VLJ Names Kala Jodhan, Esq. as its "January 2012 Pro Bono Attorney of the Month"

Top Quote Jersey City Resident Provides Critical Legal Assistance to Clients of VLJ's Bankruptcy and Consumer Law Clinics. End Quote
  • Newark, NJ (1888PressRelease) February 07, 2012 - Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ) has named Kala Jodhan, Esq. of Jersey City as its "January 2012 Pro Bono Attorney of the Month." Since September of 2011, Jodhan has aided clients of VLJ's Newark Legal Advice and Resource Clinic for Consumers (NLARCC) and its Merck/Lowenstein Bankruptcy Clinic. She is a recent Rutgers University School of Law graduate.

    Founded in 2001, Newark, N.J.-based VLJ provides comprehensive pro bono legal services to economically-disadvantaged individuals in New Jersey, focusing on the areas of greatest need such as consumer law, bankruptcy, family law and special education. Programs include free legal counsel and advice, educational seminars on various legal matters, and direct representation for at-risk individuals facing critical civil legal issues.

    "It's our dedicated volunteer attorneys like Kala that help us ensure fair and equal treatment within the legal system for all of our clients," said Karen Sacks, Esq., founding executive director of VLJ. "For the last several months, Kala has provided legal assistance to dozens of clients of our consumer law and bankruptcy clinics. Most of these individuals have been struggling under the burden of heavy debt for quite some time. We are grateful to Kala for her hard work and dedication to our clients."

    In 2010, VLJ established NLARCC to combat the flood of debt collection cases filed against low-income individuals in Newark. At the clinic, VLJ's volunteer attorneys provide legal counsel and limited scope representation to self-represented debtors dealing with a range of concerns. Those include law suits by creditors or debt collectors to recover alleged debts, credit report issues and discrepancies, garnishment of wages, harassing calls and letters on debts, and frozen bank accounts.

    VLJ's Merck/Lowenstein Sandler Bankruptcy Clinic provides direct assistance to economically-disadvantaged individuals with the preparation and filing of their Chapter 7 bankruptcy petitions and representation at subsequent trustee meetings.

    "I find it extremely rewarding to help VLJ clients dealing with bankruptcy proceedings and consumer law issues, both of which can be particularly overwhelming," said Jodhan. "At these clinics, the legal advice and representation we provide can give a client such relief and a new lease on life."

    VLJ's Continued Need for Volunteer Attorneys

    Since its founding in 2001, VLJ has grown tremendously from a grass-roots effort of 30 volunteer attorneys in Essex County to a state-wide, non-profit with more than 1,500 volunteer attorneys now aiding thousands of low-income clients each year. Programs include free legal counsel and advice, educational seminars on various legal matters, and direct representation for at-risk individuals facing critical civil legal issues. In order to continue this essential work, VLJ is in constant need of volunteer attorneys.

    VLJ is an approved legal services provider of the New Jersey Supreme Court. This designation allows certain court costs and filing fees to be waived for VLJ's clients, enables VLJ volunteer attorneys to claim an exemption from mandatory pro bono assignments after 25 hours of voluntary service, and provides the opportunity for out-of-state attorneys to volunteer with the program. Frequently recognized for its contributions to the community, VLJ received the "Community Builder Award" from the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice in 2008 and was the 2007 recipient of the New Jersey State Bar Association's "Annual Pro Bono Award."

    Please visit VLJ's web site at www.vljnj.org to learn more about volunteer opportunities and upcoming consumer law clinics.

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