FAIRFAX, Va.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV) is proud to announce the launch today of VA Law Help 2 Go, a program that will enable those who use smartphones and other mobile devices to access brief informational videos about common civil legal issues in Virginia. The program was spearheaded by LSNV in partnership with the Virginia Legal Aid Society and Blue Ridge Legal Services and funded by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Technology Innovative Initiative Grant program. This technology initiative advances LSC’s goal of enabling users to access important legal information when and where it’s convenient for them.
“In Northern Virginia – a region known for its wealth – there is a pressing need for accessible legal help for poor people”
The purpose of the program is to empower people to access basic information about legal issues that are impacting their lives so that they can know what to do about those issues. The information is delivered through videos in English or Spanish that are all under 3 minutes in length. Users of the service will text a keyword in their chosen language to a designated telephone number (703-293-5544) and then receive a link to view a specified video. The topics covered include evictions (keyword = evictions/desalojos), landlord repairs (keyword = repairs/reparaciones), security deposits (keyword = deposits/depositos), divorce (keyword = divorce/divorcio), child custody (keyword = custody/custodia), child support (keyword = support/manutencion), debt collection (keyword = debt/deuda), and garnishment (keyword = garnishment/embargo). Users will also receive via text message a link to further resources about their topic and information about how to contact their local legal aid office. All of the informational videos can also be accessed directly at www.valawhelp2go.org.
“In Northern Virginia – a region known for its wealth – there is a pressing need for accessible legal help for poor people,” noted LSNV Executive Director Jim Ferguson. “Last year, LSNV handled 6,371 cases! Because of our limited resources, we were only able to address less than half of the need that is out there. It is vital that we as a community be creative and figure out ways to be able to provide at least some legal help to more people in need. The videos that make up VA Law Help 2 Go are an important step in the right direction,” said Ferguson.
VA Law Help 2 Go is the product of a year-long collaboration between LSNV and its project partners. It is hoped that hundreds of low-income Virginians will access the videos in the coming year.
Legal Services of Northern Virginia is a full service, regional nonprofit law firm that provides free representation in civil legal matters to low-income, elderly, and disabled clients throughout Northern Virginia. It was established in 1980. LSNV’s mission is to promote justice for a better community by providing civil legal assistance to those facing the loss of a critical need.