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, N.J. Previously, she taught marketing part time at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, N.J., and remains at ease in a teaching environment.
Delia, a VLJ board member, walks her clinic’s audience of 15 to 50 people through the legal process, custody, support, and equitable distribution. Most participants are looking for help to proceed pro se.
For many attendees, their biggest problem is filling out the forms and understanding the process. What is equitable distribution? Who is the defendant? What is an asset? Delia also tries to get her listeners to think about how their children are going to fare and how they will be supported — rather than “fighting about stuff.”
Delia answers questions about individual cases afterward, but her focus is on the general issues surrounding divorce. She also mentors new lawyer-volunteers, many of whom do not have family law experience.
Delia, who earned a B.S. from Saint Peter’s, an M.B.A from Pace University, and a J.D. from Rutgers Law School in Newark, lives in Glen Ridge, N.J. Her son is in his second year at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
She gets great satisfaction out of her work at VLJ. “I try to take difficult legal terms and put them in language people can understand. I hope to give people a sense of calmness,” she said.
Kaleia Edmundo, the staff attorney who oversees the clinic, is quick to laud Delia’s contributions. “Delia has been a mentor and friend to me for years. She was with VLJ from the start, and her commitment to [VLJ] is unwavering.”