Central Jersey Legal Services
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Pro Bono

How can private attorneys help Central Jersey Legal Services?

A little of your time can make a big difference in the life of a very low income person or a struggling family. Simply by contributing your professional and legal skill to resolve a person’s critical legal need, you can make a real difference. Why not join colleagues who already are volunteering their service throughout central New Jersey? It is simple, it is easy and it is also most satisfying and very rewarding work.

Why is my help necessary?

National and state research, most recently Legal Services of New Jersey, LSNJ, document and confirm that the very low income residents of this State have significant and substantial unmet legal needs. An organization like Central Jersey Legal Services can help meet SOME of this need. However, if all of the region’s poverty population, over 120,000 according to the 2000 census, is to be served, we need to do better. We need the help of additional legal professionals and that is where you can help.

In response to this need, bar associations in the region and lawyers came forward to work with local legal services offices to better serve the region’s very low income population. Since the mid-1980’s private attorneys have represented hundreds of clients in resolving significant legal problems which were adversely impacting their life and their families. We are seeking your help in this collaborative effort.

How can I participate? How does the program work?

Our Pro Bono program needs attorneys who will accept one, two or three cases per year on referral from our offices. The referrals are mostly in the areas of family law, consumer law or other specific area of the civil law. We will work with you to determine the area, or areas of the civil law which you desire referrals. Once determined, our staff will only refer clients whose legal problem matches your preferred area of expertise.

Before you receive a referral, the Legal Services office will complete client financial eligibility and determine that the client’s legal needs is both consistent with office policies and is a match to your case preference. If you wish, staff will even prepare a short case issue outline, highlighting cogent facts. Should you desire, Legal Services will be happy to host you and your client for their first meeting and staff will be available to assist in interpreting or any other way you wish.

Worried about professional liability issues? Not a problem, you will be covered under malpractice insurance maintained by CJLS.

OK, I’m sold - how can I become a volunteer attorney for Central Jersey Legal Services?

It is easy and simple. Simply contact CJLS by e-mail, telephone or regular mail, request an application and we will do our best to get you enrolled and started on your first case as quickly as possible.

The volunteer attorney effort at CJLS is organized under two guiding principles. One is the professional responsibility of pro bono publico, attorneys working for the public good. The other, is simply lending a hand to people facing legal difficulties which require a lawyer’s help to resolve. If you decide to join the program, not only will you earn the lasting gratitude from your client, you will also receive appreciation from other volunteer attorneys and, most certainly, from all of us at Central Jersey Legal Services.




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