Welcome to Philadelphia VIP

VIP promotes equal justice for the poor by providing civil legal services not otherwise available, collaborating with other legal services organizations and promoting a culture of volunteerism by educating and exposing attorneys and law students to issues of poverty.


  • VIP in the News


    A Philadelphia VIP client and volunteer Ballard Spahr attorney were recently featured in philly.com's article "Court restricts city's ability to seize homes used by drug dealers." Check out the article highlighting a recent and monumental change made in the Pennsylvania appellate court regarding civil forfeiture. VIP is positive this change will greatly improve the lives of its clients at risk of losing their homes. To read the article, click here



    Thanks to generous support from people like you, VIP provides help to clients like Althea, Joseph, Barbara and the Mantua Civic Association ... Read more.

  • Volunteer of the Month
    Bill Ehrich                          

    Philadelphia VIP volunteers are making an impact! Through the direct services of our volunteers, we are accomplishing our mission of providing access to justice for low-income Philadelphians.


Urgent Need Cases

  • 16-0038196

    Client seeks representation to become the legal guardian of husband. Her husband has been living in a nursing home after he suffered incapacitating strokes in September 2015. He is bed-ridden and unable to communicate. The nursing home is no longer being paid by Medicare and now needs client to apply for medical assistance on her husband’s behalf. Client would like guardianship to resolve the billing and insurance issues with the nursing home and to make medical decisions on her husband’s behalf. A physician is available to provide written testimony. Client is Spanish-speaking; interpretation and translation services are available upon request.

    Core Competencies: Draft Pleadings, Courtroom Experience

  • 15-0037792

    Client seeks assistance with obtaining guardianship of her 82-year-old mother. Client’s mother was diagnosed with dementia following a stroke in 2013.  AIP’s grandchildren live in AIP’s home, and client and client’s sister have suspicions of elder abuse and financial exploitation of AIP by the grandchildren. AIP has five children, including client. Client does not expect that her siblings will contest the guardianship. There is a possibility that AIP may contest the guardianship. AIP’s physician agrees that AIP does not have the capacity to manage her own financial matters, and will be available to provide written testimony.
    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Client Interviewing

  • 15-0037364
    Client/Mother and OP/Father are the parents of three children, ages 1, 3, and 4. The client is a victim of domestic violence and OP is represented by counsel. Client filed for primary physical custody of the children in April 2015, and OP counter-filed in June 2015. A VIP volunteer attorney previously represented client at a custody hearing on January 6, 2016. That volunteer had to withdraw for reasons unrelated to the case.  The current temporary order gives OP partial custody of the children every other week, as well as one midweek dinner visit during his noncustodial weeks. OP frequently fails to bring the children to school or takes them out of school early. Client has documentation in the form of sign-out sheets from the school. Mental health evaluations have been scheduled for both client and OP. A home study was also scheduled for client’s residence. Client is extremely organized and responsive. She seeks representation for an upcoming custody trial on May 10, 2016 at 9:00 am before Judge Fanning. Client has a separate divorce case open with VIP (#15-0037265). 
    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Client Interviewing
  • 16-0038441
    Client seeks assistance with a landlord/tenant matter, including a hearing on landlord’s affidavit of breach and client’s response on May 4, 2016 at 8:45 AM.  The client has largely complied with the JBA, paying rent when due, etc.  However, the JBA included that client get up-to-date on utility bills (“all utility bills due and owing are paid and made current when due or when presented by the landlord”).  Landlord is attesting that client did not comply and filed the affidavit of breach the day she requested utility payment from the client.  Client is now up-to-date on all payments and her goal is to stay in the house until July 9, 2016, the end of the JBA agreement period. Landlord is represented by Bart Levy, Esq.
    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills