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.”
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.
Kaitlyn Stone was named Volunteer Lawyers for Justice Pro Bono Attorney of the Month for July! Kaitlyn, an associate at Gibbons P.C., is a regular at VLJ’s monthly expungement clinic for low income New Jersey residents with a criminal background.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
VLJ is always in need of your support in order to keep taking cases and changing lives---cases like Aidan and Lisa's.
VLJ is always in need of your support to keep taking cases and changing lives---case like Danny's.
VLJ is always in need of your support to keep taking cases and changing lives---cases like Feleasha's.
VLJ is always in need of your support to keep taking cases and changing lives---cases like Margaret and her son Joshua's.
When Joshua was 16-years-old, he had already been retained once and his school district was seeking to hold him back again due to excessive absences.
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.
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.