Note, if this will be your first time volunteering at a limited-scope legal clinic, we ask that you review the substantive training materials on VLJ's Volunteer Resources site, prior to the clinic date. 

You MUST email if you are interested in attending, so we can confirm with you that there are still in fact volunteer spots open. PLEASE DO NOT JUST SHOW UP. Thank you! 

Divorce Program 

All clinics take place in downtown Newark, NJ from 2 - 5pm

  • 4 spot(s) Pro Se Litigant - Filing Clinic - July 18

Email jchavez@vljnj.org, with interest. 

Consumer Law Program 

All clinics take place in downtown Newark, NJ from 9:30am - 12:30pm

  • 2 spot(s) Consumer Clinic - July 2

  • 2 spot(s) Consumer Clinic - July 16

  • 1 spot(s) Consumer Clinic - August 6

  • 2 spot(s) Consumer Clinic - August 20

Email anolan@vljnj.org, with interest. 



Representation in filing for due process to secure IEEs and appropriate placement

NB is a 9-year-old 3rd-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD, bipolar disorder, learning disabilities, PTSD from childhood trauma, severe skin and food allergies, and asthma. In December 2018, she was placed by DCPP with her grandmother, LM. NB’s latest IEP lists no evaluations, assessments, or testing, and includes only her ADHD diagnosis but none of her psychiatric diagnoses. In March, NB began exhibiting mood changes and aggression at school, fighting with peers, and expressing feelings of sadness over prior abuse from her mother. In April, NB reported that she hated herself and wanted to be dead, but LM was told that there were no counselors available that day. Later that day, NB threw furniture and kicked and hit school staff. The school imposed a two-day out-of-school suspension for “failure to follow procedure” and required LM take NB to a psychiatrist. Since then, NB has not returned to school and has been receiving home instruction. At an IEP meeting a few weeks later, LM requested a therapeutic placement, which was recommended by NB’s private psychiatrist, but the district verbally denied the request. LM also made a written request for IEEs; the district has not yet responded. LM is seeking representation in filing for due process to secure IEEs and an appropriate placement for NB.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org



Negotiation with district to obtain IEEs, comp. ed., and possible change of placement

JR is a 14-year-old 8th-grader who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is high functioning, but has frequent behavioral outbursts; the district’s response is to send him to the principal’s office or suspend him. In May, JR ran out of the school and no one noticed. Last year, the district failed to implement his speech-language therapy for months because the therapist retired, and still has not made up those hours, claiming there’s not enough time before he graduates. JR’s grandmother and legal guardian, GS, is seeking independent evaluations, compensatory services, and either an appropriate out-of-district placement or at least implementation of an appropriate IEP.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org



Negotiation with district to obtain OOD placement, comp. ed., and possible damages

JC is a 13-year-old 8th-grader who has been diagnosed with OCD and Tourette’s. He has attended an out-of-district placement since the 5th grade. During the heavy snowstorm on November 15, 2018, JC eloped from the school bus while it was stuck in traffic and was not found until 9:00 PM that night, four miles away. Following the incident, JC became extremely distressed and began engaging in self-injurious behavior; he has also refused to ride the bus again. JC’s mother, NH, sought help from the Child Study Team to get JC to school, but they refused to provide JC with any support. NH also requested a psychiatric evaluation, but the report was not translated into NH’s native language, Spanish, so she was not able to understand it. An IEP generated following the report contains no mention of either the bus incident or the psychiatric evaluation. NH is seeking a different out-of-district placement that does not require such a long bus ride, compensatory educational and/or counseling services if warranted, and possible compensatory damages for any viable tort action arising out of the bus elopement issue.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org



Negotiation with school district to obtain a change in placement, additional services in 504

TP is a 13-year-old 7th-grader who has a 504 plan. In December 2018, she was assaulted by another student in school and sustained a concussion. Following the incident, she was also cyberbullied. TP is now afraid to return to school because the student who assaulted her is still there, and has consequently been on home instruction since the incident occurred. The district refuses to consider an alternative placement for her and wants her to return to school before the end of the school year. TP’s pediatrician is not recommending that she return. TP’s mother, SP, is seeking help in advocating for a change in placement and any other services TP may require to ensure a safe return to school.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org



Negotiation with school district to obtain appropriate behavioral supports

TG is an 11-year-old 6th-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD and has behavioral issues. He is placed in an out-of-district placement. There have been two incidents recently in which TG has been improperly restrained, one on the bus with an aide and the other in school in which a security guard grabbed the back of TG’s neck. Both incidents were captured on video but the school denied the request of TG’s mother, SO, to see the videos. SO believes the school does not have a good plan in place to help TG deescalate. She is seeking assistance in ensuring that her son is provided with appropriate behavioral supports.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org



Phone consult, limited scope

EB filed for divorce from his wife earlier this year. His wife filed an Answer, and now they are awaiting a case management conference date. The contested issues include custody, child support, and equitable distribution. Due to volatility in their relationship, he was forced to move out, and now has a pending matter in Essex County, with a return date of June 17, seeking the return of his personal property. His work schedule and relocation prevents him from being able to attend VLJ's Divorce Clinics and therefore needs a phone consultation from a family law attorney who can advise him on the next steps in his divorce proceeding.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org



Representation through drafting estate planning documents

KP is a 46-yr-old, mother of 5, seeking to have a will, POA, and medical directives drafted. KP was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and still undergoing treatment. At this point, KP would like to be prepared and has discussed her wishes with her children and wants her decisions documented. KP has a few assets and about $5000 worth of medical and credit card debt.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org




Addressing fraudulent debt and stopping creditor harassment

PP is a veteran seeking assistance with an ID theft matter. While PP was serving overseas in the Navy, his ID was stolen and purchases were made in his name without his authorization. When he returned home to the US, PP started to receive harassing calls from creditors for thousands of dollars of debt for purchases he did not make. He is seeking assistance in disputing the fraudulent debts and stopping the creditor harassment.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org


Bankruptcy Court SDNY

There will be a filing deadline once debtor objects to client's proof of claim.

