VLN partners with Standpoint, The Family Partnership to help survivors

On July 18, 2019, VLN and its partners hosted its first-ever criminal expungement clinic exclusively for survivors of sex trafficking, sexual violence and domestic violence.

In all, 14 attorneys helped 27 clients file 7 petitions for criminal expungement, and three attorneys took on case for extended representation!

We are very proud of these early results and to work with such amazing partners.

Stay tuned for news of another specialized clinic for survivors.

three stacked logos, from top: standpoint, the family partnership, VLN

VLN Eviction Expungement Clinics’ Continued Success

VLN hosted its 9th Eviction Expungement Clinic at the North Regional Library in July 2019.

This clinic, a partnership with the Minnesota Corporate Pro Bono Council, has been a big success since it started in 2018.

At our July clinic, 23 volunteers drafted 25 expungement motions for ten clients!

So far, the clinic has served 84 clients and expunged 63 evictions!



Case Handling Protocols

To fulfill ethical requirements and best practices for avoiding malpractice claims, attorneys need systems for organizing the essential procedural parts of their services. While many different lists may be adequate, below is a list approved by VLN’s ethics advisor, Pat Burns (First Assistant Director, Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility) and VLN’s malpractice carrier. It also incorporates some steps that can be helpful when representing clients from poverty.


pdfdownload2 July Tip of the Month-Case Handling Protocols

Working With Interpreters

While many of our clients speak multiple languages,  English may not be their first language, so we need help to communicate important legal processes and concepts. April’s tip provides valuable pointers on working with interpreters.



The VLN Tip of the Month Turns 10!

This month’s Tip of the Month is on… the Tip of the Month. Launched in March 2006, the VLN Tip of the Month provides succinct and practical information about topics impacting low-income clients, poverty law, and pro bono service. Little did we know at the time that almost 10 years and 118 tips later, the Tip of the Month would still be going strong.

The idea for the Tip of the Month was to provide an easy to use reference for volunteers who are assisting clients outside their normal area of practice. The Tip of the Month is commonly used to notify volunteers about new laws or changes to existing statutes relevant to VLN’s clients. The first Tip of the Month provided information about the Certificate of Rent Paid and Renter’s Rebate. Since that time almost 50 volunteers and VLN staff members have contributed to one or more tips. The most popular topic area for a tip relate to general civil and consumer debtor issues followed closely by housing and family law tips.

VLN maintains an archive of over 95 tips at: on topics ranging from Working with Clients Experiencing Mental Illness to Houseguests Who Overstay Their Welcome. The Tips of the Month are reviewed on a regular basis to make sure they remain accurate and relevant for our volunteers and community partners. Over the years we have retired some tips and updated others.

As the Tip of the Month enters its second decade, we need your help! We would love to hear from you either that you are interested in writing a tip or to let us know of a topic you would like us to address. Topics can range from general, such as building effective client relationships to the very specific such as emergency relief in family court.

Please feel free to contact VLN Staff to share your ideas or to express interest in writing a tip.

Tip Submitted by VLN Staff