Welcome to the DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation
We are a non profit Foundation that serves the civil legal needs of low income residents of DeKalb County, Georgia. If you are in need of legal assistance, then we encourage you to contact us. If you are an attorney, we need your help! The Foundation is dedicated to providing quality representation to eligible clients.
DVLF is dedicated to serving the citizens of DeKalb County, Georgia and to promoting the administration of justice by developing, operating, and administrating programs for the provision by attorneys of volunteer legal services to low income persons involved in civil matters.
• Family/Domestic Violence
• Social Security
• End of Life Issues
• Referrals to private attorneys on a pro bono basis
• Advice and counsel for civil cases
• Brief services
• Representation in administrative hearings and court
• Other legal assistance
• Referrals to other services
• Temporary Protective Order Project
• Guardian Ad Litem Project
• Probate Information Center
• Debt Collection Consumer Education Clinic
For further information about these projects, please click here.
The DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation is located in Suite 561 on the fifth floor of the Decatur Court Office Building. Our address is:
315 W. Ponce de Leon Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030
Click here for driving directions from your location. Visitor parking is available in the parking garage on the left side of the building.
Take MARTA to the Decatur Station (E6). Exit onto Swanton Way to Commerce Drive, and turn right. Walk to W. Ponce de Leon Avenue, and then turn left. Our building is on the right, a block down the road.
The DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation was created as a joint project of the Decatur-DeKalb Bar Association and the Atlanta Legal Aid Society. It is an independent organization, but it maintains a close relationship with both of its founding organizations. DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation was officially incorporated on June 1, 1982. The original board members were all prominent local attorneys.
During its 32 year history, the Foundation has assisted over 10,000 clients with their civil legal problems. Over 1000 different attorneys have served on the panel of volunteer lawyers at one time or another. There are 389 attorneys currently on the volunteer panel who are willing to provide assistance in areas such as bankruptcy, domestic relations, general litigation, landlord/tenant, and wills and estates.
The success of the Foundation was recognized by the State Bar of Georgia with a "Certificate of Recognition" awarded in June 1983 and the "Pro Bono Publico Award for Outstanding Program of the State of Georgia" awarded in June 1984. More recently, the DeKalb Bar Association awarded the Foundation the "Legal Pioneer Award" in March 2007.
Two of the original members of the Board of Directors of DVLF, Bryan Cavan and Gary Leshaw have served on the board for the entire 32 years the Foundation has been in existence. Gary Leshaw served as the secretary of the board since the beginning and was named president in 2008. Bryan Cavan served as the president from 1985 through 2008 and still serves on the Board. They were both instrumental in the formation of the Foundation and have continued to nurture its success. Martin Huddleston has served on the Board of Directors since August 1985 and has served as treasurer since August 1988. Prior to that time he had been an invaluable volunteer taking on many family law cases. Mr. Huddleston continues to graciously give his time and talent to serve the Foundation and its clients. The DeKalb County citizens as well as the county's courts and the legal community as a whole owe a debt of gratitude to these three individuals. Their efforts have ensured the right of equal access to justice for hundreds of individuals.
Staff and Volunteers
DVLF's BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors. The current directors are:
Denise D. VanLanduyt, President
Rebecca Crumrine Rieder, Vice President
Angela J. Riccetti, Secretary
Martin Huddleston, Treasurer
Hon. Tangela H. Barrie
Hon. Alvin T. Wong
Dawn R. Smith
Karmon S. Clay
Deborah A. Johnson
The Foundation is staffed by a full-time Executive Director, a full-time paralegal, a part-time assistant and numerous part-time volunteers. It maintains an office in Decatur near the Courthouse, easily accessible via MARTA.
Toni Roberts- Executive Director
Mangala Kanayson - Legal Assistant
Cherita Jackson - Administrative Assistant
Renee Simmons - Volunteer
DVLF'S PANEL OF VOLUNTEER ATTORNEYS
The majority of our work is done by our wonderful panel of volunteer attorneys. Over 1000 different attorneys have served on the panel of volunteer lawyers at one time or another. There are 389 attorneys currently on the volunteer panel who are willing to provide assistance in areas such as bankruptcy, domestic relations, general litigation, landlord/tenant, and wills and estates.
The Foundation is staffed by a full-time Executive Director, a full-time paralegal and numerous part-time volunteers. It maintains an office in Decatur near the Courthouse, easily accessible via MARTA.
Clients must qualify based on their income and case type, which must fall within the Foundation's set guidelines. The Foundation does not provide service for any clients who can afford a private attorney. Additionally, the Foundation has residency requirements. The Foundation does not offer specific legal advice; rather, if a client falls within the income guidelines and case restrictions, the Foundation will attempt to place the client's case with a volunteer attorney. The Foundation cannot guarantee representation to any client, because it depends on volunteer attorneys to handle the cases.