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
    Margaret Denton                        

    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

  • 16-0038629

    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 recently filed a petition to open and is waiting for the response.
    Core Competencies: Negotiation Skills, Client Interviewing

  • 16-0038653
    Client seeks assistance with a custody matter. Client/Mother and OP/father are the parents of two children, ages 9 and 14. There is no existing custody order, and the children live with client. OP rarely spends time with the children. Client petitioned for sole legal and primary physical custody of the children in March 2016. A hearing is scheduled for July 5, 2016 at 10:30 am before Master Christine Godwin-Pierce. OP is represented by counsel. Client’s primary language is Spanish; interpretation and translation services are available upon request. 
    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation Skills
  • 16-0038628
    Client needs urgent legal assistance defending a collections case in Municipal Court. Client, a first time home buyer, lives in the home she purchased from her previous landlord. The deed was transferred to client at closing, and seller and client signed a written side agreement for an additional amount of money not covered by the mortgage. Client made payments on over half the amount of the side agreement, but then had to make a number of large repairs to the home, including repairing rotted ceilings, unsafe front steps, drain pipes, and a leaking roof. Client claims she did not know any of these repairs were needed when they made the purchase agreement. Seller brought an action in Municipal Court and is represented by Michael J. Williams, Esq. A hearing is scheduled for June 30, 2016 at 9 am
    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Negotiation
  • 16-0038632

    Client seeks a final PFA against a former partner/OP. Client has custody of the two children from the relationship. Although the client has a temporary PFA against OP, OP entered client's home multiple times without client's permission and threatened client. There is a police report for an incident where OP entered client’s home in violation of client’s temporary PFA. The OP cross-filed and obtained her own temporary PFA against the client. There is a hearing scheduled for July 5th at 9:00 am in front of Judge Chen incident to each party’s PFA complaint and the client’s contempt petition.
    Core Competencies: Courtroom Experience, Client Interviewing

  • 16-0038103

    Client seeks representation to become the legal guardian of her grandmother. Client’s sister consents to client seeking guardianship of their grandmother. AIP resides in a nursing home and suffers from dementia. She is unable to care for herself and handle her own affairs due to her condition. A physician from the nursing home has confirmed that AIP does need a guardian. Nursing home has petitioned for guardianship of the AIP; their petition erroneously states no family member is interested in pursuing guardianship. A hearing has been scheduled for July 26, 2016 at 10:30 am. Client needs assistance from a volunteer to attend the hearing and contest the guardianship petition filed by the nursing home.

    Core Competencies: Draft Pleadings, Courtroom Experience