Verizon Legal Volunteers Launch New Program to Provide Free Legal Services

Wed Nov 4, 2009 10:00am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Attorneys and Legal Staff at Verizon to Focus on Education, Supporting Victims
of Domestic Violence, and Veterans Returning From Iraq and Afghanistan



NEW YORK, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon attorneys and legal staff have
started a program that will provide free legal services to needy individuals
and nonprofit organizations.   

The program helps address a major issue: Nearly 1 million poor people will be
denied representation in courts across the country this year because of
insufficient resources, according to a recent study by Legal Services
Corporation. 

Verizon attorneys, who specialize in a variety of legal fields, and legal
staff, will donate their time, talents and professional expertise, with an
emphasis on civil matters involving education, domestic violence, and
supporting veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

"This program is a natural extension of Verizon's long-standing commitment to
the communities we serve," said Randal Milch, executive vice president and
general counsel for Verizon. "With attorneys and staffers in 20 states and the
District of Columbia, Verizon's pro bono program has the potential to have a
significant impact in many of these communities.  I'm proud that my colleagues
will be answering the call and generously donating their talents and time."

Under the program, the more than 700 attorneys, paralegals and staffers in the
company's legal department will be encouraged to volunteer a minimum of 25
hours a year. The department has established a Pro Bono Committee to oversee
the program, approve pro bono projects and partners, assess the program's
effectiveness, and ensure that volunteers have access to proper training
resources.

The program will provide legal assistance in these key areas:

Education -- Verizon legal volunteers will meet with high school law classes
to teach a diverse group of students about civil law and careers in the legal
profession.  Volunteers will also advise schools and education nonprofits on
corporate, tax and business law issues, and represent learning-disabled
students in proceedings aimed at securing appropriate special educational
services.

Domestic Violence -- Legal volunteers will provide assistance to victims of
domestic violence, a core commitment of the Verizon Foundation - the company's
philanthropic arm.  Assistance will include: helping immigrants who are
victims of domestic violence file immigration papers; helping domestic
violence victims secure protective orders in court; and providing corporate
and business law advice to organizations, such as nonprofits and shelters.

Veterans -- America's returning veterans often have significant unmet legal
needs, particularly when they have suffered physical or mental injuries as a
result of their service. Verizon legal volunteers will be partnered with
veterans needing pro bono representation in disability evaluations, disability
benefits appeals, and involuntary separation proceedings.  The volunteers will
also provide legal advice and support to disabled veteran entrepreneurs who
need business-law assistance.

To broaden the program's reach, Verizon has partnered with the law firm of DLA
Piper, which has a similar program that provides legal services to the needy,
and joined the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge - a program sponsored by Corporate
Pro Bono. The Challenge's goal is for at least half of the members of
Verizon's legal department to participate in the program.  

Volunteerism is a cornerstone of Verizon's corporate culture, and the company
encourages and supports employees' volunteer efforts. In 2008, Verizon
employees volunteered more than 600,000 hours in the communities where they
live and work, and contributed $12.7 million to causes and organizations they
care about. The Verizon Foundation provided $13.4 million in matching gifts.
More information is available at
http://aboutus.vzw.com/communityservice/hopeLine.html.  

Verizon has long been committed to the prevention of domestic violence and the
advancement of education in literacy. Since 2006, the Verizon Foundation has
invested $15 million to raise awareness of and aide in the prevention of
domestic violence. The Verizon Wireless HopeLine phone recycling program
provides wireless phones with free service to nonprofit organizations for use
by victims and survivors, giving them an immediate connection to help. Also
through the HopeLine program, the American Bar Association Commission on
Domestic Violence maintains a National Domestic Violence Pro Bono Directory, a
comprehensive national database of programs providing pro bono legal services
to victims. 

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global
leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications
services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. 
Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving
more than 89 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged
communications, information and entertainment services over America's most
advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business
solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a
diverse workforce of more than 230,000 and last year generated consolidated
revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit
www.verizon.com. 

VERIZON'S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: Verizon news releases, executive speeches and
biographies, media contacts, high quality video and images, and other
information are available at Verizon's News Center on the World Wide Web at
www.verizon.com/news.  To receive news releases by e-mail, visit the News
Center and register for customized automatic delivery of Verizon news
releases.

SOURCE  Verizon

Alberto Canal of Verizon, +1-908-559-6367, alberto.c.canal@verizon.com
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