AA, a resident of New Jersey, was a defendant in a mortgage foreclosure action venued in Ocean County, New Jersey. With the assistance of a pro bono attorney, she had filed an answer and counterclaim but in 2018, the court struck the answer and dismissed the counterclaim, stating on the record that the counterclaim could be filed in the Law Division. Before she could file the claim in the Law Division, the mortgagee filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in the SDNY Bankruptcy Court in February 2019. Again, with the assistance of pro bono counsel, she filed a proof of claim in March 2019. Her pro bono attorney is unable to continue representation and AA needs an attorney to continue representing her interests if and when the debtor objects to the proof of claim.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org



Negotiation with district to obtain out-of-district placement

LB is a 9-year-old 3rd-grader who has a number of diagnoses including autism, anxiety, severe reflux, emotional-behavioral challenges, asthma, severe allergies, cardiac issues, Ehlers Danlos syndrome, dysautonomia, and partial facial paralysis. He is frequently hospitalized for gastrointestinal and other issues. He uses an adaptive stroller and an invasive feeding tube at all times, and his IEP provides for a one-to-one aide and one-to-one nurse at school and on the bus. LB’s mother, SB, does not believe an in-district placement can meet her son’s needs. He has not received any home instruction or services since March 2019, when he was hospitalized for a broken feeding tube. SB is seeking an out-of-district placement which meets LB’s medical, developmental, educational, behavioral, and other needs.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org



Representation at settlement conference to advocate for child's return to school

RR is an 11-year-old 5th-grader who has been classified as Emotionally Disturbed. She has engaged in aggressive behaviors both in school and on the bus; it is unclear whether the district has excluded her from school for more than 10 cumulative school days this year. On April 4, 2019, the district informed RR’s father, JR, that it planned to amend RR’s IEP without a meeting to place her on home instruction pending an out-of-district placement. JR signed both a consent to amend the IEP and for an updated psychiatric evaluation (one had been done in July 2018), but felt that he was not sufficiently informed of his options at the time. On April 10, 2019, JR notified the district that he withdrew his consent to the IEP amendment and psychiatric evaluation, but the district refused to allow RR to return to school and claimed JR could not revoke consent. JR fled a due process petition, and is seeking representation to advocate for RR’s return to school until any updates to her IEP and possibly her placement can be agreed upon by her IEP team including JR.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org



Full representation

KH is a trafficking victim seeking assistance drafting an advanced directive and a will. KH has several severe health issues, including polycystic ovarian syndrome, for which she will have to undergo surgery later this year. As she has two minor children, she would like to have a medical directive and will in place before her surgery. KH has no major assets, but wants to ensure her affairs are in order before any medical procedure.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org




Filing immigration petition for spouse

PW is human trafficking victim seeking assistance with an immigration matter. PW won the green card lottery in her home country and was granted permanent residency status. However once she arrived in the US, she was trafficked by her employers. She has recently been rescued by law enforcement and is living in a shelter. She would like to bring her husband over to live with her and their child. She needs assistance filing an I-130 petition to allow her husband to live with her in the US.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org



Full representation in expungement

JC has one disorderly persons conviction from 2010. Fine was paid in full as of September 2010. She resides in NY and is a domestic violence survivor. She is a native Spanish-speaker but understands and communicates in English very well. JC needs full representation for expungement petition. There is also an online article and mugshot detailing the arrest that could potentially be removed with advocacy post-expungement.

To review, email jchavez@vljnj.org




Drafting and submitting expungement petition

PP is a veteran seeking assistance with an expungement. PP has one conviction for possession of a controlled substance, which was dismissed through pre-trial intervention. However, PP is an immigrant who had temporary residency status throughout his military service and is concerned that any criminal history may affect his filing for permanent residency. He is therefore seeking assistance filing for an expungement of the PTI dismissal.

To review, email ebalan@vljnj.org



Drafting and submitting name change petition

HB is an elderly, vision-impaired client seeking assistance with a name change. HB's biological father had a different last name, and HB would like to change his name to match his father's. He seeks assistance drafting and submitting a name change petition.

To review, email ebalan@vljnj.org



Negotiation with district to obtain IEEs, appropriate placement, IEP amendments, and comp. ed.

JV is a 14-year-old 9th-grader who has been diagnosed with ADHD. His IEP places him in general education with in-class resource support for academic subjects. JV's grandmother and legal guardian, FN, recently learned that he is in danger of failing all his classes. JV's IEP does not refer to any evaluations and FN isn't aware that any have been done. His IEP also contains no goals or objectives. JV was recently diagnosed with autism, but FN does not believe any autism assessment was conducted, and JV's classification (Specific Learning Disability) and program did not change. FN is seeking appropriate IEEs, placement (either in- or out-of-district), transition services or supports, and goals and objectives in the IEP, as well as compensatory education.

To review, email jmoore@vljnj.org




Drafting and submitting expungement petition

SR is a 45-year-old veteran, and father of two, who seeks assistance with criminal expungement to secure employment. SR recently became eligible for expungement under the October 2018 New Jersey law change and requires representation in filing his petition.

To review, email ebalan@vljnj.org