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Legal aid office facing shortfall

A tight budget became even tighter this year for a Roanoke legal aid office.

The Roanoke office of Blue Ridge Legal Services has been told that funding from the local United Way will be cut by about $29,000.

The cut will mean the agency will not be able to replace an attorney who recently left, according to a fundraising appeal from two Roanoke law firms. The legal aid office would operate with only one attorney.

The law firms, Gentry Locke and Woods Rogers, said they have committed to donate a combined $15,000 to bridge the funding gap, hoping Roanoke-area lawyers will kick in enough to replace the missing $29,000.

“BRLS has not asked us to lead this effort, but we believe that this support is necessary to ensure that BRLS can continue its important mission,” wrote firm leaders Monica T. Monday of Gentry Locke and Daniel C. Summerlin III of Woods Rogers.

The firms are asking local lawyers to make direct contributions to BRLS.

“With a direct financial contribution to BRLS, you will also be a step closer to meeting the Virginia State Bar’s 2% aspirational goal of providing pro bono legal services,” the lawyers wrote in a June 28 letter.