VLJ In The News: BASF helps Vets with legal work and other biz news

VLJ In The News: BASF helps Vets with legal work and other biz news

The Daily Record, part of the USA Today network, highlights teams of lawyers from BASF Corp. and Panasonic Corp. who provide free legal help at one of VLJ's newest clinics so veterans can surmount barriers as they re-enter civilian life.

Spotlight on Service: Matt Leff

Spotlight on Service: Matt Leff

The primary wish of so many low-income clients struggling with debt is simply to have a fresh start.  That is exactly what Matt Leff has been providing for the past seven years through his volunteer work with VLJ.

Matt, a patent attorney at Merck & Co., leads the Bankruptcy in a Box Program, which offers low-income clients a new financial future after they have become overwhelmed by debt. Merck attorneys and paralegals work together to prepare and file Chapter 7 petitions on behalf of their clients.

Introducing the Veterans Legal Wellness Clinic and Tenancy Clinic

VLJ is excited to announce two new legal programs this year.  The Veterans Legal Wellness Clinic is the first legal services clinic to be held regularly at the East Orange VA Hospital; VLJ is proud to partner with the legal departments of BASF and Panasonic, as well as the law firms, Day Pitney LLP, Nukk-Freeman & Cerra PC, and McGuire Woods LLP on this ground-breaking new program. The Tenancy Clinic is our second new program and it is co-sponsored by Prudential and Lowenstein Sandler. 

VLJ In the News: Why Tenants Lose When They Go Up Against Landlords in Newark

VLJ In the News: Why Tenants Lose When They Go Up Against Landlords in Newark

There are 40,000 evictions filed in Essex County alone – the most in the state. VLJ helps low-income tenants facing eviction through a monthly legal clinic at the courthouse in partnership with Prudential and Lowenstein Sandler.  Learn why tenants face an uphill battle in this WNYC piece featuring our clinic:  http://www.wnyc.org/story/why-tenants-lose-against-lanlords-newark.

Congratulations! PSEG Receives ECBA's 2017 Bernard Kuttner Award!

Congratulations! PSEG Receives ECBA's 2017 Bernard Kuttner Award!

PSEG’s legal department approached VLJ about starting a pro bono program to address the legal needs of veterans in New Jersey, which led to the creation of VLJ’s Veterans Legal Program in 2014.  Three years later, PSEG’s tireless attorneys and support staff have hosted 30 legal clinics and provided much-needed legal services to this underserved community.  PSEG has demonstrated a long-lasting commitment to assisting NJ’s veterans and is most deserving of this honor!

A Success! VLJ's 15th Anniversary Celebration

On November 14, 2016, VLJ hosted our 15th Anniversary Celebration at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ.  The night was enormously successful; nearly 300 guests attended the event and helped raise over $300,000 for VLJ.  In addition, BASF Corporation was presented with the 2016 Pro Bono Award (accepted by Matthew Lepore, Senior Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer).  

Spotlight on Service: Delia Murphy

Spotlight on Service: Delia Murphy

When Delia Murphy guides would-be litigants at VLJ’s Divorce Clinic every month, it’s clear that many of her nonlegal, as well as legal, experiences trained her for the role.

Delia, who has been lending her expertise to VLJ since its inception 15 years ago, runs a solo matrimonial law practice in Bloomfield.  Previously, she taught marketing part time at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City and remains at ease in a teaching environment.

Thank You to our Summer Interns

Thank You to our Summer Interns

This summer, VLJ had the pleasure of working with three wonderful legal interns:  Alexandra Bravo, Danielle Panizzi, and Kate Petrie.  All three students attend Rutgers School of Law in Newark. Alex is in her third year and Danielle and Kate are in their second year.

Danielle served as VLJ’s first Maida Fellow.  The Maida Fellowship provides funding to a Rutgers student for a summer internship at a public interest legal organization.  Alex and Kate were Proskauer Rose Fellows. 

ABA Pro Bono Week

ABA Pro Bono Week

At VLJ, we celebrate pro bono work every day, but in honor of the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Week (October 23rd to 29th), we have planned a wide variety of events for attorneys and clients.  The goals of the celebration include recruiting more pro bono volunteers and increasing legal services to poor and vulnerable people, mobilizing community support for pro bono, fostering collaborative relationships, and recognizing the pro bono efforts of America’s lawyers. Click through to see some events that we have planned. 

Four Lawyers Join Board at VLJ

Four Lawyers Join Board at VLJ

Volunteer Lawyers for Justice’s Board of Trustees has announced the addition of four accomplished lawyers who will help shape the direction of the organization, which marks its 15th anniversary this year.

The new trustees are Angela M. Coxe, Senior Patent Counsel, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Berkeley Heights; Donald J. Cussen, Senior Vice President/Financial Adviser, RBC Wealth Management, Florham Park; Matthew Lepore, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, BASF Corp., Florham Park; and Tricia B. O’Reilly, Partner, Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga LLP, Newark.

The Power of One

The Power of One

The billable hour is a staple behind law firm economics, and now Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ) is using the concept for a fund-raiser marking its 15th anniversary.

VLJ is asking lawyers at 150 New Jersey firms to donate the cash equivalent of "Just One" billable hour to help fund legal services for low-income individuals across the state.

Attorney Spotlight: Suzanne Klar (PSEG)

Attorney Spotlight: Suzanne Klar (PSEG)

Suzanne M. Klar is an example of how one person can spark beneficial and lasting change—in this case, for veterans.

In 2013, the PSEG associate general litigation counsel approached Volunteer Lawyers for Justice about a broader pro bono role by attorneys in her company’s legal department. A VLJ board member since 2008, Suzanne had been focused on pro bono work for years. In particular, she noticed that veterans and active service members had critical legal needs.