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Cathy Keenan, Esq. began her role as Executive Director of Volunteer Lawyers for Justice in 2017.  Cathy is responsible for the oversight of VLJ’s 11 distinct legal programs and the management of the organization.

Prior to assuming this role, Cathy held significant management and leadership roles at VLJ: first as the Director of Pro Bono Services starting 2012, and then as the Deputy Director of VLJ since 2014.  In these roles, Cathy was responsible for innovative program management that has greatly increased services for clients, both by expanding VLJ’s training program for volunteers and increasing the organization's public profile through creative strategies.

Cathy brought a wealth of pro bono expertise to VLJ. She led a large-scale pro bono program at Legal Aid Services of Oregon, in Portland, OR, for close to 10 years. Before that, she served as a pro bono volunteer for 5 years.  During her time at legal aid and as a private practitioner in Oregon, she gained significant family law experience.

Cathy has served on numerous committees aimed at increasing access to justice and pro bono legal services.  Cathy is the Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Pro Bono Committee and previously served on the Oregon State Bar Pro Bono Committee and the Oregon Supreme Court’s Self-Represented Litigant Committee. 

Cathy is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Tracy Nelson is Director of Finance and Human Resources at VLJ. Tracy spent 15 years at HBO, in her last position as Vice President of HBO Direct, responsible for satellite programming services. Her success at HBO attracted the attention of Cablevision Systems Corp. where she managed the video product development function. After over two decades at large corporations, Tracy and a partner built a successful organic cookie company, which they then sold to one of their distributors. She also helped build a music production company that specialized in creating and producing concerts with corporate sponsorship to benefit non-profit groups. She raised over $2 million to produce such events as In Transit: the City’s Finest Subway Musicians at Lincoln Center and Jimmy Cliff and the Harlem Gospel Choir at Riverside Church. Tracy is a graduate of Princeton University and obtained her MBA from Columbia University.

Jessica Kitson, Esq. is the Managing Attorney at Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, where she oversees the New Jersey Trafficking Victims Legal Assistance Program. She is also an adjunct professor at Rutgers Law School, where she has taught seminars on domestic violence law and human trafficking. Jessica is a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts and the New Jersey Bar Association’s Pro Bono Committee. Prior to joining VLJ, Jessica was director of the Eric R. Neisser Public Interest Program at Rutgers Law School, Newark Campus, where she oversaw all public interest and pro bono programming and previously served as director and supervising attorney of the law school’s Domestic Violence Advocacy Project, a pro bono program she helped create as a law student. In addition, Jessica worked at the law firm of Duane Morris LLP as public interest counsel. Jessica received her BA in history and women's studies with honors from Rutgers College and her JD from Rutgers Law School.

Karen Robinson is a Staff Attorney for VLJ and coordinates VLJ’s efforts for Newark Reentry Legal Services (ReLeSe), Veterans Legal Program, theTrafficking Victims Legal Assistance Program, as well as the Tenancy Clinic.  Karen currently chairs the Reentry Subcommittee of the Essex County Vicinage Advisory Committee on Minority Concerns and is a member of the Legal Representation and Veterans Subcommittees of the group.  Karen is a member of the NJSBA Municipal Practice Section, the NJSBA Military Affairs Section and the ECBA Municipal Bench Bar Committee.  During law school, Karen was selected as a Haiti Rule of Law delegate where she participated in a new Prison Conditions project in Jeremie, Haiti and she worked on Prison Conditions and Prisoner’s Rights in Cameroon, Africa.  Karen is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley and received her law degree from Seton Hall University.

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Jessica Limbacher, Esq. is a Staff Attorney who leads the Children's Representation Program, Bankruptcy Program, and Disaster Legal Response Program (DLRP).  Jessica is co-chair of the New York County Lawyers' Association Education Law Committee and a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association School Law Committee. She also serves on numerous committees and taskforces related to Superstorm Sandy recovery and has provided leadership through the DLRP since the project was started.  Prior to joining VLJ, Jessica was a legal fellow with the Education Rights Project of Queens Legal Services.  During law school, Jessica served as Director of Research, Education, & Advocacy to Combat Homelessness (REACH), was on the board of Fordham’s chapter of the Suspension Representation Project (SRP), and participated in a clinic where she represented special education students in New York.  Jessica received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and her law degree from Fordham University School of Law. 

