Veterans Legal Program
The Veterans Legal Program serves veterans throughout New Jersey and is comprised of 3 distinct programs.
Veterans legal wellness clinic
Veterans face many barriers to successful return to civilian life, including ongoing civil legal issues. To help veterans address these problems, VLJ developed the Veterans Legal Wellness Clinic, held at the East Orange VA on a regular basis, in partnership with the VA, BASF Corporation, and Panasonic.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
The Veterans Legal Wellness Clinic is limited to attorneys from BASF Corporation and Panasonic, with partnering firms. Prior experience is not needed and training materials are available to those who participate in the clinic. A VLJ staff attorney is present at every Veterans Legal Wellness Clinic to answer questions and provide support to volunteers.
WHAT DO VOLUNTEERS DO?
The Veterans Wellness Legal Clinic is held every few weeks and clients are prescreened by VLJ and eligible veterans meet with volunteer attorneys by appointment. Attorneys meet with clients one-on-one to go through a legal screening questionnaire, to spot check what issues are related to a legal problem or could be resolved through legal relief. Volunteer attorneys then provide advice and limited services on child support and criminal record expungement. If the veteran requires any additional service handled by VLJ, he/she is referred to that program and set up with next steps. If the veterans need service(s) that are outside the scope of VLJ programming, he/she is referred to an appropriate referral partner through the help of support staff at this clinic.
HOW TO SIGN UP
Attorneys from BASF Corporation and Panasonic should contact their respective pro bono coordinator to register to volunteer at the clinic. New volunteers will also have to complete VLJ’s volunteer registration form below.
Female Veterans Program
Female veterans face unique challenges in the transition back to civilian life. From July 2015 to June 2016, VLJ ran a program specifically for female veterans, so we could not only learn of their unique challenges, but also work to incorporate their experiences into our current and future veterans programming. Through this program, VLJ conducted New Jersey’s first-ever legal needs assessment for female veterans in an effort to identify and better meet the needs of female veterans. VLJ drafted two distinct surveys. The first survey was intended for female veterans and female military personnel. The second survey was created for individuals and organizations working with veterans in New Jersey, including non-profit agencies, government staff and other advocacy organizations. Additionally, VLJ provided 10 legal seminars throughout New Jersey, on issues that female veterans were seeking helping with.
Please find our report here. In addition, VLJ has decided to extend the legal needs survey and keep it open another 9-12 months, and conduct further outreach to female veterans. At the conclusion of the additional year, we will update the legal needs assessment report to account for the additional information we learn, and will then make additional decisions about female veterans programming at VLJ.
PSEG Veterans Legal Clinic
Veterans face many barriers to successful return to civilian life, including ongoing civil legal issues. To help veterans address these problems, VLJ developed the PSEG Veterans Legal Clinic in partnership with PSEG, Gibbons, and McCarter & English to provide advice and limited services on legal issues including criminal record expungement and driver’s license restoration.
Who can participate?
The PSEG Veterans Legal Clinic is limited to attorneys from PSEG, Gibbons, and McCarter & English. Prior experience with criminal record expungements and driver’s license restoration is not required to volunteer. VLJ has training material and sample forms available on criminal record expungement and driver’s license restoration matters. Volunteers with no prior experience in these areas are required to review the training materials prior to attending a clinic. A VLJ staff attorney is present at every PSEG Veteran’s Legal Clinic to answer questions and provide support to volunteers.
What do volunteers do?
The PSEG Veterans Legal Clinic is held on the 4th Tuesday each month in downtown Newark. Clients are prescreened by VLJ and eligible veterans meet with volunteer attorneys by appointment. Attorneys provide advice and limited services on criminal record expungement and driver’s license issues. Clients who require further assistance may be referred back to VLJ for additional services.
How to sign up
Attorneys from Gibbons, McCarter & English, or PSEG should contact their respective pro bono coordinator to register to volunteer at the clinic. New volunteers will also have to complete VLJ’s volunteer registration form below.