Free services provided for civil issues |

Free services provided for civil issues

Natalia Vander Laan

Today’s column concludes my mini-series informing the community about pro-bono legal assistance and representation provided by Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevadans, Nevada Legal Services and the attorneys who donate their professional services free-of-charge. I sincerely thank Kurt Hildebrand and The Record-Courier for providing me this platform to explain the work of those organizations and the free services provided for civil issues and victims of domestic violence.

My hope is that what I elaborated upon was informative but, more so, helpful. I hope the information was new to readers or perhaps acquaintances of readers with whom these articles may have been shared. I hope that by learning of VARN and NLS, those in need have utilized or will utilize either of these organizations to receive the free legal assistance or representation they could not otherwise afford. I hope that by doing so, they will be able to remedy a civil legal issue or domestic violence situation complicating their lives. Lastly, I hope that our community can continue to help support VARN and NLS so that they can continue helping others.

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. You can contribute to either organization by donating monetary or non-monetary gifts, volunteering services, or lending office space or rooms.

Monetary and Non-Monetary Donations: Due to VARN’s continued growth and the support received, it has been able to continually increase the number of clients it arranges pro-bono services to be rendered for. However, VARN still lacks the capacity to assist everyone in need. While attorneys provide their professional services free of charge, there remain 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 remain very important. Also, support in the form of non-monetary donations is equally important. People can donate items and services to VARN for the silent auction at its fundraising event held every October. Ticket sales to this event also directly benefit VARN.

Volunteering Services: VARN and NLS are 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. NLS is also seeking social workers who can provide case management assistance to clients and any persons with the authority to appear before the IRS to assist tax clients. Contact either organization if you have a particular skillset not mentioned that you believe can also provide a benefit. Both organizations do appreciate a timely commitment from volunteers due to the required training and organizational learning involved.

Lending Office Space or Rooms: VARN has successfully grown to the point where it will be in need of a larger office space to permanently situate its office staff and conduct operations. Also, VARN is always in need of premises such as an office, a suite, or a conference room from which it can host varied short-term events held throughout the year.

If you would like to make a monetary donation to VARN, you may do so by credit card at 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 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.

Natalia Vander Laan is a Minden attorney practicing estate planning, family law, and workers’ compensation.