As the extreme weather season begins, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, and other natural disasters threaten to bring myriad civil legal problems for New Jersey residents, from accessing critical disaster assistance to securing temporary housing to handling insurance claims. Volunteer Lawyers for Justice will be there to provide advice and assistance but residents should act now to ensure that they have accessible documents and pictures of them and everything in their home before a natural disaster arrives. A few simple actions can help to avoid legal problems later.
The event will start at 5:30 p.m. on November 14 at the Valley Regency in Clifton. Arts and Eats for Justice is a celebration of how VLJ staff, volunteers, funders, and community partners work together to transform the lives of low-income and vulnerable clients in New Jersey. Honorees are selected for their commitment to VLJ’s mission. Click to see who we’re honoring this year!
Volunteer Lawyers for Justice has received the 2018 Jefferson Award Medallion in the Volunteer Group category for outstanding work benefiting the community. The Jefferson Awards were established in 1972 as the official recognition program of the United States Senate. They are considered America’s highest honor for public service and volunteerism. “We were so honored to be nominated for this award by our Board Chair, Susan McGahan, a steadfast supporter of justice.”
VLJ contributed to a recent report on the challenges of the recovery process after Superstorm Sandy. The report, “The Long Road Home,” analyzed the results of a survey taken by over 500 Sandy survivors found that 22% of respondents were still out of their homes at the time of the survey; that 77% of respondents either did not have enough money to finish rebuilding their homes; and that more than 70% of respondents had developed new physical or mental health problems or a worsening of pre-existing health conditions since Sandy.
Retired Judge Patricia Costello, William Krovatin, Mary Frances Palisano, and Geoffrey Rosamond.
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 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!