central Virginia region with its priority needs for pro bono services and help lawyers connect with pro bono clients.
Some of Our Programs
The Pro Bono Clearinghouse
The Pro Bono Clearinghouse is a referral service, linking experienced volunteer attorneys with nonprofit corporations in need of legal representation. Our virtual law firm of 200 attorneys from 50 different law firms and corporate legal departments assist nonprofits each year with a variety of transactional matters, like personnel issues, contract negotiations, bylaw review, mergers and intellectual property issues, so our nonprofits can focus more of their resources on their charitable purpose. Over $2 million in free legal services has been provided.
Pro Bono Promise
To support the critical needs of our community, GRBF urges firms and law departments to join the Pro Bono Promise with a pledge to commit a percentage of time to the provision of pro bono legal services to the disadvantaged, and/or to include financial support of the legal service entities each year. When a culture of pro bono service is fostered, then pro bono service can truly make a difference. The Pilot participants of the Pro Bono Promise have contributed 1000’s of service hours and over $100,000 to support pro bono service delivery. For more information on this initiative, please contact Ali Fannon at (804) 240-7822. More information.
JusticeServer™ is an all-inclusive case management system that has revolutionized case management assignments by pro bono providers in central-Virginia. By reducing redundancy and combining the resources of the various pro bono providers, the maintenance and upkeep costs for the pro bono providers are reduced. Equally important, JusticeServer™ is completely scalable – meaning that it can be expanded throughout all of Virginia or even nationwide.
Given the ease with which lawyers can take cases within the wheelhouse of their expertise, and the streamlined case management that enables real-time access to documents, we believe that this allows lawyers to spend more time helping clients than dealing with archaic administrative tasks. Moreover, we hope that the prospect of a better system will enable firms throughout the Commonwealth to contribute even more lawyers and more time to indigent clients needing legal services. Want to know more? Please contact Ali Fannon at (804) 240-7822.
Richmond City Youth Programs
The Foundation has partnered with the Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney to intercede in the lives of inner city youths, influencing them away from socially damaging conduct, guiding them toward productive endeavors and lifestyles through education, the arts, and intellectual as well as emotional discipline. This is done through:
- Youth Court, a school-based peer intervention program that holds student offenders accountable for their actions
- Richmond Urban Debate League, a program that provides students with an opportunity to evaluate both local and national social issues and learn analytical skills to formally debate current topics in the news
- National High School Mock Trial Championships, a school-based competition in which student teams argue both the prosecution and defense sides of a recent criminal case
Oliver Hill-Samuel Tucker Scholarships
Our partnership with the Hill-Tucker Bar Association allows us to assist deserving law students committed to the pro-bono community with modest scholarship funds to help them complete their legal education.
Attorneys General Youth Awards
We believe that it is never too early to recognize potential leaders in the law. That is why we work with the current and past attorneys general of Virginia each year to help provide savings bonds to high school student winners of an essay contest on a timely law topic.
For information on any of these programs, please contact the Foundation office at (804)780-2600.