What is the Virtual Legal Clinic (VLC)?
The ICADV Virtual Legal Clinic (VLC) offers a one time, online consultations via video conferencing technology between survivors of domestic violence being served by participating ICADV member agencies throughout the state and civil pro bono attorneys also located throughout Illinois. The civil court system is complex and often times survivors don’t know what next steps to take which will lead them down a path to a safer life for themselves and their children. Sometimes a brief conversation with an attorney familiar with the complexities of civil law overlapped with an understanding of the unique barriers domestic violence survivors face could mean finding the resources to find their pathway to safety – or not. The VLC was conceived by the Office of the former Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon (OLG) in partnership with ICADV. ICADV assumed the lead role in administration of the clinic in 2015. Survivors served by Program Council agencies outside of Cook County are eligible to access the VLC with the support of advocates from the member agency.
How Does It Work?
ICADV connects our volunteer attorneys with survivors who are receiving help from a member domestic violence agency in underserved parts of Illinois using video conferencing. Survivors complete an application through the online platform with the help of the member domestic violence agency. This includes a brief narrative about the challenges faced by the survivor. Once the consultation is scheduled, survivors have approximately an hour with our volunteers under a limited scope engagement. When the consultation ends, so does the attorney-client relationship.
Are You An Attorney Interested in Volunteering for the VLC?
The goal of the VLC is to provide survivors with information and advice in civil matters with an emphasis on family law. Currently that includes divorce and child custody, employment and workplace issues, housing, immigration and debt and credit counseling. Learn more here. En español aprende más aquí.
Email [email protected] for more information.