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Rosa Mae Neel, Esq. is a Staff Attorney for VLJ, where she oversees the PSEG Veterans Clinic and the Veterans Legal Wellness Clinic. Prior to joining VLJ, Rosa was a corporate associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and Covington & Burling LLP in New York City. At Davis Polk, her pro bono service included advising clients on wills and health care directives. Rosa went on to act as independent legal counsel for startups on corporate matters. In undergraduate school, she worked in the Medill Innocence Project, helping to secure the release of a man wrongfully convicted of murder. During law school, she was an AnBryce Scholar and a notes editor of the Law Review, and she participated in a capital defender clinic and a community organizing clinic working to improve access to health care for Mexican immigrants in New York City. Rosa is a native Spanish speaker and a proficient speaker of Portuguese. She is a member of the New York Bar Association and a member of the Animal Law Committee of the New York City Bar. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and her JD from NYU School of Law. Rosa is admitted to practice law only in New York – she is not licensed in New Jersey.

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Stella Lyubarsky, Esq. is a Staff Attorney at Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, where she oversees the Divorce Clinic and the Consumer Debt Clinic. Prior to joining VLJ, Stella was a Clinical Staff Attorney at the Rutgers Education and Health Law Clinic, where she represented parents of children with disabilities in their special education and guardianship matters.  Previously, Stella was a MacArthur Law Fellow at the Rutgers Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic, where she represented juvenile delinquents in their post-disposition matters, and before that, she trained and supervised Rutgers law students volunteering in the Domestic Violence Unit at the Essex County Superior Court.  In addition to her J.D. Degree from Rutgers School of Law, Stella also holds a Master’s of Social Work Degree from New York University. 

Diana Onuschak is a Project Coordinator at VLJ, overseeing initiatives to provide better service to VLJ clients and volunteer attorneys. Diana also provides legal assistant support on the Child Support Program, the Trafficking Victims Legal Assistance Program, and Discharge Upgrade Program, in addition to managing VLJ's Pro Bono Opportunities listing for VLJ's panel of volunteer attorneys throughout NJ. Prior to joining VLJ, Diana worked at the Office of Summer and Winter Sessions at Rutgers and has substantial volunteer experience with non-profit organizations. Diana received her BS in Environmental Policy from Rutgers.

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Michelle Smith is a Law Clerk at VLJ. Michelle provides support to the Reentry Legal Services (ReLeSe) Program, the Consumer Law Program, and the Tenancy Clinic. Michelle is proficient in French and works with VLJ’s Creole-speaking clients. Prior to joining VLJ, Michelle worked for similar non-profits in West Philadelphia. Michelle received her BA in Sociology from Bryn Mawr College and is currently pursuing her JD at Rutgers Law School. 

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Emily Balan is a Legal Assistant with VLJ. She helps support the Veterans Legal Program, the Children’s Representation Program, and the Consumer Law Program. Emily also supports VLJ’s grant applications, fundraising event planning, donor outreach, as well as other administrative tasks. She manages VLJ’s social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Before joining the VLJ team, Emily gained extensive communication and research experience with the human rights advocacy nonprofit Human Rights First and the news outlet CNBC, and as an editor for two of her university’s campus newspapers. She graduated from the Honors Program at Seton Hall University with a BS in diplomacy and international relations and a BA in philosophy. 

Joselyn Chavez is a Legal Assistant with VLJ. Joselyn helps support the Divorce Program, the Bankruptcy Program, and the New Jersey Trafficking Victims Legal Assistance Program. Joselyn is proficient in Spanish and works with VLJ’s Spanish speaking clients. Before joining VLJ, Joselyn interned at a women’s rights advocacy group in India where she gained substantial research and writing experience, while also gaining experience in the non-profit world. Joselyn also attained extensive communication experience working for a law firm and various retail establishments. Joselyn graduated from Ramapo College of New Jersey with a BA in Law and Society and a minor in Criminology.

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Taniesha Bermudez-Mitchum is an Intake Assistant at VLJ. Taniesha provides program-wide administrative support to VLJ and manages all client intake and data entry using VLJ’s case management system. Prior to joining VLJ, Taniesha worked as a caseworker for DCPP, taught English in South Korea and has over 20 years of customer service experience. Taniesha is also a Newark native, born and raised, and is fluent in Spanish. Taniesha received her BA in Justice Studies, concentrating in the Justice System, from Montclair State University, and is currently working towards her MSW at Rutgers University, School of Social Work.