Serving the Miami Valley of Ohio


The GDVLP is a pro bono program created in 1988. We are located at the Dayton Bar Association and are supported by Legal Aid of Western Ohio (LAWO). We serve as a complement to Legal Aid by registering private attorneys to provide pro bono legal services in civil case areas.  The VLP does no criminal work.

If you are not familiar with VLP and your first contact with us is online, we would be pleased to help you.  If you are a member of the Legal community please click on the Attorney Registration if you wish to sign up to help.

If you are looking for legal help, you must contact and apply for assistance.  Legal Aid Line can also be reached at 1-888-534-1432.  Legal Aid Line does all intake for VLP.


The Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) provides innovative opportunities for attorneys to perform pro bono civil legal services to benefit persons with limited financial resources.


When an attorney or other legal professional desires to fulfill his or her personal or professional calling or duty to contribute service to others, then GDVLP provides an effective bridge between that drive to serve and individuals with limited economic resources, as well as other non-profits with similar missions, needing help for civil legal issues.  In serving as the preferred bridge for attorneys and other legal professionals to provide community and professional service, GDVLP provides them with innovative and rewarding opportunities that optimize their time and unique talents to use their civic influence to assure access to justice.  In doing so, enthusiasm and passion for pro bono service is enhanced.

Guiding Principles

  • GDVLP recognizes that legal professionals are compassionate, caring and dedicated, appreciating the value of pro bono service to our community, and justice system.
  • By facilitating the delivery of high quality pro bono civil legal services, GDVLP addresses the critical issue of assuring equal access to justice.
  • GDVLP is innovative, adaptive, collaborative, and efficient.
  • GDVLP delivers its services with excellence and professionalism so that every volunteer's time and talent is optimized for the benefit of the volunteer, the client, the community, and the justice system. 
  • In all of its endeavors and activities, GDVLP promotes justice, fairness, dignity, respect for others, and respect for the rule of law.

Statement Regarding the Provision of Pro Bono Legal Services by Ohio Lawyers

from the Supreme Court of Ohio Professional Ideals for Ohio Lawyers and Judges

Each day, Ohioans require legal assistance to secure basic needs such as housing, education, employment, health care, and personal and family safety. Many persons of limited means are unable to afford such assistance, and legal aid programs must concentrate limited resources on those matters where the needs are most critical. The result is that many Ohioans who are facing significant legal problems do not have access to affordable legal services. These persons are forced to confront landlord-tenant issues, have questions involving employment rights, or seek protection against domestic violence without the assistance of a legal advocate.


In 1997, this Court issued a Statement on Professionalism that recognizes each lawyer’s obligation to engage in activities that promote the common good, including the provision of and support for pro bono representation to indigent clients. In 2007, in the Preamble to the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct, the Court reemphasized the
importance of this obligation by stating:


A lawyer should be mindful of deficiencies in
the administration of justice and of the fact that
the poor, and sometimes persons who are not
poor, cannot afford adequate legal assistance.
Therefore, all lawyers should devote professional
time and resources and use civic influence to
ensure equal access to our system of justice for
those who because of economic or social barriers
cannot afford or secure legal counsel.
Lawyers, law firms, bar associations, and legal services organizations, such as the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation, have done and continue to do much to address unmet civil legal needs through the organization of, support for, and participation in pro bono legal services programs. Although these programs have increased both in number and scope in recent years, there remains an urgent need for more pro bono services. This Court strongly encourages each Ohio lawyer to ensure access to justice for all Ohioans by participating in pro bono activities. There are pro bono programs available throughout Ohio that are sponsored by bar associations, legal aid programs, churches and civic associations. Many programs offer a variety of free legal services, while others concentrate on specific legal needs. Lawyers also may choose to participate in programs that focus on the needs of specific individuals such as senior citizens, the disabled, families of military personnel or immigrants. The Web site contains a complete, searchable listing of pro bono programs and opportunities in Ohio. A lawyer may fulfill this professional commitment by providing legal counsel to charitable organizations that may not be able to afford to pay for legal services or by making a financial contribution to an organization that provides legal services to persons of limited means.


The Court recognizes that many Ohio lawyers honor their professional commitment by regularly providing pro bono legal services or financial support to pro bono programs. Moreover, the Court encourages lawyers to respond to this call by seeking to engage in new or additional pro bono opportunities. To document the efforts and commitment of the legal profession to ensure equal access to justice, the Court, in conjunction with the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation, will develop a means by which Ohio lawyers may report voluntarily and anonymously their pro bono activities and financial support for legal aid programs. The information regarding pro bono efforts will not only underscore the commitment of the legal profession to serving the public good but also will serve as a constant reminder to the bar of the importance of pro bono service.
Issued by the Supreme Court of Ohio
September 20, 2007