Here are some frequently asked questions by other lawyers just like you. If you have more questions, feel free to contact us. If not, then join your other volunteer legal professionals and help those in need in our local community.
Please click here to complete the Volunteer Registration Form to sign up. For questions or further information, you may also contact our Director of Case Referrals, at 256-539-2275, ext. 102.
MCVLP accepts various types of civil cases, including family law, consumer, housing, government benefits, probate, assistance to non-profit organizations, and tort defense. The MCVLP is prohibited from handling criminal cases or fee-generating cases. Please see our Issues page for more information.
The MCVLP serves all of Madison County.
No. The MCVLP offers a variety of clinics for clients’ brief service and advice. These clinics include Family Law Case Assessment Clinics, Bankruptcy Clinics, Community Clinics, and the Lawyer for a Day Project. Please see the Projects page for more information on each clinic.
All clients are screened by MCVLP staff. Applicants must be residents of Madison County or have a case pending in Madison County. Eligibility is determined by the federal poverty guidelines, including income and assets, as well as by citizenship status. MCVLP staff also assess the merit of each client's case. Some cases are referred to a clinic setting for further review and recommendation by a volunteer lawyer. If a volunteer lawyer discovers that a client may not be financially eligible or that their case may not have merit, the volunteer lawyer should contact the MCVLP as soon as possible.
Through the MCVLP, you can donate a few hours at a clinic or represent a client from beginning to end. You choose the time commitment that meets your preferences and schedule.
Yes. Any case handled through the MCVLP is covered under the MCVLP’s malpractice insurance.
Many MCVLP clients qualify for a waiver of fees. However, if a client does not qualify for waiver, he or she is asked to pay their own court fees.
Many legal professionals such as court reporters, translators, accountants, and process servers donate their time to assist MCVLP clients. If you discover that you require such services in a MCVLP case that you are working on, you should contact the MCVLP office immediately so we can try to obtain the services you need on a pro bono basis.
Yes. Seminars are offered at no cost to volunteer attorneys or those attorneys willing to sign up to participate in the MCVLP prior to the seminar. See the Training page for more information on upcoming CLEs.
MCVLP often times needs volunteer legal assistants, notaries, court reporters, private process servers, interpreters, graphic designers, and photographers.
Yes. This information is required by our funding sources. We will request an update on your case every 90 days. Once the case has been closed, you will need to report your total hours to the MCVLP on the Final Disposition Form.
Under Rule 3.9, MCLE Requirements, the MCLE Commission shall award one (1) hour of MCLE credit for every six (6) hours of pro bono work completed for a maximum of three (3) MCLE credits in a twelve (12) month period running from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. If less than six (6) hours of pro bono work is completed between Oct. 1 and Sept. 30 of the reporting year, no MCLE credit shall be awarded.
On Oct. 1 of each year, the MCVLP shall report the name of each attorney who meets these requirements to the MCLE Commission along with the number of hours of service performed. Self-reporting shall not be permitted under this provision. Credit earned through this provision may not be used to complete a deficiency plan or to satisfy requirements for reinstatement, reactivation or readmission.
The MCVLP pursues every possible recognition opportunity for our volunteers. The staff nominates volunteers for local, state, and national awards. In addition, the MCVLP recognizes one attorney each month in its newsletter for his or her extraordinary efforts in providing pro bono legal services. Volunteers who have completed more than 50 hours of pro bono service during the year are honored by the Access to Justice Commission with a reception at the Alabama Supreme Court. The MCVLP also recognizes “top” volunteers at an annual luncheon and hosts other appreciation events throughout the year. We make every effort to ensure that the legal community and the general public know about our volunteers’ good works.
Funding for the program is provided by a variety of sources which include grants and private donations. For more information about donations and special events, please see our Donate page.
Become a Volunteer
Be a part of our enthusiastic and committed volunteer legal professionals that provide free legal services to low-income families where no other resources exist, apply online or call us to get started.