Richmond Home

Pro Bono Programs

The School of Law connects students with a growing variety of pro-bono programs that employ the diverse skills and interests of our student body. Since the Center's inception in 2007, our programs have grown from three to 13. Whether it is helping a victim of domestic violence obtain a protective order, assisting a non-profit organization with its incorporation, helping low-income individuals in their efforts to access and maintain safe and affordable housing, or providing services to individuals fighting to obtain unemployment insurance benefits, we offer many opportunities for our students to experience a service-based legal education.

Our successful partnerships allow the Center to reach more of Richmond's under-privileged population, bringing lawyers and law students together in the spirit of service.

Assistance to Disabled Veterans

The Carrico Center has partnered with the Federal Circuit Bar Association (FCBA) in its operation of the Pro Bono Veterans Appeals program, which facilitates pro bono representation in the appeal of disability claims to the United States Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit. Populated mainly by the membership of Richmond Law’s Veterans and Military Law Association, volunteers perform case tracking and analysis of the Federal Circuit’s disability appeals docket, as well as provide individual case assistance to pro bono attorneys when requested.

Estate Planning

In partnership with the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation and Williams Mullen, the Carrico Center participates in the Pro Bono Estate Planning program, which provides basic estate planning services to low-income seniors and families in Central Virginia. At a pro bono clinic, law students and pro bono attorneys provide clients with wills, powers of attorney, and advance medical directives. Law students support this program through client intake, document drafting, and witness services.

Estate Planning Training Video

Download Training Presentation

Housing Law Program

The Carrico Center partners with the Richmond Bar Association and the Legal Aid Justice Center in the operation of the Pro Bono Housing Law Program, the longest-running pro bono program in Central Virginia. This program connects volunteer attorneys with law students, who together represent low income individuals in their efforts to access and maintain decent, safe, and affordable housing. The cases range from landlord/tenant disputes to stays of eviction. A law student who volunteers with this program has the opportunity to participate in client and witness interviews, legal research, and document drafting. If a particular case proceeds to court, then in-court opportunities may be available as well.

Training Videos (December, 2019)

Housing Law Training - part 1
Download Training Materials (.zip file - 950KB)
Immigration Assistance Project

The Carrico Center works closely with the Legal Aid Justice Center, the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, and the pro bono immigration law community to address the legal needs of our immigrant community. Specifically, we have placed law student volunteers with pro bono attorneys working on asylum matters, we have organized pro bono DACA renewal clinics (one of which was hosted at the University of Richmond), and we coordinate an annual training of volunteers  who wish to participate in the ICE Detention Center Visit Program.* Students fluent in other languages often provide translation services as well to these programs.

*ICE Detention Centers are located in Farmville and Bowling Green, Virginia.

Law Over Lunch

For attorneys, performing pro bono service can be a rewarding way to serve the community while meeting the pro bono recommendations of Rule 6.1 of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct.  While many ethical issues that arise in the context of pro bono service mirror those in a lawyer’s day-to-day practice, there are some special issues that an attorney should consider when engaging in pro bono service.  This CLE will discuss the common ethical issues that attorneys may encounter when undertaking pro bono representation, including conflict checks, client capacity, and communication difficulties.

Pro Bono Legislative/Policy Program

Taking advantage of our location in the state’s capital, the Carrico Center maintains a policy/legislative pro bono project, in which students provide bill tracking and analysis, as well as policy development and support, on issues relevant to pending legislation on behalf of local and statewide advocacy groups. Pro bono partners in this program include the Virginia Poverty Law Center, Housing Opportunities Made Equal, and the Legal Aid Justice Center.

Pro Se Mediation Project

In partnership with the Richmond Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association (Richmond Chapter), and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond Division), the Carrico Center operates the Pro Se Mediation Project, which offers unrepresented litigants the opportunity to obtain pro bono attorney representation in matters referred to the United States Magistrate Judges for a settlement conference. Pro bono attorneys and volunteer law students meet with the pro se clients, prepare for the mediation, and represent the litigant during the course of the mediation; if settlement is not reached, the pro bono attorney has no obligation to remain as counsel for the remainder of the case. 

No-Fault Divorce Program

In partnership with the Richmond Bar Association and Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, this program connects volunteer attorneys with law students, who together represent clients seeking an uncontested divorce in the greater Richmond area and beyond. Law students who volunteer with this program are paired with volunteer attorneys to provide representation on these cases.

Training Video

No-Fault Divorce - Training

Public Schools Projects

The Carrico Center and the VBA's Young Lawyers Division partner with Woodville Elementary School in the Capital Mentor Program. Woodville is an inner city school located in the Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond City, with many of its students coming from low-income housing developments. Law students have the option to volunteer with either the Lunch Buddy Program or the Speaker Series.

Lunch Buddy Mentoring Program: Mentors have the opportunity to sit with students during their lunch period and speak with them about their lives and goals. This not only helps teachers with supervising lunch, but also provides the best opportunity for small group mentorship. Mentors are encouraged to speak with their mentees about the importance of attending school each day and setting goals about graduating from elementary and middle school and going on to high school and college. Mentors commit to attend two lunch periods per month – but many do more!

Speaker Series: To support the positive behavior program at Woodville Elementary School, the Mentor Program sponsors a monthly guest speaker series that introduces students to role models of varying backgrounds, academic paths, and careers. Guest speakers share their stories, their academic and career paths, and emphasize the importance of good attendance, stellar academic performance, and long-term goal setting.

Richmond Global Health Alliance

The Carrico Center partners with the Richmond Global Health Alliance, a 501(c)(3) organization that works to facilitate interdisciplinary global health service and legal education projects. Law students work with RGHA to plan international service efforts and programming by faculty, students, and alumni of the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Street Law

The Carrico Center’s Street Law Program places law students out in the community and in local schools to teach topics related to the law and our society.  The program seeks to inspire children to be interested in the law, as well as engage law students with the broader Richmond community. Community partners have included FRIENDS Association for Children, Peter Paul Development Center, United Methodist Family Services, and the Mayor’s Youth Academy.

Trans Law Collaborative

The Carrico Center forged a partnership with the Virginia Equality Bar Association and Equality Virginia to provide legal assistance to members of the trans community who are seeking gender marker and name changes. The Trans Law Collaborative hosts pro bono clinics in which lawyers and law students assist trans clients in changing their name and gender markers with the circuit court, as well as updating identification documents (e.g., driver's licenses, passports and Social Security cards).