$600K awarded to non-profits offering legal aid, law-related education

Virginia Law FoundationThe Virginia Law Foundation announces its 2021 grant recipients and awards nearly $600,000 to 24 organizations. Since 1984, the Foundation has distributed more than $27 million in annual grants to initiatives and nonprofits throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia advancing the Foundation’s three-pronged mission:

  • To improve access to legal assistance for the underserved and to support those offering competent, pro bono or affordable legal representation
  • To foster an appreciation and understanding of the Rule of Law in society as a foundation of peace, stability and prosperity
  • To educate the general population on the Rule of Law, regardless of age, economic status or cultural heritage, because informed citizens are responsible citizens.

The Virginia Law Foundation’s grants fund a variety of projects and organizations, including legal aid nonprofits, continuing legal education conferences, medical-legal partnerships, public service internships for law students and many other relevant and worthy causes. According to VLF Executive Director Ray White, this funding is especially crucial to this year’s grantees, as the ongoing pandemic directly affects their clientele as well as some donors’ ability to give.

“The only thing more gratifying than providing critical grant funding to some of Virginia’s most dedicated law-related charities is seeing how these recipients use the funds to help so many of our friends and neighbors in their darkest hours of need,” White shares, adding, “Extending these grants makes me proud both as a Virginia Law Foundation leader and as a donor.”

Two years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a national survey conducted by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and the University of Chicago revealed two out of three low-income households face at least one legal challenge every year. In addition, only 14 percent of the legal issues facing low-income Americans received adequate legal attention, according to LSC’s Justice Gap Report.

Well documented both nationwide and in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the justice gap has clearly widened as a result of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This continuing health and financial crisis increases the need for access to justice, especially for Virginians who have lost their jobs and now face potential evictions, foreclosures, and other legal crises.

According to Justice Jane Marum Roush, chair of the Foundation’s grants committee, the VLF’s grants program is an invaluable tool for combatting the justice gap and increasing knowledge of the Rule of Law among the general public. “As a statewide foundation, it is of great importance to us that we support communities throughout Virginia as well as its wonderfully diverse people,” Judge Roush emphasizes. “Our recipients share our commitment, and we are proud of their upcoming and ongoing projects that serve and support Virginians throughout the Commonwealth.”

2021 Virginia Law Foundation Grant Recipients

  • Appalachian School of Law — $15,000
  • Blue Ridge Legal Services — $25,000
  • CancerLINC — $12,000
  • Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition — $40,000
  • Center for Teaching the Rule of Law — $5,000
  • Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Association — $25,000
  • Fairfax Law Foundation — $25,000
  • George Mason Veterans Legal Clinic M-VETS — $20,000
  • Greater Richmond Bar Foundation — $35,000
  • Jazz for Justice — $7,000
  • John Marshall Foundation — $37,400
  • Just Neighbors — $25,000
  • Legal Aid Society of Roanoke Valley — $20,000
  • Library of Virginia — $50,000
  • Montpelier Foundation — $25,000
  • Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society — $10,000
  • Virginia Law Schools – Public Service Internships — $60,000
  • Virginia Beach Justice Initiative — $40,000
  • Virginia Legal Aid Society — $25,000
  • Virginia Poverty Law Center — $25,000
  • Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance — $15,000
  • Virginia State Bar – Senior Lawyers —  $5,000
  • Virginia Victims Assistance Network — $12,500
  • William & Mary School of Law — $40,000

Detailed information about these grants is available on the Virginia Law Foundation website, as well as in this video.


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