VLJ's Gina DeVito, Esq. Provides Attorney Training for Merck's Pro Bono Program Aiding Displaced Veterans Affiliated with Community Hope Non-Profit

Top Quote Sought-After Speaker is Managing Attorney of VLJ's Newark Reentry Legal Services. End Quote
  • Newark, NJ (1888PressRelease) November 29, 2011 - Gina DeVito, Esq. recently provided training at Merck's pro bono kick-off meeting, for its new pro bono program which offers legal assistance to displaced or transitioning veterans who are affiliated with Community Hope, a Parsippany, N.J.-based non-profit. DeVito, who is the managing attorney of Volunteer Lawyers for Justice's Newark Reentry Legal Services (ReLeSe), addressed driver's license restoration at the event.

    As ReLeSe's managing attorney, DeVito oversees all facets of this VLJ program designed to assist Essex County residents with criminal records handle the legal obstacles that often serve as barriers to successful community reintegration. In addition to driver's license restoration, the issues often include expungement and child support modification. ReLeSe's services can help individuals be better positioned to secure employment and once again begin contributing to their families - and the community - after a conviction or period of incarceration.

    "Gina is often called upon to provide specialized legal training on driver's license restoration and the other critical components of successful community reintegration whether it be for those with criminal records or the homeless veterans affiliated with Community Hope who are dealing with license suspensions," said Karen Sacks, Esq., founding executive director of VLJ. "Gina has unparalleled legal experience in regard to reentry and is also a sought-after speaker and resource on the issue."

    Recently, DeVito served as a panel member addressing reentry legal services at the Federal Prisoner Reentry Conference of Rutgers' School of Law, Camden, which drew more than 300 attendees. She has participated in numerous conferences sponsored by Rutgers and also played an integral role in the creation of Rutgers' Federal Prisoner Reentry Project last year. Rutgers' effort focuses on driver's license restoration for federal prisoners on supervised release.

    Prior to taking on her role at VLJ, DeVito was a volunteer attorney for VLJ, specifically the ReLeSe program. Her distinguished legal career includes serving as a Deputy County Attorney in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office in Phoenix, Arizona; an Assistant Attorney General with the Arizona Attorney General's Office; and as the Prison Coordinator for a legal publishing company in Newark, developing electronic legal research products for inmates. She has also worked in private practice. DeVito received her bachelor's degree from Oberlin College, her master's degree from New York University and her law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark.

    Since its founding in 2001, 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. In addition to ReLeSe, VLJ's wide range of 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.

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