Volunteer Lawyers For Justice Approved As Accredited Continuing Legal Education Provider

Top Quote VLJ'S Courses Will Focus on Hot Button Legal Issues Including Bankruptcy, Consumer Law, and Family Law. End Quote
  • Newark, NJ (1888PressRelease) September 03, 2010 - The New Jersey Board of Continuing Legal Education has approved Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ) of Newark, N.J. as an accredited provider of continuing legal education for attorneys. A not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, VLJ provides comprehensive legal services to economically-disadvantaged adults, children and families in New Jersey to ensure fair and equal treatment within the legal system.

    "Our CLE programs will focus on bankruptcy, consumer law, family law, and other "hot button" legal issues," said Karen Sacks, Esq., the founding executive director of VLJ. "There is significant need for pro bono legal aid in these areas and great interest from attorneys in receiving the training necessary to provide that critical assistance. All of our programs will be offered free-of-charge with the understanding that attendees take on a pro bono case from VLJ."

    Attorneys accepting pro bono work through VLJ can claim exemption from Madden v. Delran pro bono counsel assignments. Established 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 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.

    VLJ's Consumer Law Initiative

    In July, VLJ co-sponsored its first CLE course entitled "Consumer Law Training" with Community Health Law Project, Newark Now and Seton Hall Law School Center for Social Justice. The course provided three NJ CLE credits for attendees. Presenters included Stefan Pryor, deputy mayor of Economic Development for the City of Newark; Alma Yee, Esq., managing attorney of the Community Health Law Project; Erica Fields, Esq., staff attorney of the Community Health Law Project; and Jordyn Baumgarten, Esq., director of pro bono services of VLJ.

    "Many of the attorneys who attended our "Consumer Law Training" will begin providing pro bono assistance this fall to low-income individuals as part of our Newark Legal Advice and Resource Clinic for Consumers," noted Sacks.

    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 (NLARCC) to provide legal counsel and advice as well as limited scope representation to these unrepresented debtors. Through NLARCC, Essex County residents facing debt collection issues can receive legal assistance on matters including: law suits by creditors or debt collectors to recover debts claimed to be owed, credit report discrepancies, frozen bank accounts/garnishment of wages, and/or harassing calls and letters regarding debts.

    For more information on VLJ's upcoming CLE programs, please visit http://www.vljnj.org/ or call 973-645-1951.

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