The Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) recently named Executive Director Rachel Mathews among the 2020 class of Rising Champions of Justice!

The VLP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that provides free civil legal services to low income individuals and small nonprofits in Western New York. Established in 1983 as a project of the Erie County Bar Association and Neighborhood Legal Services, the VLP recruits and trains volunteer attorneys to represent VLP’s clients on a pro bono basis. The organization has assisted more than 8,000 clients since its inception. 

Rising Champions of Justice is a group of young professionals dedicated to furthering the VLP’s mission through volunteerism, events, fundraisers, networking, and professional development opportunities. Rachel looks forward to bringing another non-attorney voice to the organization.

Rachel graduated from Fordham University with a bachelor of arts in peace & justice studies and a bachelor of arts in political science. After completing a year with AmeriCorps, she spent time working at law firms and tech startups in New York and San Francisco, primarily in client relationship, volunteer management, and business operations roles. Upon moving back to Buffalo in 2017, Rachel has served as executive director of the Bairs Foundation, as well as director of marketing & communications at Milestone. She is a volunteer with Make a Wish WNY and, a committee member for the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and WNY Women’s Foundation, and she is now on the board of Rising Champions for Justice.