Making the Case For Legal Services

What difference do your pro bono legal services make?

Thanks to you who completed our online case closing form in 2013, we know that in full representation cases alone, we protected or recovered a combined total of more than $3 million of our clients’ scarce resources – through bankruptcy discharges, establishment of child support, garnishment prevention, judgment prevention, etc. – and that’s a conservative estimate.i Given that keeping cash in the homes of struggling families is an effective anti-poverty tool,ii we are having a profound impact on the families in our community.

Furthermore, regardless of any monies protected or recovered, in 84% of applicable cases, you thought it likely that the client’s life was tangibly improved as a result of your legal work, including improved housing, improved ability to find or keep a job, better quality of life, etc.iii

Beginning January 2014, most Minnesota legal services programs are required to gather this type of essential data as we collectively work to educate our funders and community about the benefits of legal. Since VLN is the largest volunteer-based legal service provider in the state, we face some unique challenges as we work to gather this valuable data. This is why your help is so important to us.

Below are a few pointers about the online form, which takes about 10 minutes to complete (please add that to the estimate of your pro bono time). And, if you have any suggestions or questions about the form, please contact me at 612-752-6676 or [@encode@ email=”” display=””].

As always, thank you for the work that you do to promote equal justice for all! Read More>>

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iA significant number of attorneys indicated on the case closing form that they had protected or recovered money for their clients but did not provide the specific dollar amount.

iiSee, e.g.,

iiiThis is also most likely a somewhat conservative estimate as, when we compare attorney answers and client answers, clients tend to report more concrete benefits.