Get Involved

What to Expect When You Take a Case

Getting the File and Referral Memo

VLP staff meet with clients for an intake before a case is referred. During this meeting, we gather documents and assess the case for referral. When a case is ready for a volunteer attorney, the Pro Bono Manager sends an email to volunteers interested in that particular legal area with a brief summary of the case. Once you decide to take a case, you will receive a detailed memo and the documents in the file. We will also confirm the referral in writing with the client. You should reach out to your client to schedule an appointment.


VLP retains interpreters to assist in your communication with clients of limited English proficiency. We assign interpreters once the case has been accepted. The interpreter will be available to relay information throughout the duration of the case.  The interpreter can also set up and attend meetings, provide interpreting services for phone calls and emails, and accompany you to a hearing for pre- and post-hearing client discussions.  Both the client and the attorney are given the name and contact information for the interpreter. Interpreters bill VLP directly. The volunteer attorney only needs to sign the interpreter’s time sheet to verify the interpreter’s time spent on the cases.

Courts and administrative agencies are obligated to provide interpreters without cost for legal proceedings. Please arrange for an interpreter with the specific court or agency.

Meeting the Client

You may meet with clients at your own office, the client’s home, or at VLP.  To reserve a room at VLP, email Lais Teixeira at or call 617-423-0648. Please provide the receptionist with your name, the client’s name, the room size needed, the date and time of the appointment, the approximate length of time required, and a number at which you can be reached.

Ongoing Support and Mentoring

VLP staff attorneys are available to consult with you on your pro bono cases. If this is your first case in a subject area, we will pair you with a mentor who is an experienced volunteer attorney and member of Senior Partners for Justice. If you would like a mentor and have not been assigned one, please contact Pro Bono Manager Miranda Black at 857-320-6446 or by email to If you have expertise in an area and are interested in serving as a mentor, please contact Senior Partners for Justice Manager Barbara Siegel at or 857-320-6447. 

Email Groups: We have email discussion groups or listservs available in many subject areas. They are a good way to get advice and sample practice materials about your pro bono cases from other attorneys. Click here to sign up for one of our listservs. You must be registered and logged in to this website to join a listserv.

Monthly Mentoring Roundtable: A roundtable is a peer-to-peer mentoring forum. It is an opportunity for volunteer attorneys to meet over lunch to talk about cases, dealing with clients, ethical issues, and the practice of law generally. You will learn from each other as you discuss issues that come up in your pro bono cases or practices. We currently host the following monthly roundtable:

Family Law/Guardianship – First Wednesday of the month at the Court Service Center at the Brooke Courthouse, 1 to 2 p.m., right after the Family Law Clinic. Click to sign up.

Fees and Costs

Whenever possible, attorneys should file an Affidavit of Indigency for the client to get filing fees and court costs waived or paid for by the Commonwealth. Click here for the Affidavit of Indigency. VLP has limited funds to assist with litigation costs that are not otherwise covered. Please contact VLP to discuss your particular situation or needs.

Some routine costs are inherent in legal representation, e.g. copying, stationery, postage, etc.  Panel attorneys may use the copier and postage meter in VLP’s office. VLP is unable to reimburse attorneys for mileage or parking.

Case Management

VLP will check in with both you and the client periodically during the case to ensure that you are getting any support you need and that the matter is progressing satisfactorily. At the time of case closure, VLP will send a form to you requesting basic information about the case disposition.