Barry Law's VITA program wins ABA Achievement Award for 11th time

Barry Law's VITA program wins ABA Achievement Award for 11th time


Barry Law has earned the ABA award 11 times

Orlando, Fla. – The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) at Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law has been recognized with the National Achievement Award from the American Bar Association (ABA) Law Student Division. The award was announced on August 4 at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, making it the 11th time Barry Law’s VITA program has earned the honor.

Each year during tax season, students at Barry School of Law assist low-income families and individuals with filing their federal income taxes. The program is offered through Internal Revenue Service’s VITA program, which is part of a coalition assembled by Heart of Florida United Way to provide services to the community. VITA is designed to help low-income earners, specifically those who make less than $54,000 per year.  

“We are tremendously honored that the ABA has once again recognized the amazing work of our Barry Law students in the VITA program,” said Leticia M. Diaz, Dean of the Barry Law School. “Community service is central to our mission, and this program is one of the many ways our students embody it by providing tax services for the elderly, our veterans, and other underserved members of our community.”

This year, the program had a total of 60 Barry Law students volunteers and prepared a total of 242 returns which resulted in $253,428 dollars in refunds.

Barry Law Professor Frank Schiavo, who serves as the faculty advisor to the VITA program, was on site each week to assist students with some of the more complex issues and answer questions for those having their taxes prepared. The oversight of the student volunteers is handled by the VITA E-Board, which is comprised of students who are elected each year to serve for the following tax season.

Barry Law’s VITA program was launched in 2006 and was recognized that year with the ABA Law Student Division’s VITA Rookie Site Award.

To view the full list of award winners, head to the ABA Law Student Division website: