A Message from Scott Oostdyk, GRBF Board Chair

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On November 11, 2015, Senator Tim Kaine delivered the keynote address at the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation’s annual Pro Bono Celebration.  He transported the crowd back to the not-so-distant past when GRBF was merely a shell for funding judicial portraits.

No more.  In the last five years, GRBF has become a powerhouse addressing the justice needs of Central Virginia through its programs, services and collaborations with Legal Aid.  Some recent highlights:

* GRBF’s Pro Bono Clearinghouse served its 539th nonprofit organization, with the 900th request for services, and earned the John C. Kenney Pro Bono Award from the Richmond Bar Association;

* GRBF took over the Veteran’s Initiative from the Virginia Bar Association’s Veterans Task Force, and managed 54 veterans’ cases while facilitating 156 service member referrals;

* GRBF presented the inaugural George Hettrick Award, named for the lawyer who has led Hunton & Williams to six straight years of 100% lawyer participation in pro bono, to the young attorneys who created the Veterans project‎;

‎*GRBF launched a pilot with Dominion & McGuireWoods to match Southwest Virginia clients with Central Virginia lawyers in a “distance lawyering” prototype;

* GRBF helped position JusticeServer to receive a Force for Change (social impact through technology) grant in an international competitive process.  In 2015, the Central Virginia pilot helped over 13,000 individuals in poverty with legal services.  Thanks to over 700 JusticeServer users, pro bono volunteers helped close 1346 cases, serving 3256 people, or 26% of the Central Virginia legal aid cases.

If there is a legal service gap, the GRBF is working to fill it. If there is a need to put lawyers on the ground for the individuals and families struggling with poverty, GRBF is at the forefront.

But we need your help.  So please include GRBF in your charitable giving this year, and contribute to justice for all.  Thank you!

Scott Oostdyk is a Richmond partner at McGuireWoods LLP in the Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation practice group and oversees the firm’s pro bono efforts in all offices.  In addition to serving on the Board of GRBF, Mr. Oostdyk’s pro bono service activities include serving as a member of the Inaugural Virginia Access to Justice Commission, as the Co-Chair of the Virginia Bar Association’s Pro Bono Task Force, and representing McGuireWoods in the Firms In Service – Richmond consortium.

Click here for other articles & events in The Greater Good (Winter 2015), e-Newsletter
 
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