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.
Gemma Giantomasi, a Member of Chiesa, Shahinian & Giantomasi PC and VLJ Trustee, has chaired the Generation Now Committee for the past two years. She cited the Generation Now Committee members as the key to this year’s success. She said, “VLJ is such an amazing organization and the opportunities that VLJ and its volunteers provide for underprivileged clients in so many different areas of law are unparalleled.”
The event raised more than $15,000 in net proceeds to support the CRP. Through this program, attorneys provide legal assistance to parents seeking to ensure that their disabled children receive the educational services to which they are entitled and to children who are victims of harassment, intimidation, or bullying at school.
Long-time VLJ volunteer attorney Michael Malia spoke to the attendees about his volunteer experience. He discussed one case in particular that was his “most rewarding case in over 16 years of practicing law.” His client was unsuccessful at her attempts to get help from her 9-year-old son’s school when he was being severely bullied. They contacted VLJ, and through Michael’s assistance in negotiating with the school district, the child is now excelling and excited to go to school every day. Michael spoke about how important it was for this family to have legal representation and how VLJ provided him all of the training and support he needed. VLJ wants to thank everyone who bought tickets, made donations, sponsored the event, and made the Summer Soiree such a success!