NWLS works closely with private attorneys throughout our ten-county area to provide
representation to low-income individuals. This cooperation takes several forms. In some
areas NWLS coordinates volunteer attorneys who agree to provide representation free of
charge (pro bono) to eligible clients. The largest program of this type is the
Legal Aid Volunteer Attorney (LAVA)
Program that is operating in Erie County, where about 40% of the client eligible
The newest of programs was in February, 2001 when the Venango Pro Bono
program was instituted. NWLS and the Venango County Court Administrator
work together in administering the pro bono program, and local participating
attorneys donate their time and services to this program. This
program provides representation in child custody arrangements,
bankruptcy, mortgage foreclosure, adoption, landlord/tenant issues, protection
from abuse orders, consumer protection, education, and other matters on a
case-by-case basis, excluding divorce matters.
Another method for working with private attorneys is the operation
of Judicare panels. These panels supplement the service provided by our legal staff in
areas where a program office is not readily available to our clients.
staffing these panels agree to accept a case referred to them in exchange for a minimal
"judicare" payment. These panels allow us to quickly provide legal assistance to
clients through attorneys that are in their geographic areas.
Applicants must been income eligibility
requirements and screening for all private attorney involvement programs are done
through NWLSs Central Intake Unit.
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