For New Jersey’s veterans, nagging legal issues such as old criminal convictions or suspended driver’s licenses can derail their lives and make it nearly impossible for them to secure housing and employment. The Veteran’s Legal Program was started with generous funding from PSEG in January 2014 to address the critical legal needs of veterans and active military members. VLJ coordinates regular clinics in conjunction with PSEG where volunteer attorneys assist veterans with their legal challenges and honor their military service. This month, we highlight the work of PSEG attorney Matthew Jokajtys as VLJ’s volunteer of the month for his work with the Veteran’s Legal Program.
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.
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.
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.