LSNV Fall Ball

LSNV Thanks All of Our Fall Ball Sponsors


On October 1. 2016, more than 300 people gathered at the Falls Church Marriott Fairview Park to celebrate 36 years of LSNV.   We thank our sponsors and everyone who made the Fall Ball such a great success.  Proceeds from the Fall Ball support all of LSNV’s programs.

You can see pictures from the event here.

We are so grateful to our Fall Ball sponsors

Visionary of Justice
HoganLovells US LLP
McGuireWoods LLP

Ambassador of Justice
Hunton & Williams LLP
Wade Grimes Friedman Sutter & Leischner

Partner of Justice
AOL, Inc.
Blankingship & Keith, PC
Venable LLP

Defender of Justice
Antonin Scalia Law School
Bean Kinney & Korman, P.C.
GreenbergTraurig, LLP
Steven Forsyth, Esq.
Hilton Worldwide
Reed Smith LLP
Zelnick & Erickson P.C.

Advocate of Justice 
ACC National Capital Region
Economists Inc.
Fayez Ramos
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
Freddie Mac
Meltzer Group
Miles & Stockbridge Foundation, Inc.
Mr. Peter Liebold and Ms. Elizabeth McCloskey
Andrea Bridgeman, Esq.
Ms. Carole Woodward
Jeanne Franklin, Esq.
Resolution Economics
Wilson Elser 
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP

Friend of LSNV
Curcio Bergeron
Kenneth Labowitz, Esq.
Michael Robinson, Esq.
Nicholas J. Gehrig and Ms. Colleen M. Haddow
Steve Fowler, Esq.
Timothy Lyden, Esq.
Thomas Connally, Esq. and Patricia Connally, Esq.
Luise Welby, Esq.
Northern Virginia Black Attorneys Association (NOVABAA)
Thomson Reuters
Vanderpool Frostick & Nishanian


Ben Charlton picture

LSNV Summer Intern Helps Win Judgment for Client

At the start of every summer, LSNV is lucky to get the help of talented law, and other, students who help us out as interns.  We are so very grateful to them all.  One of our interns this summer is Ben Charlton, who had a big win yesterday.  As Senior Staff Attorney, Ron Minionis, explains:

“Congratulations go out to Ben Charlton, our third year intern who has a student practice certificate!  He conducted an excellent, well thought out and non-leading direct examination of our client, in a case where she was suing her former abusive boyfriend regarding a loan she had made to him.  There was no written agreement and this case largely came down to which party was more credible in a she said/he said dispute.  The Defendant counterclaimed for our client supposedly not contributing to the rent (when she had) and for damage from a fictitious car accident.  We ended winning on our case in chief, getting a judgment for more than $13,000 and also won in our defense of the counterclaim.”

We salute Ben and all of our interns who worked so very hard at LSNV this summer:  Thomas Capretta, Alexa Small, Grace Lee, Taylor Johnson, Taeho Kang, Yiran Shao, Radha Narayanan, Reva Phillips, and Nora Thompson.  We will miss them, and wish them all the best as they head back to school.



LSNV’s Appointment Reminder System highlighted by LSC

LSNV is the first legal aid program in the country to launch an automated Appointment Reminder System (ARS). The system, made possible by a Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) from the Legal Services Corporation, sends an automated voice or text message to clients reminding them about their appointments. Yes, kind of like the reminders you may get from your doctor or dentist.


Since launching the program in the fall of 2014, the system has reduced LSNV client no-shows by an astounding 45%  Based on more than 400 surveys received from clients, 94% of LSNC clients responded that they found the suystem to be useful and 98% thought it would be helpful to get reminders if they had future appointments.

Because of the high demand for legal services, clients often wait weeks for their scheduled initial appointment. LSNV has long found that the longer the wait, the greater the likelihood the client would be a no-show, wasting an appointment slot that could otherwise have gone to another needy applicant. The reminder system not only reduces hassles, but improves the timeliness and quality of the services we are able to provide.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) recently highlighted the ARS in its Tech Download newsletter, you can read the full article here.

Picture of Lee, Silberberg, Levine and Ferguson

Annual Northern Virginia Pro Bono Reception

Approximately 100 people gathered at the historic Alexandria Courthouse on Thursday, June 9th for the Annual Northern Virginia Pro Bono Reception. This event recognizes the pro bono volunteers who give generously of their time and talent and make it possible for legal aid to help hundreds of vulnerable Northern Virginians every year than it might otherwise have done. LSNV and The Alexandria Bar Foundation hosted the reception, and it was supported by The Fairfax Law Foundation and The Arlington County Bar Foundation.

The evening’s program started with a CLE called Ethics in Litigation presented by Thomas Spahn, Esq. of McGuire Woods, LLP. The awards ceremony featured remarks by The Honorable Allison Silberberg, Mayor of Alexandria, Virginia and The Honorable Mark Levine, Virginia House of Delegates for District 45. The evening’s Keynote Speaker was the Honorable Gerald Bruce Lee, of the United States District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia. The pro bono reception is also the time when LSNV recognizes the winners of the Chief Justice Harry L. Carrico Pro Bono Award, given annually to those volunteers who gave extraordinary service during the year.

