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Legal Assistance for Crime Victims: An OVC Capacity Building Initiative

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is pleased to announce that it is accepting Statements of Interest from qualified non-profit organizations and individual subject matter experts who are interested in participating in a national initiative to enhance legal assistance to crime victims. The definition of “participation” will vary depending on the organization or expert and may range from providing basic feedback on a concept to more substantial involvement such as helping to develop and deliver training content. Regardless of the level of participation provided by each organization or expert, OVC’s Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) will maintain a comprehensive database of all interested parties and will keep all parties informed of the progress of the initiative. It is the intent of this initiative to involve a broad array of partners whose voices will help to ensure greater access to legal representation for crime victims. Although participation could lead to opportunities to become a paid OVC consultant, OVC anticipates that the majority of participation will be on a volunteer basis.

OVC’s vision for the Legal Assistance for Crime Victims initiative is to create an integrated and independent national network of pro bono legal assistance providers for victims of crime. The plan has three goals:

  1. Increase the capacity of attorneys nationally to provide culturally competent civil, administrative, and criminal legal assistance to all crime victims.
  2. Enhance relationships between organizations with expertise in specialized areas of legal assistance (including, but not limited to victims of human trafficking, immigration law with emphasis on immigrant battered women, and victims of identity theft and financial fraud) so that cross-referrals and co-representation, when appropriate and ethically permissible, are encouraged.
  3. Identify qualified attorneys across the nation who provide pro bono legal services to victims of crime.

To be considered for inclusion as a partner or subject matter expert in this initiative, please submit a Statement of Interest to:

Attention: Legal Assistance to Crime Victims
9300 Lee Highway, Suite 400
Fairfax, VA 22301

Statements of Interest must not exceed 3 single-spaced pages, with 1” margins and Times New Roman 12 point font. Only one Statement per organization or individual will be accepted.

The Statement must indicate the organization’s or individual’s

(1) Experience in working with victims of crime to meet their legal needs (civil, criminal, juvenile, compensation, etc.). This should include a detailed account of the direct and indirect legal services the individual or organization provides to crime victims, the type of legal proceedings at which the individual or organization appears on behalf of crime victims (civil, criminal, administrative, juvenile), the type of court/hearing practiced in (federal, state, tribal), and the jurisdiction(s) in which the individual or organization is licensed, admitted, and active and regularly practices.

(2) Specific expertise in victims’ rights enforcement, human trafficking, immigration law, and identity theft/financial crimes, which are key areas of interest related to this initiative.

(3) Interest in providing training materials, helping to develop training and technical assistance, helping to deliver training and technical assistance (particularly Web-based trainings and assistance), helping with strategic planning for the initiative, or offering other types of expertise. If the interest is in training, please include whether or not the individual and/or organization has experience providing training to attorneys. If the individual or organization provides training to attorneys, please indicate whether Continuing Legal Education credits are provided.

(4) Collaborative federal, state and local practices. This should include the county, state and/or federal organizations the individual or organization collaborates with, the legal organizations to which the individual or the organization makes referrals, and the individual’s or organization’s relationship with pro bono attorneys (i.e., does the individual and/or organization supervise pro bono attorneys or make referrals to pro bono attorneys in the community), including whether or not the individual or organization pays for the pro bono attorneys’ malpractice insurance.

In addition, because OVC has a commitment to ensuring that all training and technical assistance is evidence-integrated, please describe your key strengths and weaknesses in theory, research, and analytical methods, if any.

All Statements of Interest will receive a response and more information from the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC).

This initiative will be accomplished by OVC TTAC and the initiative’s approved key partners and subject matter experts.