A Message From Jim Windels, Chair, VOLS Board of Directors

November 20, 2017

Dear Friend of VOLS,

          After nearly seven years of service, Bill Lienhard, VOLS' exceptional Executive Director, has decided to move on to new professional adventures next year. Bill has expressed his deep appreciation to VOLS' Board, participating law firms, corporations, community organizations, supporters, award-winning staff, and thousands of volunteer lawyers for all their work on behalf of our great organization and its clients. Bill has said over and over, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work for VOLS!"

          On behalf of the VOLS Board, I would like to express our gratitude to Bill. Under Bill's leadership, we completed VOLS' first strategic plan, doubled the size of our staff, upgraded to state-of-the-art technology in every aspect of our work, including building a new website and converting to an online case- and volunteer-management system, re-branded, and moved to our beautiful new office at 40 Worth Street.

          We made these improvements to advance the same mission that we’ve had since our founding in 1984: to enable lawyers from New York City's leading law firms and legal departments to provide pro bono legal assistance to low-income New Yorkers. I'm proud to say that we are succeeding in this mission. Last year, nearly 1,000 lawyers from 50 law firms and corporations provided pro bono legal services benefitting 3,000 New Yorkers through our projects. Staff and volunteer lawyers in our Unemployment Insurance Advocacy Project alone won $434,000 for people who had lost their jobs. VOLS' achievements have garnered attention from the New York Law Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Daily News, the Connecticut Law Journal, Voice of America, WNYC, WCBS, PIX11, WNBC, and many other media outlets.

          We are grateful that Bill will be remaining in his position through the end of VOLS’ fiscal year on April 30, 2018. We have constituted a Search Committee of the VOLS Board of Directors which is actively engaged in finding a dynamic new Executive Director to lead VOLS into our next chapter. We plan to post a notice for the position next month which will include instructions on where to submit applications and resumes.

          While VOLS has made great strides, there is much more we can do to assist low-income New Yorkers in obtaining basic and necessary legal services to improve their lives. I hope you all will join me in continuing to support VOLS enthusiastically as we make this transition.



James H.R. Windels
Chair, VOLS Board of Directors