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.
• 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
If you are seeking representation, please be aware that clients must qualify based on 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 residential 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. If you have any additional questions, please call us during our normal business hours.
If you wish to be screened for potential eligibility, please call the number below between the hours of 9:00 am - 12:00 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
Clients are seen, by appointment only, after they have been screened for eligibility. The Foundation does not take walk-ins. The Foundation is open from 9:00 am -5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Our address is:
DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation
315 W. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 561
Decatur, Georgia 30030
Client Frequently Asked Questions
How do I qualify for your services?
In order to qualify for our services, you must meet certain income guidelines and case restrictions. Please call us during our screening hours to begin this process. Our screening hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm.
Outside Resources - Other Organizations That May Be Able To Help
We do our best to help everyone we can, but in the event we are unable to assist you, one of the following organizations may be able to help:
AIDS Legal Project - (404) 614-3969
Atlanta Bar Association - (404) 521-0777
Atlanta Legal Aid-Fulton County Office - (404) 524-5811
Atlanta Legal Aid-Hearing Impaired - (404) 577-3727
Atlanta Legal Aid-Spanish Assistance Line - (404) 377-5381
Atlanta Legal Aid South Fulton and Clayton County Office - (404) 669-0233
Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation - (404) 521-0790
Better Business Bureau - (404) 766-0875
Child Support Services - (770) 593-6985
Clayton County Pro Bono - (404)366-0586
Cobb County Legal Aid - (770) 528-2573
Consumer Credit Counseling - (404) 527-7630
DeKalb Bar Association - (404) 373-2580 FAX - (404) 371-0358 • www.dekalbbar.org
DeKalb County Public Defender's Office - (404) 371-2222
DeKalb County Magistrate Court
• Criminal - (404) 294-2150
• Civil - (404) 371-2261
DeKalb County Probate Court (Marriage) - (404) 371-2601
DeKalb Family Law Information Center - (404) 687-3990 • DeKalb County Courthouse, 556 N. McDonough Street, Decatur, GA
DeKalb Legal Aid Office - (404) 377-0701 FAX - (404) 377-2349
DFACS DeKalb Office - (404) 370-5000
DFACS Information Line - (404) 614-3915
Fulton County Family Law Information Center - (404) 612-2789
Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection – (404) 651-8600
Gwinnett County Legal Aid - (678) 376-4545
Justice Center of Atlanta - (404) 523-8236
Longterm Care Ombudsman - (404) 371-3800
Secretary of State-Corporate Division - (404) 656-2817
Senior Legal Hotline - (404) 657-9915
State Bar of Georgia - (404) 527-8700
UIFSA (Interstate Child Support) - (404) 687-3836
Women's Resource Center - (404) 688 -9436
• 115 E. Maple Street, Decatur
I only have a few quick questions. Do I still have to be screened?
Yes. In order to provide you with any assistance whatsoever, we must first screen you as a client for eligibility. In addition, the Foundation does not provide direct legal advice. If you meet the screening requirements, we will attempt to place your case with a volunteer
Will I have to pay a fee?
Provided you meet our screening requirements and your income does not change while you are a client, you will not have to pay us or the volunteer attorney who takes your case.
What about out-of-pocket expenses?
While you do not have to pay for your legal representation, you will be responsible for all fees incurred in relation to your legal matter. These fees may include court costs or filing fees, service fees, court reporter fees, recording fees, etc. These fees are not charged by us or our volunteer attorneys; they are charged by the court or the entity providing the service. You may be able to request that these fees be waived depending on your individual situation. All additional expenses incurred by you in dealing with your legal matter, including transportation and parking, are your own responsibility.
How does your program work?
Our program begins with the telephone screening to determine if you meet our client guidelines and if your legal matter falls within one of our service areas. If we determine that you appear to be eligible for our services, we will schedule an appointment for you to come in and complete our process. The appointment provides an opportunity for us to get additional information from you about your case, for you to sign our forms and provide income verification. We will then attempt to place your case with one of our volunteer attorneys. If we are unable to find a volunteer, then we will inform you as soon as possible and suggest some other resources that may be able to help you. If we do find a volunteer for your case, we will provide you with their contact information and send them a copy of your case file. From that point, you will deal directly with that attorney until your case is resolved, but you will be expected to report back to us if you have any changes that may affect your eligibility status.
Do you handle all types of cases?
No. The Foundation has certain case restrictions to ensure that our resources are allocated in a way that is as fair and as effective as possible. For example, we do not handle any criminal cases. If you have a case and want to know if we will be able to help, please call to be screened for eligibility.
Will my information be given to anyone else?
Your information will never be made public or shared in a context outside the attorney-client relationship. Once your case has been placed, the attorney who takes your case will receive a full copy of your case file, but that attorney is bound by the rules of the legal profession to keep your information confidential, as are we at the DVLF. The attorney who takes your case may continue to discuss your case with DVLF's staff. You can be assured that we will not share any information about you with anyone other than an attorney with whom we are trying to place your case.
What if I get a new legal problem?
Any additional legal problems that you may incur, including appeals of a matter we have provided help with, will be considered a new case. You must call us again and be screened for assistance with the new matter.
Is placement of my case with a volunteer attorney guaranteed?
No. We cannot guarantee that any client will be matched with a volunteer attorney. Because we depend on volunteers, there is always the possibility that an attorney will not be found to assist you. If we cannot find you an attorney, we will attempt to provide you with other resources which may assist you in resolving your legal problem.