Chelan-Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services
Software Donation Links Volunteer Lawyers with Low-Income Clients
Chelan-Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services (VAS) offers free legal services to low-income people. VAS services include twice-weekly advice clinics, a Housing Justice Program, senior clinics, and more. VAS does not have attorneys on staff, but the organization helps clients find free legal representation by connecting them with volunteer lawyers.
VAS maintains data on volunteer attorneys, including their areas of specialty and their availability. But matching available lawyers with clients was difficult because records were kept on paper, which prolonged clients' cases and frustrated volunteer lawyers. Thanks to a donation of Microsoft Excel software VAS was able to create an electronic directory. The program has made it much easier to sort through data about volunteer attorneys and efficiently match them with clients.
The switch to an electronic directory has resulted in an increase in the average number of cases taken each month and a jump in the number of volunteer attorneys available each month.