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What is the Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC)?

VPLC is an organization dedicated to helping low-income Virginians through advocacy, education, and litigation. Since 1978, we have worked with legal aid programs, community organizations, and private attorneys throughout Virginia to educate and support our fellow advocates and attorneys. Much of the work we do occurs at the legislative level, where VPLC’s advocates work alongside legislators to make sure Virginia’s laws help low-income Virginians. Some of our major accomplishments over the past few years include Medicaid expansion, SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) expansion, and eviction-related and predatory lending-related protections. These efforts have opened doors for hundreds of thousands of low-income Virginians to get the help they need.

I need help. Does VPLC provide direct legal assistance?

Because we focus on systemic change, VPLC does not provide direct legal representation except in very limited matters when referred by a local legal aid program; however, we can help with the following issues through our free helplines:

If you need help outside these areas, please call (866) 534-5243 to find your local legal aid office. Legal aid programs serve every city and county in Virginia. Please note that VPLC and legal aid offices cannot assist with criminal matters. Those who are deaf and/or hard of hearing may call 7-1-1 to reach any of these numbers through Virginia Relay.

We also assist certain immigrant victims of domestic or sexual abuse.

What is legal aid?

Legal aids are private, nonprofit law firms that provide a full range of free civil legal services to low-income people. These law firms serve every city and county in Virginia and handle civil (not criminal) cases involving a wide range of issues, including child custody, housing, public benefits, consumer law, health law, and elder law. For more information about Virginia Legal Aid programs visit https://www.valegalaid.org/.

Is the Virginia Poverty Law Center related to the Southern Poverty Law Center?

No, VPLC is not affiliated with or related to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). SPLC is a nonprofit legal advocacy organization based in Montgomery, Alabama.