Since 1978, we’ve advocated on behalf of low-income Virginians, assisting state legal aid programs with legislative proposals that impact the poor as well as providing technical assistance, training, and resources in the following areas of law: consumer rights and protection, domestic and sexual violence, elder rights and resources, families, health, housing, and public benefits. Since our founding, we have been a clearinghouse of information on these issues. Our staff provides leadership on advocacy efforts in the courts and within legislative and administrative agencies and often collaborates with other groups across the Commonwealth to achieve our common goals. We are the only statewide organization providing training to local legal aid program staff, private attorneys, and low-income clients, relating exclusively to the legal rights of Virginia’s poor.
VPLC has engaged in statewide legislative and administrative advocacy to ensure accessible health care for low-income children and their families, pregnant women, the elderly and disabled. VPLC’s work has resulted in many improvements to Virginia’s Medicaid, child health insurance and indigent care programs. In addition to working with legal aid staff, VPLC has coordinated and collaborated with dozens of other groups and organizations to address health care issues.
Nursing home patient’s rights, the improvement of nursing homes around the commonwealth and an ongoing fight for the well-being of Virginia’s senior citizens have been just some of the issues for which VPLC has advocated over the years.
Youth in Virginia, especially those in foster care, are of great importance to VPLC. In the legislature and in the community, VPLC works to bring to light the rights of youth in foster care and hopes to see a time in which more youth are adopted from foster care. VPLC has also filed litigation and supported legislation to ensure sufficient child support for Virginia’s low-income families.
Domestic and Sexual Violence Law
VPLC has made strides in protecting the rights of victims of domestic and sexual violence, especially when fighting legislation that would be a step backward for victims of abuse. A significant improvement to the way protective orders are entered into the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN) is just one of the many changes that have come about as a result of VPLC’s work on behalf of victims of domestic and sexual violence.
Protecting the rights of consumers in Virginia has been a mainstay of VPLC. Predatory lending has been at the forefront of issues that VPLC has fought. Because of VPLC’s work on predatory lending, more restrictions have been placed on this industry making it harder for these types of lenders to keep Virginians in a vicious cycle of debt.