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Support for Volunteers

VIP offers numerous supports to help you and your client succeed

Whether you are fresh out of law school, a solo practitioner with decades of experience, or a partner at a large law firm interested in taking a new case type, your pro bono assistance is essential to clients facing critical legal challenges. When you volunteer with VIP, you have all of our resources trainings, mentors, staff support, and more at your fingertips.

Attend a Training

VIP’s trainings, discussions, and practice group meetings connect volunteers with experienced practitioners and enable everyone, from newly-minted lawyers to seasoned professionals, to feel comfortable saying “yes!” to a pro bono matter. We offer long-format trainings designed to introduce volunteers to a practice area; hour-long Practice Spotlights focused on finer points; mock trials, which help volunteers prepare for their day in court; and more.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all VIP’s events are live-streamed.

View Upcoming Trainings

Connect with a Mentor

Partnering with VIP means you’ll never be alone in your pro bono work. When you say “yes!” to a case in an unfamiliar substantive area, we would happy to match you with a mentor — a seasoned volunteer who can provide guidance and context for the legal issue at hand.

Request a Mentor

Call a Staff Member

VIP’s Supervising and Staff Attorneys specialize in the subject areas you’ll handle, and their knowledge and support is only a phone call or email message away. They are committed to answering questions and pointing you to helpful resources throughout the life of your case, so don’t be shy — give them a call!

Volunteering with VIP
Joe B. Durkin, Program Manager
(215) 523-9551

Miscellaneous substantive topics
Lindsay Schoonmaker, Supervising Attorney
(215) 523-9555


Homeownership/Real Property Law
Mike Jones, Staff Attorney
(215) 523-9561

Landlord/Tenant Law
Vijaya Singh, Staff Attorney
(215) 523-9558

Family Law
Todd W. Nothstein, Staff Attorney
(215) 523-9554

Earn CLE Credits for Pro Bono Work

In recognition of the importance of pro bono service, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently created a pilot program under which attorneys can receive substantive CLE credits for their pro bono service with certain public interest legal services organizations. VIP was selected as a participating organization for the pilot program. As a result, after closing a VIP case, VIP volunteers can receive up to three free substantive CLE credits per compliance period after the close.

Once you complete work on your VIP case, complete this request form and send it to Joe Durkin, Program Manager.


Attend a Practice Group

Recognizing the power in numbers, VIP facilitates practice groups — regular meetings of volunteers with cases in similar subject areas — to compare strategies, share experiences, and troubleshoot challenges. Multiple local law firms have VIP-related practice groups, and a Family Law practice group meets in VIP’s office monthly. We are at the ready to connect you with other existing practice groups, or to support you in establishing a practice group at your own workplace. Contact us to learn more.


Explore our Resource Library

VIP maintains an extensive library of documents you may need in the course of handling a pro bono case. From in-depth subject area manuals, to recorded CLE trainings, to sample pleadings and other court forms, these compiled resources are valuable tools in your pro bono representation of VIP clients.

On our Resource Library page, you can sort by subject area and resource type (or, if you know the file name, enter it into the keyword search bar) to find the guidance you need.


Join the Philadelphia Bar Association

VIP is proud to have been founded within — and, decades later, to remain the pro bono arm of — the Philadelphia Bar Association.

As a Bar Association member, you’ll enjoy a wide range of benefits that will help you grow and thrive in your legal practice. Connect with fellow professionals by joining one of the Bar Association’s 100-plus committees or by attending one of its networking events; keep yourself and your employees secure with discounted insurance coverage; and seek guidance on ethical questions from the Bar Association’s Ethics Hotline. A full list of benefits is available here.

Ready to join this vibrant community of Philadelphia attorneys? Fill out an application here.