VOLS celebrates 30th Anniversary

May 2, 2014

Today marks the start of VOLS’ 30th anniversary year!

Thirty years ago, on May 1, 1984, Louis Craco, then President of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, announced VOLS’ founding. Our mission then, as now, was to promote pro bono civil legal services for low-income people in New York City. Mr. Craco, Former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance Senior, Richard S. Lombard, General Counsel for Exxon, and others persuaded nearly 50 law firms and law departments of corporations to commit to providing 30 pro bono hours per attorney per year. The New York Law Journal reported on the founding in a May 2, 1984 article City Bar Starts Major ‘Pro Bono’ Project.

Thanks to the efforts of the generation of bar leaders who founded VOLS, and to Bill Dean, VOLS’ Executive Director for 25 years, pro bono is now an integral part of the practice of every major law firm. As pro bono has grown, so has VOLS. In 2013, nearly 900 lawyers from 50 firms volunteered over 15,000 hours to serve more than 3,000 low-income New Yorkers through VOLS' projects. Our Unemployment Insurance Advocacy Project alone won $948,000 in benefits for people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

We are deeply grateful to everyone who has helped VOLS reach this milestone. As we kick off our 30th anniversary year, we look forward to working with all of you to find ways to provide crucial pro bono legal assistance to even greater numbers of low-income New Yorkers over the next 30 years.

Help us celebrate our 30th anniversary by making a contribution to VOLS today.