Capital Pro Bono

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

Capital Pro Bono (formerly Voluntary Legal Services Program of Northern California (VLSP) ) was started in 1981 by attorneys Tom Eres and (now Judge) James Mize as they saw a need for additional legal assistance for the poor in the Sacramento region. The support for VLSP was developed when Tom Eres was the President of the Sacramento County Bar Association (SCBA), which is the local attorney professional organization. At that time, Judge Mize was a member of the SCBA committee that oversaw the Attorney Referral Service of the Sacramento County Bar Association.

Members of that committee, including Judge Mize, believed that lawyers who received client referrals from the Attorney Referral Service should give back to the community in some way in exchange for those referrals. To that end, the SCBA's Attorney Referral Service and Legal Services of Northern California formed a joint committee called the Voluntary Legal Services Program Committee. VLSP was thereby established and has evolved into the largest pro bono (free volunteer-based legal aid) organization in Sacramento County. We no longer rely solely on attorneys who are part of the Attorney Referral Service to provide free legal services to the poor. In 2020, VLSP changed its name to Capital Pro Bono, as this name better reflects the region we help (our Capital Region) and the type of help we provide (pro bono attorney help).

Now in our organization's 42nd year, Capital Pro Bono has evolved from one part time employee and about 50 volunteers to 6 employees and over 400 volunteers comprised of attorneys, law students, paralegals, and interpreters who provide free legal assistance to low income people who cannot otherwise afford the assistance of an attorney. Capital Pro Bono's staff is pleased to partner with the Sacramento legal community in order to provide access to justice for the indigent.

In 2023, Capital Pro Bono was approved to provide consumer debt legal assistance in the following counties in Northern California: Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, Plumas, Butte, Yuba, Nevada and Sutter counties. Outreach has already begun and we look forward to becoming an ongoing resource in those important rural communities.

Mission

To secure access to justice for people of limited means through the use of volunteers who provide pro bono legal assistance, and who educate clients about their rights and responsibilities.

Needs

Volunteer Attorneys to provide free legal assistance to our low income clients.

Donations to support the personnel and overhead costs of this program, much of which is not covered by government grants.

Copy paper for legal work.

Postage stamps for communication with clients.

Volunteer attorneys to join our Advisory Committee comprised of local attorneys who want to help guide and promote our pro bono legal aid organization.

Equity Statement

We help low income residents of the Sacramento region with their civil legal problems.

Organization Data

Summary

Organization name

Capital Pro Bono

Tax id (EIN)

94-3023082

Mission Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy

Operating Budget

$500,001-$1 million

Organization Need

Volunteers, Funding: Unrestricted, In-Kind Donations

Demographics Served

Seniors, Low-income individuals/families, General population

Counties Served

El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Yolo

Equity Statement

Equity Statement

Address

1860 Howe Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95825

Service areas

Sacramento, CA, US

Placer, CA, US

Yolo, CA, US

El Dorado, CA, US

Nevada, CA, US

Phone

916-551-2102

fax

916-551-2120

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