Press Release – SVLAS 50 Year Anniversary

January 11, 2022

Contact: Gary Cody, Directory of Development, 276.783.8300, x2011



MARION, Va. – Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society, Inc. was established in 1972 as a one-attorney, two county-program supporting Smyth and Bland Counties. Major legal efforts first began with a focus on opening hospital doors to low-income pregnant women in need of obstetrical care. The first director, Joseph S. Tate, focused on helping low-income individuals and families with civil law cases, providing outreach education, and working with Emory and Henry College to prepare educational materials for the low-income people.

Today, SVLAS operates as a 501(c)(3) law firm with three offices located in Castlewood, Marion, and Christiansburg, Virginia, staffing over 40 employees (administration, attorneys, rental relief assistors, and paralegals) throughout a service area consisting of 17 counties and four small cities. SVLAS is funded through the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the Legal Services Corporation of Virginia (LSCV), and grants provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, VA Department of Criminal Justice Services, Area Agencies on Aging, and various donors to include the Virginia Law Foundation, and corporate and citizen donors.

As part of the 50th Anniversary events, SVLAS is focusing on an increased social media presence and has launched a new website: The new website features a user-friendly menu and easier navigation tools for clients, donors and partners. Additionally, SVLAS is planning several educational webinar sessions, and other notable events to include two annual conferences: the Elder Abuse Conference (June 10, 2022) and Domestic Violence Conference (October 7th, 2022). More detail may be found on the SVLAS website. Please visit and “like” our Facebook page, follow us on Instagram, and connect with us on LinkedIn for current events and activities planned throughout the year.

If you or your business would like to make an impact, your contribution helps SVLAS provide critically needed legal services for problems involving housing, health care, income stability, economic security, and individual safety for victims of domestic violence, abused children and seniors.

“For fifty years, SVLAS has provided assistance to over 300,000 low-income Southwest Virginians. Our attorneys and staff stand ready to continue to serve the people here with their personal struggles and during these challenging times,” said Joseph R. Carico, Executive Director, SVLAS.

If you are in need of legal assistance, call Legal Aid to apply for services at 1-888-201-2772. The call is free, and intake staff are available to take your call Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.; 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. You can also apply online 24 hours a day at

To learn more, visit Legal Aid’s website at You can also request a brochure by e-mailing