GRBF-CVLAS Triage Project

Launched in 2017, the Triage project is the country’s first effort to create a second ring around Legal Aid, with private pro bono attorneys taking on all matters in thirteen practice areas so that Legal Aid can concentrate its limited resources on core specialties (see more about the project below).

If you would like to volunteer for one of our Triage practice areas, please contact Alison Roussy,


Goals of the Effort:

  • To create a system of coordinated case referral that permits Central Virginia Legal Aid Society and the Legal Aid Justice Center to use JusticeServer to affiliate pre-trained pro bono lawyers in matters for qualified clients within pre-selected focus categories of legal service.
  • To present to the Supreme Court of Virginia at the 2018 Pro Bono Summit an account of the mobilization of the Triage project, and its potential for replication.

Statement of the Problem:

  • 80% of the poor have no lawyer in civil cases
  • Legal Aid budgets are too low to provide full service to eligible clients
  • Rule 6.1 puts the voluntary onus on lawyers to provide pro bono service
  • Volunteer legal efforts are diffuse, and need to be brought under common coordination
  • CVLAS needs to focus its scarce resources (8 lawyers)
  • The Bar needs to continue to take ownership of the delivery of a “second-ring” of pro bono service

Practice Areas & Champions

  • Consumer Bankruptcy – John Maddock & Jennifer West
  • Consumer auto contracts and warranties – Neil Kessler & Ryan Frei
  • Wage claims and other FLSA issues – Harris Butler
  • No fault divorces/Name changes – Chris MacTurk & Bud Funk
  • Protective orders in domestic violence cases – Emily Bishop & Chris Trible
  • Child support determination (other than domestic violence) – Melanie Friend
  • Housing repair and security deposit recovery matters – Ben Pace & Matt Fender
  • Social Security Insurance recovery cases –  Joanna Suyes
  • Veteran Benefits – Bob Barrett & Mike Klein
  • Wills, powers of attorneys – Andy Nea & Brad Riddlehoover
  • General counsel to non-profits – Mike Goldman & Phyllis Katz
  • Special Education – Teirra M. Everette
  • Intake support at CVLAS – John Oakey & Chip Nunley
  • Immigration – Bob Redmond