VIRGINIANS FOR EQUAL JUSTICE CAMPAIGN

January 23, 2007

Equal Justice America (EJA) has created a program, Virginians for Equal Justice, to employ more Virginia law students at Virginia legal service organizations. EJA has agreements with the Virginia law schools (Washington & Lee School of Law, George Mason University, William & Mary School of Law, University of Richmond, Liberty University, Regent University, and the University of Virginia) to identify students for employment and assist in preparing them to work. EJA is located in Midlothian, Virginia but this will be the first major initiative in the Commonwealth.

EJA’s Executive Director Dan Ruben remarked, “This campaign is designed to put more legal services in Virginia communities that need the most assistance. It is clear that the legal service community cannot meet the demand of the clients’ needs. Hence, with increased efforts, we hope to put an additional 5,000 hours of free legal services into the hands of the most needy in Virginia over the next two years.”

In its 15th year of working to protect the rights of children and families in poverty, EJA has put more than 1,800 law students to work with over 200 legal assistance organizations throughout the United States in 40 states. What began in 1993 as an organization that sponsored just five law student fellowships in its first year, Equal Justice America has awarded more than $5.5 million in grants and has provided nearly 550,000 hours of free legal services for the poor. Working with experienced attorneys at legal aid programs, EJA Fellowship recipients have helped protect battered women from their abusers, families from wrongful evictions, children from neglect, the disabled from discrimination and the elderly from unscrupulous merchants and lenders.


“There is always a need for Virginia law students who can help reduce the legal services gap for the poor and disadvantaged. By supporting Equal Justice America, Virginians provide opportunities for future lawyers to be exposed to public interest law and become more aware of their obligation to assist those in need. I am pleased that all of the Commonwealth’s law schools will be participating and many of our legal service organizations will provide work opportunities for the selected law students."

 
  Timothy Kaine
Governor of Virginia
 
“On behalf of the University of Richmond School of Law, I am pleased to offer our Law School’s support for the mission of Equal Justice America, an organization dedicated to facilitating the delivery of legal services to indigent persons in need of legal assistance and access to our system of justice.”
 
  Rodney Smolla
Dean, T. C. Williams School of Law
University of Richmond
 
“The Legal Justice Center, with offices in Charlottesville, Richmond, Petersburg and Falls Church, welcomes the opportunity to support Equal Justice America's mission to provide more legal services to our citizens with great needs and few resources. We look forward to expanding our relationship with Equal Justice America and attract more young people to the field of public interest law.”
 
  Alex R. Gulotta
Executive Director
 

For additional information about our Virginians for Equal Justice Campaign please contact Dan Ruben, Executive Director, at 804.744.5678 or dan@equaljusticeamerica.org.