Philadelphia VIP – A Work of the Highest Calling

Posted By: Tony Baratta | November 24th, 2015

One of my highest callings is the volunteer work I do for an organization called Philadelphia VIP.  This year Philadelphia VIP (Volunteers for the Indigent Program) is celebrating its 35th year.

This organization started when, in 1980, President Ronald Reagan gutted the budget allocated to Community Legal Services, which up to that time, had been a powerful law firm employing almost 100 lawyers representing and defending the rights of persons unable to pay for their own lawyer.  As a result, a few Philadelphia lawyers started a Pro Bono program intending to fill the void left by the gutted Community Legal Services.  Today, 35 years later, thousands of Philadelphia lawyers offer their time, skill and compassion to thousands and thousands of Philadelphia residents who cannot otherwise afford a lawyer through Philadelphia VIP.

Philadelphia VIP volunteer lawyers help people keep their houses and other assets subject to forfeiture in criminal proceedings or at risk in civil litigation, helps maintain and preserve relationships with their children in custody or family court matters, fights to protect battered spouses, offers priceless guidance to small businesses and acts as the conduit to connect indigent Philadelphia residents involved in a myriad of complicated legal issues with skillful, thoughtful and selfless attorneys who handle these matters as vigorously, and with as much devotion to detail, as any paying client.

Hubert H. Humphrey said in his very last speech, “The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”  And Mahatma Gandhi said “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” 

For 35 years, Philadelphia VIP, and all of the lawyers who volunteer have done their very best to make Philadelphia a great city.  And I am proud to play a very small role in that very huge effort.

Tony Baratta is a trial attorney in Huntingdon Valley, PA who represents clients who have been seriously injured including due to medical mistakes. Tony is the founding partner of Baratta, Russell, & Baratta and on the board for the Philadelphia VIP. Tony is a Nationally Certified Civil Trial Advocate, AV Rated Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbel and a  member of the Pennsylvania Brain Injury Association (BPIA).  He is also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for trial attorneys and voted one of Philadelphia’s Super Lawyers 2008-2015.

About the Author

Anthony J. Baratta (Tony) is a trial attorney. He has tried more than 50 cases to Juries in State and Federal Courts and has litigated thousands of personal injury and medical malpractice cases in his 30-year career. Tony is the founding partner of Baratta, Russell, & Baratta and an active board member of the Pennsylvania Brain Injury Association (BPIA). Tony is also on the board for the Philadelphia VIP and performs pro bono work for the Laurel House, a non-profit for victims of domestic abuse. In addition, Tony is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for trial attorneys, voted one of Philadelphia’s Super Lawyers for the past 14 years, and a 2018 recipient of the First Judicial District Pro Bono Award for the Civil Trial Division.

Tell us About Your Problem Our Attorneys are Ready to Help

  • Please be advised that submitting this information does not create an attorney client relationship and the information you share may not be confidential due to its transmission in this manner.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We are Your Center City Law Firm Right Outside the City

We are “Center City” lawyers without the hassle of Center City. Located right outside the city of Philadelphia in Huntingdon Valley, PA, our office is accessible from all directions. We are wheel chair accessible with free parking and an elevator.

Baratta, Russell & Baratta

Huntingdon Valley
3500 Reading Way
Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006

1000 N. Providence Rd.
Media, PA 19063


Get Directions

Phone: 215-914-2222
Fax: 215-914-2118