August 2017 Attorney of the Month: Eduardo Santiago-Acevedo

Nearly 40,000 people face eviction each year in Essex County.  The number seems overwhelming, but as Eduardo Santiago-Acevedo explains, even if attorneys can assist only a small percentage of families, “for those individuals, it means everything in the world.”

Second Annual Summer Soiree Success

Volunteer Lawyer for Justice’s second annual Summer Soiree was a huge success, raising awareness and funding for VLJ’s Children’s Representation Program (CRP).  Hosted by VLJ’s Generation Now Young Professionals Committee, the event was attended by almost 100 professionals at the Essex Fells Country Club on June 8, 2017 and featured an impassioned speech by exemplary volunteer Michael Malia.

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.