Since 1983, San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program (SDVLP) has changed the lives of thousands of poor women, children and men throughout San Diego County. A private, non-profit organization, SDVLP is the county’s oldest and most comprehensive pro bono legal services program.
SDVLP serves the most vulnerable members of our community: the homeless, abused children, domestic violence victims, elder abuse victims, veterans, immigrants and those with HIV/AIDS. Notably, more than 75% of SDVLP’s clients are women and children.
Mission Statement: To provide equal access to the justice system by serving as a bridge between indigent and other disadvantaged people in San Diego County and the volunteer lawyers and others who are willing to donate their time and resources.
Vision Statement: That all people in San Diego County enjoy equal justice and access to legal services without regard to economic status.
SDVLP’s origins date back to 1980, shortly after the creation of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), a quasi-governmental agency responsible for distributing federal funds to and regulating local legal aid programs. An LSC mandate that its grantees allocate a minimum of 10% of their awards to private attorney involvement activities, prompted San Diego County Bar leaders to form an Advisory Board tasked with creating an organized pro bono program that would comply with the new regulations. The Advisory Board, along with other representatives from the community, met throughout 1982 and by July of 1983, San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program was incorporated. Since that time, SDVLP has developed into the region’s major provider of pro bono civil legal services.