VLJ Celebrates Decade of Service and New Jersey's "Champions of Change" at "Arts & Eats for Justice Gala" on Nov. 9

Top Quote Proceeds Earmarked for VLJ's Pro Bono Legal Services to Economically-Disadvantaged Individuals. End Quote
  • Newark, NJ (1888PressRelease) October 05, 2010 - In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ) of Newark, N.J. will host its "Arts & Eats for Justice Gala" on Tuesday, Nov. 9 honoring New Jersey's "Champions of Change." Since its founding, VLJ has grown from a grass roots effort of 30 volunteer attorneys in Essex County to a state-wide not-for-profit with five staff attorneys and more than 1,500 volunteer attorneys aiding thousands of economically-disadvantaged clients each year. Event proceeds are earmarked for VLJ's programs, which include free legal counsel and advice, educational seminars on various legal matters, and direct representation for at-risk individuals facing critical civil legal issues.

    The Gala will be held at the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, N.J. from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The fundraiser features gourmet cuisine from the area's top restaurants and tours of the "Living for Art: the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection" exhibit as well as live jazz and a silent auction. Marvin C. Adames, Esq., Newark's Chief Municipal Prosecutor, is the event chair, and Race Taylor, popular host of 95.5 WPLJ, will serve as the master of ceremonies.

    "This is a special time for us at VLJ as we mark a decade of service and look back with pride on how far we have come," said Karen B. Sacks, Esq., founding executive director of VLJ. "Our Gala is the ideal time to honor the individuals and organizations - our "Champions of Change" - that have helped us ensure equal treatment for all New Jersey residents within the legal system during the last 10 years."

    Individual "Champions of Change" honorees include Marvin C. Adames, Esq.; Mayor of Newark Cory A. Booker; Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman; Hon. Dickinson R. Debevoise; Hon. Paula T. Dow; Susan A. Feeney, Esq.; Michael R. Griffinger, Esq.; and Ruth D. Lowenkron, Esq. Organizations to be honored as "Champions of Change" are the Newark Municipal Prosecutor's Office; McCarter & English, LLP; the Education Law Center; Merck & Co., Inc.; and The Merck Company Foundation. At the Gala, The Legal Services Foundation of Essex County will be giving out their annual Dickinson R. Debevoise and Douglas S. Eakeley Awards, which will go to Lowenstein Sandler PC and Karen B. Sacks, Esq., respectively.

    VLJ's Comprehensive Range of Programs

    Since its inception, VLJ has focused on the areas of greatest need for economically-disadvantaged individuals including bankruptcy, family law, education, and consumer law. Earlier this year, in response to the growing number of debt collection cases filed against low income debtors-defendants in New Jersey, VLJ partnered with the City of Newark and Newark Now to create the Newark Legal Advice and Resource Clinic for Consumers to provide legal counsel and advice as well as limited scope representation to these unrepresented debtors.

    VLJ also focuses on helping low-income Essex County residents with criminal records address the civil legal barriers that serve as obstacles to their successful community reintegration with its Newark Reentry Legal Services (ReLeSe). VLJ partnered with Newark Mayor Cory Booker's administration, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, and other community organizations to create this program. Through direct in-house representation as well as through referrals to volunteer attorneys, ReLeSe assists its clients with driver's license restoration, resolution of long out-standing municipal matters, modification of child support orders, and the expungement of criminal records.

    "Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on the "hot button" legal issues for low-income individuals and families, and provide the critical legal advice and representation that is desperately needed," added Sacks.

    A wide range of sponsorship opportunities for the "Arts & Eats for Justice Gala" are still available. VLJ already has a number of committed sponsors such as McCarter & English, LLP and Merck & Co., Inc. at the director's circle level, Gibbons PC and Lowenstein Sandler, PC at the benefactor level, Pfizer Inc. as a gala sponsor, and AT&T, Patton Boggs, LLP, PSE&G and White & Case LLP at the award level.

    To purchase tickets to the Gala, please visit VLJ's web site http://www.vljnj.org/. For information on sponsorship opportunities and tickets, please contact Tracy Nelson at tnelson ( @ ) vljnj dot org or 973-645-1951, ext. 109.

  • FB Icon Twitter Icon In-Icon
Contact Information