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As legal aid shrinks, need rises for private lawyers

(AP) Members of Virginia’s legal community say declining financial support is making it difficult to meet a growing need for free legal services for the poor.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch says lawyers and others discussed the issue Wednesday during the Chief Justice’s Pro Bono Summit in Richmond.

The executive directors of Central Virginia Legal Aid Society and Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia said their organizations have lost more than a third of their staffs.

Several efforts are underway to improve legal services for the poor.

A computer program called JusticeServer helps lawyers accept and work on pro bono cases online. Lawyers developed the program with the help of Capital One Financial Corp.

The Greater Richmond Bar Foundation is developing a project to help retired lawyers take pro bono cases.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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