About us

Chelan Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services (VAS) strives to provide free, high-quality legal services to those who could otherwise not afford it. VAS volunteer attorneys provides free civil legal help to low-income people through:

  • Twice-weekly advice clinics at the VAS office
  • Weekly Housing Justice Project at the Chelan County Court House
  • Monthly will and estates clinic at the Wenatchee Valley Senior Center
  • Quarterly bankruptcy clinics

 

Legal consultations with a volunteer attorney are anywhere from 40-60 minutes.  Attorneys provide legal advice, direction, paperwork review and assistance completing legal documents. In some cases, upon review and approval, VAS will attempt to obtain a lawyer for representation in court.

Established in 2002 by the Chelan Douglas Bar Association, the Chelan Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services is a recognized 501(c)(3) not for profit organization, led and managed by an Executive Director and governed by a Board of Directors.

Giving Back, Giving Big

The Chelan Douglas Bar Association has an outstanding reputation for service, civility and cooperation across the state. Local attorneys donate over 600 hours of pro bono legal services through VAS each year. This amounts to donation of legal services exceeding $135,000 a year

2016-2017 Officers
Shannon Moreau, President
Travis Brandt, President Elect/Treasurer

On February 14, 2002 Chelan Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services was incorporated as a non-profit organization. The development of the VAS program was initiated by attorney Russ Speidel, then president of the Chelan Douglas Bar Association, in partnership with other attorneys and the Community Action Council. VAS was established to respond the growing need for a coordinated, organized and accessible legal aid services.

The Chelan Douglas Bar Association (CDBA) is one of VAS’s most valued partners and supporters.  The CDBA regularly underwrites the costs of events and trainings hosted by VAS, maximizing profits and proceeds.  This means more money to fund legal aid in Chelan and Douglas counties.

Not only do nearly half of the attorneys within the bar association volunteer their time every year to help those in need, they also regularly donate much needed dollars to keep the program running.

The Chelan Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services is honored and grateful to work along side so many dedicated and generous organizations, non-profits, businesses and individuals.  Making a difference and giving hope to those in need takes the hands, heart and the generosity of many.

2016 Awards

 


Baker Cup Award:Baker Cup_Vandergrift-Small_head

Awarded for Outstanding Judicial Participation
In The Campaign for Equal Justice

  • Chelan District and Superior Courts
  • Douglas District and Superior Courts 
  • East Wenatchee Municipal Court

 


Joe MorrisonPresident’s Award

Awarded for efforts that the Bar Association President believes are worthy of recognition.

Joe Morrison

“It’s hard to know everything that Joe does because when there’s a job to do, Joe quietly does it, seeking the least amount of recognition possible.”

 

 

 


coleenProfessionalism Award

Awarded for the pursuit of a learned profession in the spirit of service to the public and in sharing of values with other members of the profession and a lifelong dedication to the spirit of public service and frequent mentoring of young lawyers.

Colleen Frei

“Colleen is the epitome of professionalism and collegiality.  Her ethics are beyond reproach, and her word is her bond.

Having Colleen’s presence in any legal proceeding, meeting or matter only brings a more positive atmosphere for all involved.”

 


DavidPro Bono Attorney Award

Awarded for exemplary volunteer service

David Bentsen

“VAS is lucky to have someone like David in our corner. He has a keen eye for detail and quality and he cares deeply about the mission of VAS and ensuring its long-term sustainability so that legal services are available to everyone that needs them, not just for those that can afford them.”

 

 


MargePro Bono Non-Attorney Award

Awarded for exemplary volunteer service

Marge Littrell

“Marge exemplifies the missions of CASA, WVDRC and the heart of volunteerism. She has given of herself, her time and heart in making sure that each child, each individual has a voice and is heard.

It is a privilege and honor to work beside someone as committed, professional, and dedicated as Marge.”

 

Our electronic newsletter, Bridging the Justice Gap,  offers our supporters and friends a closer look  into the Chelan Douglas County Volunteer Attorney Services (VAS) program.

 

Sign up to:

  • Learn how pro bono legal services make a difference in the lives of our clients and in the lives of the local attorneys who volunteer with VAS.
  • Find out how you can help to bridge the justice gap in Chelan and Douglas counties.
  • Stay connected.

 

 

 

 

 

2017-2018 Board of Directors

President: David Law, Davis Arneil Law Firm
Vice President: Tyler Hotchkiss, Foreman, Appel, Hotchkiss & Zimmerman
Secretary: Ryan Smolinsky, Collier Redal
Treasurer: Kyle Mott, Counsel for Defense of Chelan County
Patrick Pleas, Northwest Justice Project
Sally White, Jeffers, Danielson, Sonn, & Aylward
David Kazemba, Overcast Law Offices
Vanessa Arno Martinez, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
Travis Brandt, Brandt Law Firm

2016-2017 members pictured
Christina Davitt, Ogden Murphy Wallace
David Bentsen, Speidel Bentsen LLP

Testimonials:

“I am so grateful for the professional and kind service provided by Mr. Russ Speidel at the Senior Legal Clinic. I am 75 and I was encouraged by my friends and family to get my affairs in order. I don’t have but a dollar to my name and I just can’t believe there are such nice people willing help me. I feel so much better about everything now.”

``Mary`` of Wenatchee

“My landlord locked me out of my house and wouldn’t let me get my stuff after I moved out. VAS helped me get my stuff back.”

HJP volunteer attorneys inform tenants of their rights and provide valuable advocacy. In this case, with a letter sent from the attorney to the landlord–citing law that requires landlord compliance,  the client was able to reclaim her belongings the same day.

VAS client helped by the Housing Justice Project

“Not all legal problems have a straightforward solution, but for a great number of people coming through VAS, they were able to overcome a disparity of power and escape a raw deal, either through legal advice or the limited representation of attorneys.”

Micah Murphy, VAS Intern

“VAS helps people who don’t have money and can’t afford lawyers. VAS helps people like me, who have disabilities and may not be able to understand the law. I appreciated that everyone I worked with was patient with me and would find new ways of explaining things to me when I didn’t understand it the first time.”

From a 37 year old woman who sought help to divorce her abusive husband

“I am thankful for the time attorneys donate.  I would not have had such a positive outcome without the advice and help of the attorneys who helped me. I feel more secure about my future.”

From a 62 year woman who sought help to divide property in a long term relationship