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Legal Aid Volunteer Attorney

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  The pro bono program in Erie County is the Legal Aid Volunteer Attorney ( LAVA) program which is a cooperative effort of NWLS and the Erie County Bar Association (ECBA) .  Administration of the program is done by NWLS through our Intake Unit.  Participation among Erie County Bar Attorneys is very positive and attorneys generously donate their time and are committed to providing free direct representation to low income Erie area applicants. 

Cases handled a variety of civil cases through LAVA including:   Defense of lawsuits, drivers license suspension, wills, guardianship, denial of visitation, bankruptcy, custody defense, child support plaintiffs, and others. 

  • Each year the Erie County Bar Association and NWLS recognizes a pro bono attorney for their outstanding service and dedication.    See Pro bono Awards

Sign Up For LAVA Participation!

Several Ways To Volunteer
  Direct Representation:
LAVA attorneys generously donate their time by providing direct representation to eligible clients. NWLS refers eligible clients to attorneys with expertise in, or experience with, their particular type of legal problem. Participating attorneys specify the legal areas in which they will accept referrals and this information is used when linking an applicant with an attorney.

Conduct No-Fault Divorce Clinics:
LAVA Program participants also teach our pro se divorce clinics. The clinic provides clients with blank forms, sample pleadings and instruction on filing a pro se no-fault consensual divorce action. 

Other Ways to Volunteer:
Attorneys may volunteer as a consultant, mentor or conduct community presentations.

Benefits To Volunteers
  Private client referrals. The Erie County Bar Association offers to participating LAVA attorneys, private client referrals through the Lawyer's Referral Service.

Online Tools: Membership in Pennsylvania's on-line legal resources at www.paprobono.net  website which is designed specifically to assist and benefit pro bono attorneys.

  • Including a large library of useful resources posted by practice area including training materials, litigation materials, links and helpful internet resources.
  • Calendar of CLE and other Training Events
  • Latest Legal News
  • Substantive law listservs


See Brochure for Details

Visit the Site & Sign Up!

  Trainings: NWLS periodically offers CLE and other trainings conducted by experienced and well established private attorneys.

Secondary malpractice insurance coverage: NWLS's insurance policy provides secondary coverage for any claims arising out of an assigned pro bono case.

For more information on the LAVA Program please contact
David A. Baxter, Pro Bono Coordinator at Telephone: (814) 459-0050.

Sign Up For LAVA Today!