Essex County


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

  • 3 spot(s) Pro Se Litigant - Filing Clinic - April 18

  • 4 spot(s) Pro Se Litigant - Filing Clinic - May 16

Email, with interest. 

Consumer Law Program 

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

  • 3 spot(s) Consumer Clinic - April 16

  • 3 spot(s) Consumer Clinic - May 7

Email, with interest. 



Negotiation at IEP meeting to obtain evaluations and out-of-district placement

KM is a 4-year-old preschool student who has been diagnosed with autism. His doctor recommended an intensive ABA-based program, but the district does not offer such a program and instead, in December, recommended a typical preschool disabled class. KM's mother, FM, was concerned that such a class would have poor behavior role models for her son and not otherwise meet his needs. She filed for mediation, and the district agreed to let her explore in-district options in April and May, and to reconvene the IEP team in June to decide placement for the 2019-20 school year. FM is seeking evaluations of KM and representation at the June IEP meeting to obtain an out-of-district program that offers ABA.

To review, email



Advice and assistance working with hospital billing department

WM is an 82 year old veteran seeking assistance with a Medicare/collections issue. WM had a brief stay in a hospital and received a bill for his treatment. Medicare covered the cost, but he is still receiving collections notices from the hospital for additional services that were not rendered. A representative from Medicare told WM that the additional debt would be dismissed, but over a year later he is still receiving collections notices and the amount is still showing up in his credit report. Client seeks assistance in correcting this matter and having debt removed from his credit report.

To review, email



Representation in lawsuit against furniture company; assistance in filing hardship application or contesting judgment regarding car repossession

In March 2018, AJ purchased $2,000 worth of furniture for her 7 children from a store; she paid in cash and was given a receipt. Despite numerous attempts to follow up with the owner, AJ never received the furniture. As a result, her children have been sleeping on the floor for a year. AJ is seeking an attorney who could file a complaint in Small Claims Court and attempt to recover the money she paid as well as possible treble damages if there has been a CFA violation. In a separate matter, AJ’s car was repossessed after her payments increased and she was no longer able to afford them. She owes approximately $7,000, and her wages are being garnished. She is seeking assistance in either filing a hardship application to reduce the garnishment or contesting the underlying judgment.

To review, email



Removal from personal injury suit complaint ; April 20 (must respond to summons or face summary judgement)

JC is a veteran seeking assistance getting himself removed from a personal injury case. JC's grandson was involved in a car accident while driving JC's wife's vehicle. JC's wife is deceased, but did not leave the car to JC when she died. JC was erroneously identified as the owner of the vehicle and included in the personal injury suit against his grandson. He was served on March 23 with a summons and has 35 days to reply before he is at risk of summary judgement against him. JC has very limited funds and can barely pay rent. He needs immediate assistance in addressing the summons and being removed from the case.

To review, email



Order of Emergent Relief directing the Vocational Technical School to return LH to school; Order directing the Vocational Technical School to provide LH with compensatory educational services and a Determination of the amount and type of services required; and Complete multi-disciplinary reevaluation of LH.

LH is a 9th grade special education student, who began high school at a Vocational Technical School District, after completing 8th grade in his home district. He has been out of school since December 2018 because the Vocational Technical School district improperly excluded LH from school without providing him with any educational services. The parent completed a form to convert the petition from mediation-only to one for a due process hearing. The parent is seeking representation in a due process proceeding that is already pending, possibly including filing for an order of emergent relief to get LH back in school.

To review, email



Representation to ensure compliance with Harassment, Intimidation & Bullying (HIB) regulations.

NP is in 4th grade and was video-recorded by another student while using the toilet. That student showed the video recording to several other students during that school day and showed it to NP's sister during an after-school program. NP's mother reported the incident to the assistant principal the following day. While the assistant principal told NP's mother that the student who video-recorded NP had been suspended, the mother has never received any notices that the incident was considered Harassment, Intimidation & Bullying (HIB). The mother is concerned because the district does not seem to have done anything to ensure that the recording was secured. The principal told NP's mother that the district does not secure the recording because that would be promoting child pornography. Instead, the principal said that it was the responsibility of the parents of the student who made the recording to deal with the recording. The parent is seeking representation to ensure that the video-recording of NP has been destroyed and that incidents like this one do not occur again.

To review, email



Full representation

AT is a 38-year-old, mother of four, seeking a criminal record expungement. VLJ has determined AT is eligible for expungement and her record includes only dismissals. AT seeks an attorney to prepare and file her expungement petition.

To review, email




Advice and negotiation

JD, a senior veteran, seeks assistance with a withholding issue. JD's wife was a VA Medical Center Employee for many years. She died in 2018, leaving the client with very little income. JD struggles to pay basic expenses and to care for his young grandson, who lives him. JD's wife had significant back pay owed to her from the VA, to which JD is now entitled. After multiple attempts by JD to collect these funds, the VA has been unresponsive. JD seeks assistance in working with the VA to receive these back payments.

To review, email



Special Civil trial date March 21, 2019

DC was in a car accident. She is being sued by an insurance company as a subrogee from seeking recovery for damages the company paid out to the individual in the car accident. After trying to put in a claim with her own insurance company, DC discovered she has only personal injury coverage, not liability and therefore DC’s claim was denied. DC said she has no assets and her only source of income is SS disability benefits. A special civil part trial is scheduled for March 21.

To review, email



Full representation in filing expungement petition

MB was offered a job as a teacher in a NJ public school, but the NJ Board of Education would not complete the hiring process due to his criminal record. MB has nine arrests, most of which are dismissals; he needs assistance obtaining some dispositions and filing expungement petition.

To review, email



Prepare and file petition

Veteran, TB, seeks assistance with a complex expungement issue. TB has a conviction that was discharged after pre-trial intervention, an indictable offense, and a dismissal that are all eligible for expungement under the new October 2018 NJ expungement law. He also has eight felony convictions on his criminal record that do not belong to him, which has been confirmed by the Public Defender. Client requires assistance in filing his expungement petition and removing the erroneous felony convictions off of his record.

To review, email


Essex County - SSI/SSD Appeal

Litigation for SSI/SSD appeal for client based in Newark

DA is a single mother of two small children. She has experienced pain which has prevented her from working. She applied for SSI disability, but has been denied. DA tried to appeal on her own and was also denied. She has new medical evidence and is now trying her second appeal. Client will have a hearing, but the date has not been set yet.

To review, email



Representation in filing motion

SM is a veteran seeking assistance with a child support modification matter. Client’s ex-partner moved out of state without telling SM that she was pregnant. SM only recently became aware of his child and had paternity confirmed by DNA test. The child’s mother has become incapable of caring for the child, who is now staying with another relative. Client has been ordered to pay child support to the custodial relative but has fallen behind on payments due to recent unemployment. Client seeks assistance adjusting the support order and dealing with arrears.

To review, email