Welcome to Philadelphia VIP

VIP promotes equal justice for the poor by providing civil legal services not otherwise available, collaborating with other legal services organizations and promoting a culture of volunteerism by educating and exposing attorneys and law students to issues of poverty.


  • VIP in the News


    A Philadelphia VIP client and volunteer Ballard Spahr attorney were recently featured in philly.com's article "Court restricts city's ability to seize homes used by drug dealers." Check out the article highlighting a recent and monumental change made in the Pennsylvania appellate court regarding civil forfeiture. VIP is positive this change will greatly improve the lives of its clients at risk of losing their homes. To read the article, click here



    Thanks to generous support from people like you, VIP provides help to clients like Althea, Joseph, Barbara and the Mantua Civic Association ... Read more.

  • Volunteer of the Month
    Julie Rose                   

    Philadelphia VIP volunteers are making an impact! Through the direct services of our volunteers, we are accomplishing our mission of providing access to justice for low-income Philadelphians.


Urgent Need Cases

  • 16-0038803

    Client seeks representation in a slip and fall matter. OP alleges he fell outside client’s and client’s neighbors’ homes and sustained multiple injuries. Client, two of client’s neighbors, the City of Philadelphia, and Philadelphia Water Department are all co-defendants in the case. Client does not have homeowners insurance and is at risk of losing her home. Client was granted a 30 day extension to answer by OP’s counsel and must file an answer to the complaint by August 16th 2016.
    Core Competencies: Draft Pleadings, Courtroom Experience

  • 16-0038663

    Client seeks assistance defending against a slip-and-fall lawsuit. OP states that she fell outside client’s home and sustained a number of lasting injuries. The City of Philadelphia is a co-defendant in this case. Client’s homeowners insurance did not cover outside liability at the time of the alleged incident, and therefore, he is in danger of losing his home. OP’s counsel has granted an extension for client to file an answer to the complaint until Monday August 15, 2016. The City of Philadelphia has granted an extension to file an answer to the cross-claim until Monday August 22, 2016. An arbitration hearing is scheduled for March 1, 2017 at 9 AM.
    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Witness Preparation

  • 16-0038629

    Client is seeking representation in a collections matter. Client’s home was damaged by a fire. Client came into contact with a public adjusting company that offered to help with the repairs. Client signed a contract, and individuals from the restoration company came to client’s home and began to repair the property. Client never received a bill from public adjusting company or the restoration company and was under the impression they were billing his insurance.  Client was served with a complaint on 4/20/2016. A default judgement was entered against client on 6/1/2016 for $4, 614.54. Client filed a petition to open the default judgment June 10, 2016. The petition was granted on July 8, 2016. The arbitration date has not yet been assigned.  
    Core Competencies: Negotiation Skills, Client Interviewing

  • 16-0038913
    Client seeks assistance with a landlord/tenant matter, including a hearing on August 8, 2016 at 8:45 AM.  The eviction complaint seeks rent for June and July 2016, plus late fees, attorney’s fees, and court costs.  Tenant signed a lease on April 29, 2016.  She paid 2 months security deposit and first month’s rent; however, the property was not ready to be moved into until June 25, 2016.  Landlord is trying to collect rent for the period of time when client was unable to live in the property.  During that time, client had to give up the security deposit at her previous apartment so she could remain there.  The lease terms state rent is not due until property is available.  Defenses may also include breach implied warranty of habitability and failure to provide tenant with a Certificate of Rental Suitability and with a “City of Philadelphia Partners for Good Housing” Handbook until July 8, 2016.  Client’s goal is to remain in the property if she can come to an agreement with landlord, but she does not believe she owes any money.  Opposing counsel is Michael J. Williams, Esq.  
    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills
  • Client, who is very responsive, seeks assistance with a custody matter. Client and OP, who is represented, have a 2-year old daughter. Client broke up with OP when the child was 6 months old, and OP began withholding their daughter from client. Client filed for custody, and the parties agreed on OP having primary physical custody and client having visits at predesignated locations with their daughter twice a week. OP was initially cooperative but has since become unwilling to coordinate with client. Client has filed a petition for contempt against OP and a hearing is scheduled on August 1, 2016 at 1:00 pm. Client has also filed a petition to modify the current custody order so that he may have visits with his daughter without OP present. The custody conference is scheduled on August 15, 2016 at 1:00 pm. Both petitions are scheduled to be heard before Master Godwin-Pierce. Client hopes to have an attorney for both events but has prioritized having representation at the August 15, 2016 date.

    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills