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The Volunteer Legal Services Program Announces New Grant from Verizon to Fund Domestic Violence Prevention Services

December 16, 2011 – San Francisco The Volunteer Legal Services Program (VLSP) of The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) announced today that it has received a $15,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, to fund its efforts to help low-income survivors of domestic violence access free legal services and obtain vital social services.

Survivors will access legal protections, such as assistance with filing for divorce and child custody, which will enable them to buffer themselves from their abusers and safeguard themselves and their children. Connections to social services resources, including housing and public benefits, will help survivors gain economic independence and financial and personal stability.

“We are incredibly grateful to Verizon for deepening its investment in our community.  This grant will allow us to continue infusing safety net services into San Francisco by leveraging Verizon’s support with local funding to serve more than 200 low-income survivors annually,” said Daniel Burkhardt, Executive Director of VLSP.

Free legal representation, advice, and information will be provided by VLSP’s team of staff and pro bono attorneys and advocates. Multilingual and court-based services will ensure that services are being delivered in a culturally competent manner and at a juncture when survivors need expert guidance with navigating the complexities of the justice system.

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. For more information on the foundation, visit

BASF’s Volunteer Legal Services Program is one of the largest providers of free legal and social services to low-income individuals and families in San Francisco. VLSP trains and supports an active pool of 1,800 volunteer attorneys, advocates, social workers, tax professionals, and interpreters, whose donated services are valued at $13 million a year. These pro bono professionals, in conjunction with VLSP’s small staff, assist approximately 7,500 low-income San Franciscans a year with resolving civil legal issues related to domestic violence, housing displacement and homelessness, consumer and tax issues, public benefits issues, and immigration documentation issues. VLSP also builds the capacity and infrastructure of nonprofit organizations through the provision of free legal, business, and organizational development services.

For more information on VLSP, visit

The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of over 8,000 attorneys, law students and legal professionals in the Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF is one of the largest and most dynamic metropolitan bar associations in the U.S., with a long and distinguished record of community action, public service and service to the legal profession.

Questions about media relations, BASF issues currently in the news, San Francisco Attorney magazine, marketing and communications:

Ann Murphy, Director of Communications & Public Relations
(415) 782-9000 x8792

For general communications inquiries:

Sayre Happich, Assistant Director of Communications & Public Relations
(415) 782-9000 x8104