VLJ seeks to improve the lives of economically-disadvantaged adults, children, and families in New Jersey by empowering them with tools, advice and pro bono representation with the goal of securing fair and equal treatment within the legal system.
What We Do
Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ) provides comprehensive legal services to economically-disadvantaged adults, children, and families in New Jersey through volunteer attorneys recruited and trained by VLJ. Programs include free legal counsel and advice, educational seminars on various legal matters, and direct representation for at-risk individuals facing critical civil legal issues.
Volunteers include solo practitioners and partners, associates and administrative staff from law firms and corporations of all sizes throughout New Jersey and New York City.
- Is a New Jersey Supreme Court approved legal services provider
- Provides VLJ volunteer attorneys exemptions from mandatory pro bono assignments after 25 hours of voluntary service
- Supports its volunteers through free substantive law training events, professional liability coverage, model forms and pleadings and the pro bono assistance of translators, experienced mentors and other service providers
- Is frequently recognized for its contributions to the community - VLJ received the "Community Builder Award" from the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice in 2008 and was the 2007 recipient of the New Jersey State Bar Association's "Annual Pro Bono Award"
VLJ was created in 2001 as a program of the Legal Services Foundation of Essex County to provide direct legal representation to residents of Essex County, New Jersey. The program began with one staff person and a core group of 30 volunteer attorneys. In 2008, VLJ separately incorporated as its own 501(c)(3) New Jersey not-for-profit corporation. Today, VLJ provides free legal services throughout the state through five staff attorneys, additional support personnel and more than 1,500 attorneys and paralegals who volunteer their time for one or more of VLJ’s nine distinct legal projects.