Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program
VITA is a federal volunteer program that allows UO students to assist elderly and low income community members in the preparation and filing of federal, Oregon and California tax returns. Often volunteers are able to educate tax filers about programs that increase tax refunds. Students experience a wide variety of filers, including non-English speakers, non-citizens, and small business owners. Students must pass an open-book comprehensive problem-solving test prior to volunteering. Students are supervised on-site by experienced volunteers and trainers, who also review returns before they are submitted. No prior tax preparation experience is necessary and students gain valuable experience in direct client contact.
Street Law Program
The Street Law program is focused on teaching legal principles to community members in a straightforward, easy-to-understand manner. Law student volunteers develop the material and teach the classes. The program’s goals are to offer legal information to community members who are interested in a broad overview of their rights and to reach out to members of the community who may have difficulty obtaining the information elsewhere. Classes offered include:
The Search and Seizure group is committed to educating the public and students in our community about their rights under the Fourth Amendment.
The Landlord-Tenant group works to inform students and the community about issues relating to the rights and responsibilities of tenants and their landlords. For the volunteers, it is a great opportunity to work in the community and share important information with people who need it. The group works with St. Vincent dePaul, teaching a class called “Second Chance,” to help evicted tenants re-enter the rental market.