2016 Chief Justice Harry L. Carrico Pro Bono Award Winners

Attorneys of the Year
Patricia Connally
Laura O’Brien
Lindsey Velarde

Legal Mentor of the Year
Gary Tepper

Legal Trainer of the Year
Seth Guggenheim

Partnership of the Year
AOL & McGuire Woods, LLP

Administrator of the Year
Freda Coleman

picture of Rule 6.1 pin

Announcing the Rule 6.1 Society

LSNV is proud to announce the Rule 6.1 Society, a new program to recognize and thank attorneys who perform at least 40 hours of pro bono work annually.  Members of the Society receive an attractive lapel pin, a frame-able certificate of appreciation, and recognition on the LSNV website.

Rule 6.1 of the Virginia State Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct says that “a lawyer should render at least two percent per year of the lawyer’s professional time to pro bono publico legal services.”  

That 2% works out to be about 40 hours a year (Virginia Lawyer, February 2014). Our pro bono attorneys lend their expertise on issues as wide ranging as consumer advocacy, family law, housing, elder law and much more.  We could not fulfill our mission to achieve equal justice and to provide hope and empowerment to thousands of Northern Virginians each year without their help. 

The first year that attorneys qualify for membership in the Society, they will be Bronze members.  The second year that they do they will be Silver members.  Attorneys qualifying for three or more years will be Gold members.  The attorneys who volunteered for 40 or more hours in 2015 are listed below.  We are so grateful to them all.

If you are interested in finding out more about our pro bono program, or wish to volunteer, please contact our pro bono office.

Rule 6.1 Society Members
Bronze Members for 2015
  1. Richard Brahan
  2. Patricia Connally
  3. Joseph Dailey
  4. Steve Fowler
  5. Charles Fulton
  6. Laura O’Brien
  7. Patrick Quigley
  8. Alexis Rivero
  9. Michael Schulman
  10. Daniel Schy
  11. Lindsay Velarde
  12. Travis Van Hook
  13. Robert Walker
  14. Erin Witte
  15. The Honorable Robert Wooldridge, Jr.
  16. Susan Wuchinich
  17. Daniel Yoon
Green Members for 2015*
  1.  Carolyn Grimes

*Attorneys who make cash contributions to LSNV equivalent to 40 hours.

To nominate yourself, or a colleague, please contact our pro bono office.

Photos of Joe Dailey, Laura O'Brien, Dan Schy and Amy Bradley

Attorney of the Day

“Volunteer Attorney of the Day lawyers play a vital role in providing legal services for domestic violence victims who are often need legal help to gain safety and stability through the court system.” –Joe Dailey


LSNV created the Attorney of the Day Program (AOD), to help low-income victims of domestic violence get protective orders so that they, and their families, stay safe.  The concept of the program is simple:  rather than attempt to secure representation for protective order hearings at the last minute, LSNV asks pro bono attorneys to commit to the cases on a specific date.  This permits attorneys–who are otherwise willing but whose schedules are often full–to plan their volunteering months in advance.  LSNV provides free CLE training at least once a year to familiarize attorneys with the law and the process in exchange for two days each year.  Dan Schy, one of LSNV’s pro bono volunteers, says AOD “is a great opportunity for lawyers to get in the courtroom and give back to the community.”

Recently, AOD got a huge boost when Dan and several other volunteer attorneys:  Amy Bradley, Joe Dailey, and Laura O’Brien agreed to act as the Attorney of the Day Steering Committee.  In addition to taking cases themselves, they reach out to their networks of fellow attorneys to help LSNV fill its AOD calendar with pro bono volunteers.  Having more AOD volunteers has helped LSNV increase its ability to serve domestic violence survivors as Amy puts it: “we are so very appreciative of the volunteers for the Attorney of the Day program. We could not continue to serve the hundreds of victims of domestic violence without the dedication of these selfless attorneys who dedicate their time to serving members of the community in need.”

There are still spots on the AOD schedule, and training is available.  Pro bono work has great rewards, as Laura notes, “participating in the AOD Program…is extremely fulfilling. The most gracious and appreciative clients I’ve had the pleasure of working with are through pro bono work.” 

Find out more about AOD by contacting our pro bono office.


picture of Linda D'jassebi

LSNV Attorney Co-Chair of NVH Consortium

Linda D’jassebi, a Staff Attorney in LSNV’s Prince William Office, was appointed the Co-Chair of the Case Management & Supportive Services Committee of the Northern Virginia HIV Consortium (NVH Consortium). 

The NVH Consortium is a 110-member community coalition that was created to provide an integrated, comprehensive response to HIV/AIDS in Northern Virginia and is a vital part of the process of helping to deliver excellent services to people with HIV in Northern Virginia and beyond.  We congratulate Linda on her appointment and know she will do a great job.

Find out more about the NVH Consortium and its work.