Legal Services of Northern Virginia
“Equal justice under the law is not merely a caption on the façade of the Supreme Court building, it is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society. It is one of the ends for which our entire legal system exists…[I]t is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status.” –Lewis F. Powell, Jr.
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Legal Services of Northern Virginia, LSNV, provides free civil legal services to low-income, elderly, and disabled Northern Virginians. There are seven branch offices throughout the region, including the Prince William Branch, located at 9240 Center Street, Manassas, VA 20110.
Those wishing to apply for services may do so in person by visiting the office Monday-Friday from 9:30 am to 12:30 am and 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm. You may also call 703-778-6800 Monday-Thursday, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm. Telephone intake is not available on Fridays.
The Prince William County Bar Association works with LSNV to provide pro bono legal representation to victims of domestic violence, those seeking uncontested divorces and those needing assistance on landlord tenant related issues.
The Domestic Violence Program began in 1997 and is the PWC Bar Association’s longest running pro bono program. Potential clients are identified through ACTS/Turning Points, the local domestic violence support agency, and qualified through Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV) to receive pro bono representation. According to ACTS/Turning Points, approximately 30 such referrals are processed monthly of which approximately 10-15 receive pro bono legal representation through LSNV and the reminder from volunteer attorneys from the PWC Bar.
The Uncontested Divorce Program began in 2000. Potential clients wishing to participate in this program contact LSNV to sign up for an uncontested divorce clinic which is offered once a month, to determine eligibility. Eligible clients are then referred to volunteer attorneys from local bar associations, including the PWC Bar, who complete the paperwork and client representation on a pro bono basis.
In 2013, LSNV approached the PWC Bar Association about ways to better serve low income clients with issues on the landlord tenant docket in PWC General District Court. With the approval of the Court, LSNV was given permission to open a satellite office in the PWC Judicial Center adjacent to the GDC Courtrooms, to assist eligible clients having matters on the landlord tenant docket. The result was the Landlord Tenant Program. Potential clients can be seen on a walk-in basis on Fridays before and while the court dockets are proceeding. LSNV staff members are able to screen clients for eligibility, give immediate advice and counsel and either schedule them for follow-up appointments or provide immediate court representation. Where court representation is required beyond LSNV staff resources, volunteer attorneys from the PWC Bar Association provide representation.