Donate to VOLS to Support Pro Bono Legal Assistance for New Yorkers

December 7, 2017

Dear Friend of VOLS,

Mercedes and her wife Gabriela wanted to start their own commercial cleaning business.  But they couldn't afford to hire a lawyer to help them through the complicated decisions and processes involved in incorporation.  Fortunately, a business counselor referred them to VOLS' Microenterprise Project.  Kelsey Ripper, the Project Director, carefully worked with the couple to identify their business' legal needs, then connected them to an expert volunteer lawyer at a leading law firm.  With the volunteer lawyer's help, Mercedes and Gabriela built a solid legal foundation for their cleaning business, which is now thriving.

Describing her experience working with VOLS' Microenterprise Project, Mercedes said that VOLS gave her "great service," a "very fast response," and offered "very clear" explanations of difficult legal documents.  She concluded, "they helped us start our business - that means a lot!"

Mercedes and Gabriela are just two of roughly 3,000 New Yorkers who benefitted from free legal assistance provided by nearly 1,000 lawyers from 50 leading law firms who volunteered through VOLS in 2017.  In addition to helping people launch and grow small businesses, VOLS' staff and volunteer lawyers:

  • Resolved immigration problems for high school students;
  • Gave low-income seniors peace of mind by preparing wills and other documents;
  • Won hundreds of thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits;
  • Counseled incarcerated mothers on family law issues; and
  • Stopped evictions and forced landlords to make repairs.

Please help VOLS continue to offer free legal assistance to thousands of New Yorkers on these and other crucial issues in 2018 by making a generous donation today at

Thank you!

Bill Lienhard,
Executive Director