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Our Mission and Impact

Our Mission

Philadelphia VIP leverages the powerful resources of the community to provide quality volunteer legal services and ensure access to justice for low-income Philadelphians.

VIP’s model of service has been proven effective. In late 2018, Harvard Law School’s Access to Justice Lab published the results of its rigorous, multi-year study of VIP’s divorce program.

Philadelphia VIP’s divorce representation program was effective, spectacularly so. The program made a difference in its participants’ lives. There is little more to say.

Our Impact

We placed more full-representation cases with volunteer attorneys in 2019 than during any year in VIP history.

  • We placed a record-high 1,016 cases with volunteer attorneys in 2019, up from 822 in 2018.
  • We leveraged more than 15,281 hours of direct legal services provided by our volunteers.
  • We increased the share of eligible cases placed with volunteer attorneys from 61.3% in 2018 to 64.8% in 2019.
  • We increased the number of clients receiving full representation to 865 in 2019. This represents our continued commitment to focus less on one-off service opportunities – which can be attractive to volunteers, but provide clients only with limited assistance – and more on cases in which clients receive comprehensive legal assistance.

 

Cases Referred for
Full Representation

Read more about our impact in 2019

 

The Need Continues to Grow

As the ripple effects of the COVID-19 crisis hit Philadelphia, the poorest major city in the country, the need for free legal assistance with critical issues – housing, income, family – is rapidly growing.

VIP’s goal is to say “yes!” to 100% of clients who seek our help with critical legal issues. At present, we have to turn away almost 4 out of 10 eligible clients.

There are more than 14,000 attorneys in Philadelphia, close to 1,400 of whom worked on a VIP case last year.

To close the gap and serve all eligible clients, we are counting on you. Please:

Volunteer now to make a difference.

Can’t volunteer? Donate to VIP.

 

Clients in Need of
Legal Assistance