VLP has a small staff of two attorneys and a part-time administrative assistant. Attorneys have significant experience managing statewide legal aid and pro bono programs. We work for Nebraska lawyers to help them achieve the highest standards of competence, ethics and professionalism and to protect and promote the administration of and access to justice. Mindful of the lawyer’s busy schedule, we develop and facilitate pro bono programs that are convenient, rewarding, and impactful.
Laurel Heer Dale, Director
Laurel “Laurie” is Director of VLP. She is responsible for developing, managing, and advancing innovative pro bono programs for Nebraska lawyers. Laurie started her legal career at Legal Aid of Nebraska in 2002, serving as Director of Client and Community Engagement Services, Director of Access, Managing Attorney for Legal Aid’s AccessLine® centralized intake unit, coordinator of the Private Attorney Involvement program and Staff Attorney. Laurie designed and launched Legal Aid’s Breast Cancer Legal Hotline, Disaster Relief Response Hotline, Autism Legal Hotline, and the Nebraska Immigration Legal Assistance Hotline.She also developed and implemented an online intake system. Laurie received her J.D. from Creighton University School of Law. She is the current president of the Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership. Laurie is admitted in Nebraska and Iowa.
Carol A. Cleaver, Senior Attorney
Carol recruits, trains, and manages volunteer activities at self-help desks, advice clinics, Nebraska Free Legal Answers online, and case placement. She is a frequent speaker on various topics to community groups and organizations. Carol started her legal career in 2006 as a business and litigation associate in a Kansas City law firm. Her practice experience includes representing clients in business and employment litigation, mediation, family, juvenile, and immigration. Carol serves on several nonprofit boards and advisory committees. She is an adjunct professor at several colleges, teaching business law and legal studies courses. Carol received a J.D. from Creighton University School of Law. She is admitted to the bars of Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas.