Volunteer Resources

Volunteer Lawyer Model: A Team-Based Approach

The DC Volunteer Lawyers Project was founded to support the work of pro bono attorneys; Our 225 active volunteers are part of a team which includes a Supervising Attorney, and DCVLP’s Client Advocate and support staff.  We assign volunteers in pairs for additional support.

Supervising Attorneys

Our Supervising Attorneys are in court every day sitting by the volunteers’ side at counsel’s table. They help volunteers prepare witnesses, respond to judges’ unanticipated questions, handle combative respondents, and negotiate settlements. They are also available outside of court to review all court filings, edit direct and cross examination questions, provide insight into particular judges’ preferences, and advise on case strategy.

Support Team

Our Paralegal and interns help with obtaining court documents, conducting criminal records checks and preparing exhibits for trial.  So that our volunteers can focus on the legal work, our Client Advocate helps clients with their non-legal needs, providing crisis intervention, safety planning, and referrals to much-needed social services. Our volunteer team is rounded out by our Volunteer Coordinator, who manages on-boarding and administrative needs, and our Domestic Violence Program Manager, who matches volunteers with cases and partner volunteers.

Additional Volunteer Resources

DCVLP offers dozens of in-person training events annually, as well as online training videos for those who can’t attend in person. We provide an extensive online legal resource library with pleadings, court forms, case law, and practice tips. We send out a weekly e-newsletter to keep volunteers updated on DCVLP activities, as well as legal resources, local events, and job listings. And lastly, we provide malpractice insurance, subscription resources, a dedicated volunteer office, and conference space to meet with clients.


We’d love to hear from you! If you have questions, please email our Volunteer Coordinator, Emilia Plater-Zyberk, at eplaterzyberk@dcvlp.org.


No DC Bar License?

You don’t need one. You may practice under this rule allowing if you have another state license – “License to practice in DC Superior Court without DC Bar membership (under Admin. Order 14-12).”

Legal Resource Library

To log-in to the DCVLP Legal Resource Library, please click here. To request access, please email Emilia Plater-Zyberk at eplaterzyberk@dcvlp.org.