Ensuring Free Legal Services for Low-Income People in Dallas County – Now and Forever
Our Community is in Need
Access to justice is hard to come by. There is less than one full-time legal services attorney for every 7,100 Dallas citizens living in poverty. That means that if you filled AT&T Stadium to its maximum capacity, you’d have 11 attorneys to service them. And if each client received a single 30 minute session, it would take those attorneys nearly 5 months of round-the-clock work, with no breaks, just to meet with everyone.
That’s where DVAP comes in. The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP) is a joint initiative of the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas. Since its founding in 1997, DVAP has become the largest and most comprehensive provider of free legal aid to low-income people in Dallas. DVAP provides access to justice by recruiting, training, and supporting over 3,000 volunteer attorneys each year who take meaningful time from their “day jobs” to provide pro bono legal aid to low-income people in Dallas County.
The Justice Forever Fund will be a Change Agent
The Justice Forever Fund is the next step in ensuring access to justice in Dallas.
Currently, legal aid programs around the nation face a crisis over how to pay for the services they provide. Committed volunteers provide their legal services free of charge; however, funds are needed to coordinate clinics, recruit volunteers, train and mentor volunteers, and oversee the thousands of cases that DVAP handles each year.
Rather than waiting for the next round of funding cuts, the Justice Forever Fund is an endowment fund that strives to seek and maintain long-term funding to secure legal aid to low-income people in Dallas through DVAP. The Justice Forever Fund will be used solely to support DVAP by creating and maintaining long-term funding so that pro bono legal aid to low-income people in Dallas will continue, even if traditional funding methods shrink or cease to exist. The Justice Forever Fund has already secured key partnerships with AT&T, Hunt Consolidated, Inc. and Vistra Energy, among others, but we have a long way to go to reach our fundraising goals.
What Can I Do?
Give to the Justice Forever Fund and spread the word.
To reach our goal, Dallas needs to know about DVAP and we need your help in spreading the word and raising money for the Justice Forever Fund. Gifts to the Justice Forever Fund should be made payable to the “Dallas Bar Association Community Service Fund f/b/o Justice Forever Fund.” For further information on testamentary giving, please contact Michelle Alden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-243-2234.
It starts here with you. If you want peace, work for justice!
*Numbers from 2020.