In Nevada, Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevadans and Nevada Legal Services organize legal professionals to help qualified Nevadans get the legal advice and assistance needed that they otherwise would not be able to afford.
VARN provides pro bono civil (non-criminal) legal services for eligible low-income individuals and families. VARN’s Pro Bono Project, in which qualifying individuals are matched with an attorney donating legal services, offers assistance with civil legal matters such as domestic violence, family law matters (adoption, divorce, guardianship, and custody), real estate/real property matters (homesteads, foreclosure, breach of contract, and landlord/tenant issues) and other civil legal matters (debt collection, bankruptcy, and wills and probate).
NLS also provides pro bono legal services where eligibility again is usually dependent on the applicant’s income level. If eligible, NLS can assist applicants only with civil law cases (non-criminal) including but not limited to government benefit denials, IRS tax disputes, subsidized housing and mobile home parks, consumer issues, legal issues affecting Native American legal issues, tenants’ rights, elder law, family law, community development, and Veterans and rural services.
Two pro bono services, the Lawyer in the Lobby program provided by VARN (Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevada) and the Ask-a-Lawyer program provided by NLS (Nevada Legal Services) offer free legal clinics to the community where attendees have the opportunity to consult one-on-one with pro bono attorneys for legal advice regarding civil cases, such as family law and general law, and assistance with legal forms. Due to the pandemic, oftentimes the appointments are offered via telephone.
VARN and NLS receive some grant funding but critically depend upon donations from the community to be able to continue to provide services to low-income families and victims of domestic violence. Anyone can contribute to either organization by donating monetary or non-monetary gifts, volunteering services, or lending office space or rooms.
Due to their continued growth, VARN and NLS have been able to continually increase the number of clients they assist. However, they still lack the capacity to assist everyone in need. There are many behind-the-scene costs that inhibit VARN and NLS from helping even more people. That is why continued support in the form of monetary donations remains very important. Support in the form of non-monetary donations is equally important. People can donate items and services for the silent auctions at the fundraising events. Ticket sales to the events also directly benefit these pro bono legal organizations.
VARN and NLS are also continually in need of attorneys to provide pro-bono legal assistance and representation and support staff to perform secretarial duties, data entry, and client intake. Sometimes, social workers as well as any persons with the authority to appear before the IRS to assist tax clients are needed. Anyone can contact either organization to offer a particular skillset that can provide a benefit.
As VARN and NLS continue to grow, they will be in need of a larger office spaces. Additionally, premises such as an office, a suite, or a conference room from which varied short-term events can be held throughout the year are always needed.
If you would like to make a monetary donation to VARN, you may do so by credit card at www.varn.org/newsite/donate/ or you can call 775-883-8278 for other payment methods and how to make non-monetary donations, volunteer services, or lend office space or rooms. Visit nlslaw.net or call 775-883-0404 to learn how to make a monetary donation or volunteer services to NLS.
VARN and NLS are both 501(c)(3) non-profit corporations. Please consult with a qualified tax professional to determine any tax implications your donations may have.